Recovery in the number of tests in France

UPDATE ON THE SITUATION – New measures, new reports and highlights: Le Figaro Provides an update on the latest developments in the Covid-19 pandemic.

A recovery in testing in France, a change in isolation rules for unvaccinated contact cases in colleges and high schools, the EMA warned of the resumption of the epidemic. Le Figaro Provides an update on the latest information regarding the Covid-19 pandemic on Thursday, March 17.

Recovery in the number of Covid tests last week

Here “First increase in two months”: The Department of Statistics (Drees) stated in a press release that between March 7-13, 2.52 million PCR and antigen scans were confirmed, an increase of 8% from the previous week. After the fifth wave of epidemics, demand for tests increased from November to early January, reaching nearly 12 million at the start of the school year following the Christmas holidays. The observed rebound was of interest to all age groups, but “worn especially by the smallest” last week, especially children and adolescents under the age of 16 (+21%).

While most of the anti-Covid restrictions were lifted on Monday, the strong and long fifth wave of the epidemic, which started to decline markedly in mid-March, has been on the rise for days. Pollution hit a daily average of 74,912 for seven days on Wednesday, a level that has not been recorded since February 22.

Colleges and high schools: unvaccinated students and contact cases will no longer have to isolate themselves

Starting Monday, unvaccinated college and high school students over the age of 12 will no longer have to self-isolate for seven days, the Ministry of Education said in a statement on Thursday. “They will respect the same rules as contact cases offering a full vaccination schedule, namely self-test performance in D2”, Ministry of Education explains. So far, unvaccinated contact case students over the age of 12 have had to isolate themselves for 7 days, causing many teachers to fear that these young people will be isolated several times, and the consequences are pedagogical to follow. On the other hand, wearing a mask indoors, “Highly recommended for 7 days after confirmed case occurrence”, emphasizing the ministry.

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EMA says ‘not enough evidence’ to need second booster dose

“I would like to reiterate that there is not yet sufficient evidence (…) to support a second booster dose recommendation in the general population”said Marco Cavaleri, head of vaccine strategy at the European Medicines Agency (EMA). “After the steady decline we have seen in recent weeks, infection rates are rising again in some member states”he also observed at a press conference.

The infection wave appears to be carried by the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron, which appears to be more infectious than other variants of SARS-CoV-2, noted Marco Cavaleri. He said lifting restrictions also likely contributed to the increase in cases. “Currently there is no evidence that post-vaccination immune evasion is significantly different with Omicron BA.2”, he said, though. Stating that the activity of monoclonal antibodies can vary significantly according to each sub-variant of Omicron, he urged citizens to be vaccinated again.

China: Xi Jinping orders zero Covid to continue and stop transmission

Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered on Thursday to continue and curb the zero Covid policy. “as quickly as possible” National television reported the coronavirus outbreak. China has been facing the worst epidemic resurgence since the first wave of 2020 for the past few days, with tens of millions of people imprisoned across the country. A large number of solitary confinement orders were issued, especially in Jilin province (northeast), where the majority of cases were detected, and in the technological metropolis of 17.5 million people, Shenzhen (south).

The Ministry of Health reported on Thursday 2,432 new cases of Covid-19, scattered across nearly all provinces. If these numbers are so low compared to many foreign countries, they are high for China, where authorities have adopted a zero Covid strategy aimed at limiting the occurrence of new cases as much as possible. “We must always put people and their lives first. […] Zero Covid policy and stopping the spread of the epidemic as soon as possible”the president said, according to comments reported by the public channel CCTV.

SEE ALSO – Temporary hospital established in Jilin province amid increasing Covid-19 infection cases in China

Irish PM tests positive in Washington, Biden not ‘contact case’

The Irish Ambassador to the United States announced that Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin tested positive for Covid-19 in Washington on Wednesday evening, forcing him to leave a gala attended by Joe Biden. But the White House said on Thursday that the American president was not viewed as a “contact case” and the testing protocol would not be changed. Spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a recent briefing that Joe Biden was last tested with a negative result on Sunday. The meeting between the two men in the Oval Office, scheduled for Thursday, on the occasion of St. Patrick’s Day, a popular Irish holiday, has been replaced by a virtual meeting, the American presidency said.

In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is back after two years of pandemic

After two editions were canceled due to the coronavirus, St. Patrick’s Day festivities return to Ireland on Thursday, organizers hope the celebrations mark the country’s post-pandemic rebirth. Marching bands and parades of dancers in honor of the patron saint of Ireland, a country with a strong Catholic tradition, were among the first to be canceled in 2020, as the world imposed restrictions and restraints to slow the spread of the virus. . Two years later and the last sanitary measures in effect have just been lifted, hundreds of thousands of international visitors are expected to attend the festivities in Ireland.

More than 6 million dead

The pandemic has officially killed at least 6,041,660 people worldwide since the end of December 2019, according to a report by AFP at 11:00 GMT on Monday. The USA is the country with the most deaths (968,325), ahead of Brazil (655,940), India (515,877) and Russia (361,344). The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the toll of the pandemic could be two to three times higher than officially determined, taking into account the excess death rate directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19.

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