LIVE – Covid-19: “We can end the acute phase of the pandemic this year”, according to the WHO – Liberation

The Covid-19 pandemic in Francedossier
Variant omicron, vaccine pass, booster dose, epidemic report, new treatments… Find the latest information on the health crisis linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In summary :

– The vaccination pass replaces the health pass this Monday. From now on, to have access to leisure activities, restaurants and bars, fairs or interregional public transport (planes, trains, coaches), those over 16 must provide proof of an up-to-date vaccination status against Covid-19.

– The number of patients with Covid-19 hospitalized in critical care remained almost stable on Sunday with 3,760 patients against 3,746 on Saturday, according to the latest figures from Public Health France. Contaminations remain at a high level with 360,007 daily cases on average over the past week.

“It is plausible that Europe is approaching an end to the pandemic” with the omicron variant, says Hans Kluge, WHO director for the continent. While calling for caution because of the versatility of the virus.


Clashes in Brussels after an anti-restrictions parade: 239 arrested, including French. Belgian police announced on Monday that they had made 239 arrests after the demonstration against anti-Covid health restrictions which degenerated into violence on Sunday in Brussels. Among them, 11 people, including three French, were taken into custody. On the initiative in particular of the organization “Europeans United for freedom”, created by a Belgian, a parade gathered some 50,000 people on Sunday in Brussels, according to the authorities. This is the biggest mobilization in the street of opponents of the restrictions ever recorded in Belgium for two years. Hundreds of demonstrators came from neighboring countries (the Netherlands, Germany, France, etc.). While the demonstration had taken place peacefully for three hours, the situation degenerated once the procession arrived at the foot of the EU institutions.


Italy at the peak of the Omicron wave. “There is good news: it seems that we have reached the peak of the curve (of the variant) Omicron and that it is descending”, said General Francesco Paolo Figliuolo during a visit to Milan (north), quoted by the Ansa agency. “We hope that this trend will continue”, he added, considering “auspicious” that “over the past two days, the number of hospital admissions has been lower than the number of discharges”. Italy had recorded 139,000 new cases of Covid-19 on Sunday in 24 hours against 180,000 to 200,000 the previous days.


The World Health Organization optimistic. “We can end the acute phase of the pandemic this year – we can end Covid-19 as a global health emergency”, the WHO’s highest level of alert, its director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday. According to him, to achieve this, countries must fight against vaccine inequity, monitor the virus and its variants and take appropriate restriction measures. On Sunday, WHO Europe director Hans Kluge estimated that an exit from the Covid-19 pandemic could be looming in the region.

The WHO boss warns, however, that“it is dangerous to assume that omicron will be the last variant or to talk about endgame”, because the conditions are “ideal” currently in the world for other variants to emerge. The potential of a variant “more transmissible and more deadly” is “very real”, according to him.


We are not yet out of the wave. If the executive has already fixed the lifting of the restrictions, Alain Fischer, the government’s “Mr. vaccine”, rather puts the soft pedal. “We currently have 2,500 new hospitalizations, 286 critical care admissions and 230 deaths per day. We are not yet at the end of the epidemic, which is otherwise serious. Omicron is less severe, but there are so many cases!”, he underlines this Sunday evening in an interview with 20 Minutes. Before continuing, a bit more optimistic: “On the dynamics, according to the models and given the slight drops in the first regions affected, Ile-de-France and Corsica, we are perhaps at the very beginning of the decline. But we have to pass this course.” Alain Fischer recalls above all that “We still have 21 million adults who haven’t done their recall. However, the interest is that it protects 90% against Omicron and that this protection is active seven days after the injection..


A “march of essential workers” next Thursday. The CFDT will organize a mobilization on February 3 in Paris to highlight these insufficiently recognized employees, its secretary general Laurent Berger announced on Monday morning on France Inter Monday. “This health crisis, if it has had an advantage, it is that we looked at these essential workers in the face, these workers who every day make the economy work, make society work”, according to the union leader. If the CFDT does not join the day of interprofessional mobilization on wages and employment this Thursday, at the call of the inter-union CGT-FO-FSU-Solidaires, it calls for a revaluation of wages . For Berger, the challenge is not so much to increase the minimum wage – as several left-wing presidential candidates propose – as to raise the minimums for the branch.


The 2022 Olympics in Beijing are refining their protocol. The organizers of the Olympic Games (from February 4 to 20) are adjusting their health measures on Monday, in particular reducing the sensitivity of their Covid-19 screening to model them on Western standards. People who test positive but with a low rate will be treated as a “close contact case”, so they will escape isolation and will be able to work or train, while being tested twice a day. The question began to worry after the testimonies of several technicians and journalists of international media who tested positive on arrival in China, despite a succession of negative tests just before their departure, which cast doubt on the superior sensitivity of Chinese screenings.


Bruno Le Maire addresses the end of “whatever the cost”. “As long as there are restrictions, there are aids. As soon as there are no more restrictions, there is no longer any reason to maintain aid., assured this Monday morning on FranceInfo the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, referring to the sectors of catering, tourism, events. And to add: “As soon as there are no more restrictions, there is no longer any reason to maintain aid”. “Am I going to cut the thread with all these sectors affected by the crisis? Certainly not”, he insisted.


In Canada, a convoy of heavy goods vehicles against the vaccination pass. These truckers may be cool, but they’re up. Dozens of Canadian truckers, gathered in convoys, began a long journey to the capital Ottawa on Sunday to denounce the obligation to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to cross the Canada-US border. Canada and the United States now impose the vaccination passport to cross this border, the longest in the world with nearly 9,000 km. This measure came into force on January 15 in Canada and last Saturday in the United States. US authorities are threatening potential offenders with a permanent ban from the territory, while Canada is imposing a 14-day quarantine on unvaccinated drivers returning from the United States.


In Hong Kong, only one hamster tested positive. Hong Kong authorities said on Sunday that only one of 77 hamsters handed over to the government by their owners had tested positive for Covid-19 as part of a culling campaign after positive cases emerged at a local pet store. city. Last Tuesday, the authorities had “strongly encouraged” anyone who bought a small mammal after December 22, just before Christmas, to bring the animal to them for testing and euthanasia. In addition, more than 2,000 hamsters were slaughtered in “precautionary title” in pet stores.


France under the regime of the vaccination pass. One pass chases the other. Weapon criticized by the government against the omicron variant, the vaccination pass replaces the health pass on Monday. From now on, a negative test is no longer sufficient, except to access health establishments and services: for those over 16 years of age, it is necessary to justify a vaccination status against Covid-19 in order to have access to leisure activities, restaurants and bars (except collective catering), fairs or interregional public transport (planes, trains, coaches). To understand everything about how it works, it’s here.

Source: Libération by

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