UPDATE ON THE SITUATION – New measures, new reports and highlights: Le Figaro takes stock of the latest developments in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Germany hit by a violent wave
Germany recorded a record number of new Covid-19 infections on Thursday with 50,196 additional cases in 24 hours, a sign of the violence of the epidemic wave that is hitting the country, according to the Robert Koch health watch institute. This is the first time that the threshold of 50,000 new daily cases has been crossed since the start of the pandemic while Germany has chained record numbers of infections in recent days. The number of deaths in 24 hours rose to 235 on Thursday.
Pressure is also increasing on hospital care units. This outbreak is attributed in particular to the relatively low vaccination rate of the population in Germany, just over 67%.
Several particularly affected states, such as Saxony, Bavaria, and most recently Berlin, have introduced new restrictions targeting unvaccinated people who are the first affected by this rebound in the pandemic. Thus, as of Monday, Berlin will prohibit unvaccinated people from accessing, in particular, restaurants without a terrace, bars, sports halls and hairdressing salons. A negative test will no longer allow access to these public places if users are not vaccinated or cannot prove that they are cured of the disease.
Guadeloupe: end of the state of health emergency on November 14
The state of health emergency will cease to apply in the territory of Guadeloupe on the evening of November 14, announced the prefect Alexandre Rochatte on Wednesday, during a weekly situation update in Basse-Terre. “We are going to enter the third phase of deconfinement to find the way of life today in mainland France“, Explained the prefect, announcing the end of the curfew”from Sunday evening“And gauges which”will be modifiedFor certain activities.
After having suffered a murderous fourth wave, the archipelago is now experiencing an epidemic situation “rather stable», Indicated during the press conference Valérie Denux, the general director of the regional health agency (ARS). From November 1 to 7, 2021, “166 new positive cases were detected in the territory”, Down from the previous week. The incidence rate is 44 / 100,000, the positivity rate is 1.4% and the virus reproduction factor barely exceeds 1%.
Australian company recalls more than 2 million drug tests for false positive risk
Australian medical technology maker Ellume has recalled more than two million self-tests for Covid-19 in the United States due to an increased risk of false positives, the United States Medicines Agency warned on Wednesday. The FDA said the Ellume company had recalled 2.2 million tests since a manufacturing issue was detected last month.
«The FDA has identified this recall as Class I, the most serious type of recall“The agency said in a notice, noting that”the use of these tests can lead to serious adverse health consequences or death“. The FDA said it has received 35 false positive reports and no deaths to date.
In early October, Ellume announced the recall of 195,000 of the 3.5 million tests shipped to the United States, including tests provided to the Department of Defense for community health programs. This recall was ordered after false positive reports at abnormally high rates in certain lots.
Vaccination: Puerto Rico far above the rest of the United States
In recent years, Puerto Rico, an unincorporated organized territory of the United States, has faced a devastating hurricane, earthquake and economic crisis. However, the island took first place in the United States on the podium of the regions most vaccinated against Covid-19. Experts attribute this success to two main factors: a sense of solidarity rooted in past disasters, and a depoliticized health response.
As many as 74% of the 3.2 million Puerto Ricans are now fully immunized, significantly more than the 58.5% of the American population as a whole. It is also more than the wealthy and progressive states in the northeast of the country, such as Massachusetts and Vermont. Consequence of this success of the vaccination program: the infection curve in Puerto Rico is much better than in the rest of the country, with 3 cases per 100,000 people (against 22 in the general American population).
Case explosion in Belgium
With 8,000 new infections per day on average, Belgium is back to a rate of spread of the virus that had not been reached for a year. Hospitalizations follow the same trend: there are 2,000 Covid patients in Belgian hospitals, a level that the country has not seen since May.
Health officials are now recommending a booster dose of the vaccine for everyone, not just those over 65 and caregivers.
900,000 children aged 5 to 11 vaccinated in the United States
Some 900,000 American children aged 5 to 11 have received their first dose of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine since the campaign for this age group launched a week ago in the United States.
It’s about “a good start“, Said the coordinator of the fight against the pandemic at the White House, Jeff Zients. The United States has 28 million children between the ages of 5 and 11.
Vaccines in war zones
The chief of the American diplomacy Antony Blinken announced Wednesday an agreement to facilitate the delivery of vaccines against the Covid-19 in the zones of war, so far remained largely out of the campaigns of immunization.
Shanghai Marathon postponed
The Shanghai marathon, scheduled for November 28, has been postponed, as have those in Beijing and Wuhan last month, due to a limited upturn in the Covid-19 epidemic in China, its organizers announced.
The number of contaminations in the country remains low – 74 cases on average over the last seven days according to official figures – but the Chinese authorities are following a policy of zero contamination within three months of the opening of the Winter Olympics in Beijing (February 4-20).
Over five million dead
The pandemic has killed more than five million people worldwide since the end of December 2019, according to a report established by AFP. The United States is the country with the most deaths (758,821), ahead of Brazil (610,036), India (461,849), Mexico (290,110) and Russia (250,454).
The WHO estimates, taking into account the excess mortality directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19, that the toll of the pandemic could be two to three times higher than that which is officially established.