UPDATE ON THE SITUATION – New measures, new reports and highlights: Le Figaro provides an update on the latest developments in the Covid-19 pandemic.
The city of Beijing in fear of confinement, Denmark suspends its vast vaccination campaign… Le Figaro provides an update this Tuesday, April 26 on the latest information related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
167 dead in 24 hours, 24,702 hospitalized patients
167 people died of Covid on Tuesday, according to the daily report from Public Health France. 24,702 people are currently hospitalized (against 24,980 on Monday), including 1,932 who arrived in the past 24 hours. 1667 patients are treated in critical care.
Public Health France reports 97,498 new cases of contamination with the SARS-CoV2 virus. The average of infections over the last seven days, which smooths out statistical jolts, stands at 85,588 against 93,238 a week ago.
54.32 million people have received at least one dose of vaccine (i.e. 80.6% of the total population) and 53.42 million are fully vaccinated (79.2% of the total population)
Drop in tests jeopardizes virus surveillance, says WHO
The sudden drop in Covid-19 screening activities around the world is forcing the World Health Organization (WHO) to pilot “the blindin the face of a virus that is still raging and continues to evolve, she lamented on Tuesday. “Faced with a deadly virus, ignorance does not bring happinesssaid WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, hijacking a common expression in English (“Ignorance is bliss“-“Ignorance is happiness“).
“Globally, reported cases and deaths…continue to decline, which is very encouraging. Just over 15,000 deaths were reported to the WHO last week – the lowest weekly total since March 2020“, he noted during a press conference in Geneva. He urged caution because in the absence of tests the WHO receives less information on transmission and sequencing. This situation “makes us increasingly blind to patterns of transmission and evolutionof the virus, he stressed, calling on all countries to continue to monitor the disease.
Denmark suspends vast anti-Covid vaccination campaign
Denmark, where all restrictions were lifted on February 1, will temporarily end its vast anti-Covid vaccination campaign, health authorities announced on Tuesday.
“We are in a good position. Spring has arrived and we have good control of the epidemic, which seems to be easing“Explained in a press release one of the officials of the Danish Health Agency SST, Bolette Søborg. “This is why we are closing the mass vaccination program against Covid-19“.
This decision is justified by the high vaccination coverage (nearly 81% of the 5.8 million Danes received two doses and 61.6% three) and encouraging indicators: with stable hospitalization rates and a drop in the number of new infections. The campaign must resume afterwards and the vaccines remain available for the non-vaccinated who wish them.
Beijing expands screening, containment threatens
Screening extended to almost all of the 22 million inhabitants, cancellation of wedding ceremonies and shows, closing of gymnasiums: the city of Beijing lives on Tuesday in fear of general confinement like in Shanghai. China has been facing an epidemic outbreak since March that affects many provinces to varying degrees. It responds to this with a zero Covid strategy, that is to say mainly by quarantine and massive screening.
SEE ALSO – Covid-19: faced with an upsurge in cases, the Chinese comply with compulsory screening in Beijing
The hardest hit city is Shanghai, which again announced 52 new deaths on Tuesday and nearly 17,000 positive cases in 24 hours. The 25 million inhabitants have been under severe confinement since the beginning of April.
The situation is infinitely less serious in Beijing. But more than a hundred positive cases have been reported since last week, including 33 new ones announced on Tuesday – an increase from previous days. In order to identify and isolate infected people as quickly as possible, the Beijing authorities are carrying out a screening campaign which extended to 12 of the city’s 16 districts on Tuesday. As of Monday, residents and employees of the Chaoyang district, the city’s most populous and home to many multinationals, offices, embassies and shopping malls, had already been tested. Eleven new districts began screening their residents on Tuesday. In total, approximately 20 million inhabitants are affected by this campaign.
At the same time, the city begins to impose restrictions. Even if the authorities have not mentioned the possibility of confinement, the example of Shanghai frightens many Beijingers who prefer to stockpile food to deal with this eventuality.
Nearly 60% of the American population had contracted Covid in February
In February 2022, at least 58% of the American population had contracted Covid since the start of the pandemic, according to a study by the American Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) published on Tuesday and based on an examination of antibodies. .
This percentage is equivalent to nearly 190 million people in the United States, a number much higher than the 80 million officially recorded cases, most of which are therefore undiagnosed, asymptomatic or not registered with the authorities. About 75% of the population under the age of 18 contracted the virus, according to the study, with a colossal jump in cases – especially among children – during the wave of the Omicron variant last winter.
The nationwide survey looked for the presence of antibodies against the nucleocapsid protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which the immune system only creates in response to contamination.
Biden doubles availability of Covid-19 pills
Joe Biden’s administration announced on Tuesday that it is doubling the number of places where at-risk Americans can get free Covid-19 treatment pills. These oral drugs, like Pfizer’s antiviral Paxlovid, are seen as a new weapon of choice in the fight against the virus that has killed nearly a million people in the United States alone and continues to spread. .
SEE ALSO – Covid-19: we must not “Lower the guards“Warns the WHO
“One of the most effective treatments available is Pfizer’s antiviral pill, Paxlovid, which has been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization or death by around 90%.a senior government official told reporters.
With 20 million treatments ordered, the government now has “large stocksand will double the distribution locations, which will increase to around 40,000, said the official. The pills are notably available in pharmacies and in hospitals and health centers, and the American drug agency, the FDA, has authorized this treatment for high-risk patients aged 12 and over. So far, about 500,000 antiviral treatments have been administered, the senior official said, and the pace is accelerating.
South Africa in a new wave of Covid-19 pandemic
South Africa, the country officially hardest hit on the continent by Covid-19 and which has been experiencing a lull in recent months, has entered a new wave of the pandemic, the Center for Innovation and Response to Epidemics warned on Tuesday. (CERI). “The 5th wave has arrived. Take care of yourself“Warned on Twitter the genomic research center led by virologist Tulio de Oliveira, who became famous for spotting the Beta and Omicron variants.
The number of new infections in the past 24 hours is still up from the previous day, with 5,062 cases and 15 deaths, according to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD). With a ratio of 6.3 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants and a positivity rate above 10% (16.9%), “based on previous waves, these are thresholds indicating a continued increase“Added on Twitter, Ridhwaan Suliman, researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), a government research institute.
The figures recorded in recent days are the highest for almost three months in the country and a marked increase compared to two weeks ago. Health Minister Joe Phaahla already expressed last week his “worry“.
There are more obese children since the health crisis, according to a study carried out in France
Cases of obesity and overweight have increased sharply among the youngest since the start of the health crisis, shows Tuesday a study carried out in a French department and confirming other work already carried out abroad.
In four-year-old children,overweight and obesity (…) increased significantly in 2020-2021, compared to the two previous school yearssum up the authors of this study, conducted under the aegis of the French public health agency in Val-de-Marne, a department in the Paris region.
The authors examined data from nearly 50,000 children attending kindergarten in this department. These figures come from health checks systematically carried out in the middle section, when the children are around four years old. Data shows that the proportion of obese children almost doubled in the two years roughly corresponding to the start of the health crisis. It went from 2.8% to 4.6%. The rate of overweight children, a situation that covers broader criteria than obesity, has also increased, from 8.9% to 11.2%.
US Vice President Kamala Harris tests positive for Covid-19
United States Vice President Kamala Harris tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday but is not considered to have been in contact.narrowwith President Joe Biden, his spokeswoman announced.
Kamala Harris”has no symptoms, she will self-isolate and continue to work from her residence“said Kirsten Allen in a press release, specifying that she had”not been in close contact with the President or First Lady due to their recent travel plans“.
The Finnish president hospitalized, suffering from Covid
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, 73, was hospitalized due to “prolonged symptoms of Covid-19“, announced Tuesday his office. The head of state “feels reasonably well and continues to work remotely“, specified his services. His illness was diagnosed on April 19, leading to the cancellation of a visit to Norway.
This hospitalization comes at a time when Finland, a Nordic country which shares a border of 1,300 kilometers with Russia, plans to submit its candidacy to NATO.
SEE ALSO – Covid-19: weekly death total lowest since March 2020, WHO announces