French Covid health pass protests for fourth weekend in a row
Protesters in France are gearing up to take to the streets for the fourth weekend in a row against “vaccine passports”.
Hundreds of thousands of people in cities including Paris, Lille, Marseille and Lille are to demonstrate today against the government’s Covid-19 health pass that will come into force on Monday.
The pass has been in effect since 21 July, but it has been extended to places including restaurants.
People visiting and using cultural and recreational venues, inter-city trains, planes, shopping centres and department stores will need the pass, as well as visitors to hospitals or care homes, and those seeking non-urgent medical care.
Critics have accused French President Emmanuel Macron of running a health “dictatorship” by making vaccines mandatory in order for people to get a pass.
On Friday, France’s Constitutional Council ruled that the measure complied with the country’s founding charter.
Lamiat Sabin7 August 2021 12:10
Vaccines ‘more than twice’ as effective as natural Covid immunity
People who were previously infected with Covid are more than twice as likely to be reinfected with the virus than those who are fully-vaccinated, according to a new US study.
The study, involving hundreds of people in the state of Kentucky in June, suggests that vaccines offer better protection than natural immunity, and that they help prevent reinfection if a person gets vaccinated after catching Covid.
“If you have had Covid-19 before, please still get vaccinated,” said Centers of Disease Control and Prevention director Dr Rochelle Walensky.
“Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others around you, especially as the more contagious Delta variant spreads around the country.”
It comes just says after another study, in the UK, revealed that fully-vaccinated people were three times less likely than unvaccinated people to test positive for Covid-19.
The study from 24 June to 12 July from Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI involved 98,000 volunteers in England to examine the levels of Covid-19 in the general population.
Lamiat Sabin7 August 2021 11:37
Sturgeon: Scotland in ‘better position’ with Covid than expected
Scotland is in a “much better position” with Covid than could have been expected at the start of summer, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The First Minister tweeted encouragement for Scots to “continue to take sensible precautions” while many of coronavirus restrictions are being lifted on Monday, except the requirement to wear face masks in some settings.
The number of new coronavirus infections reached a peak of 4,234 on 1 July but the average number of daily cases so far during August is now 1,125, according to the Scottish Government statistics.
Friday’s figures showed Scotland recorded seven coronavirus-related deaths and 1,250 new cases in the past 24 hours.
Data from the National Records of Scotland show 46 fatalities, that mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificates, were registered in the week from 26 July 26 to 1 August.
This marks a drop of 10 on the previous week, and the first time the figures have fallen in seven weeks.
Lamiat Sabin7 August 2021 11:12
US averaging 100k new Covid cases a day
The US is now averaging 100,000 new Covid infections a day, a number not seen since its surge in the autumn and winter.
A daily average of about 11,000 cases a day was recorded in late June, and now that has increased to 107,143 despite that vaccines have been administered to more than 70 per cent of the adult population.
The increase is attributed to the spread of the more contagious Delta variant of the virus.
Prior to the new figure, the average number of new daily cases had not surpassed 100,000 since November.
A few months later in late January, the average number of new cases peaked at about 250,000.
Additional reporting by Associated Press
Lamiat Sabin7 August 2021 10:53
Pakistan raises concerns with UK government over travel red list
Pakistan has raised the issue of the country being left on the UK government’s travel “red list”.
High Commissioner Moazzam Ahmad Khan on Friday said that the issue of not keeping Pakistan on the list has been formally taken up with PM Boris Johnson’s government.
He insisted that although the Covid situation in Karachi is “a bit bad”, it has improved in Pakistan “overall”.
It comes after Labour MPs Yasmin Qureshi and Naz Shah condemned the government for moving India to the amber list, but keeping Pakistan on the red list.
They accused the government of profiting off people arriving in the UK from Pakistan.
Earlier this week, when changes to the travel lists were made, Ms Qureshi added that the price increase – from £1,750 to £2,285 – for hotel quarantine when arriving in the UK from a red list country “adds insult to injury”.
An online petition, named ‘Remove Pakistan from red list for travel’ on Parliament’s petition website, had crossed the mark of 100,000 signatures. Parliament considers all petitions, that receive more than 100,000 signatures, for debate.
Lamiat Sabin7 August 2021 10:32
Face mask rules in Scotland could remain until 2022
The wearing of face masks may be a legal requirement in Scotland until 2022, it was reported today.
The Scottish Government has revealed its Covid guidance for hospitality venues, such as pubs and nightclubs, ahead of the nation’s move beyond Level 0 on Monday.
It confirmed on Friday that face masks would not have to be worn while “dancing, drinking, or dining” but that people would need to wear them when walking around venues.
This includes walking to the dancefloor, going to the toilet, ordering at the bar, and even standing on the dancefloor but not dancing.
There are concerns within the hospitality sector that the rules would be difficult to enforce, The Scotsman on Saturday reported.
Some restrictions may be kept until “early 2022”, but the restrictions were not stipulated, according to the newspaper.
Children under 12 will be exempt from wearing face masks in any setting, the Scottish government said.
Lamiat Sabin7 August 2021 10:03
India now has five Covid vaccines in its arsenal after one has just been approved for emergency use.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, from the US, is the fifth vaccine that can be administered in India.
India’s health minister Mansukh Mandaviya announced the news on Twitter.
Lamiat Sabin7 August 2021 09:57
US Amazon employees to wear masks regardless of vaccination status
Amazon employees in the US have been ordered to wear a mask at work regardless of their vaccination status.
It comes as the highly-contagious Delta variant spreads throughout the country.
An Amazon spokesman said that the company is “monitoring the situation closely and will continue to follow local government guidance”.
Amazon also extended its work-from-home dates for US employees until 3 January 2022.
Last month, big tech companies including Google and Facebook asked its workers in the US to get vaccinated in order for them to be allowed to return to offices, while Twitter said it was shutting its reopened offices.
The daily numbers of new Covid cases and deaths are increasing in the US. It recorded 130,706 new cases and 750 new deaths on Friday. A week before, on 30 July, the US recorded 104,937 new cases and 447 new deaths.
Lamiat Sabin7 August 2021 09:38
Australia suffering worst Covid day in 2021 with millions in lockdown
Australia today saw a record daily number of new coronavirus cases this year while 60 per cent of its population is under lockdown.
The states of New South Wales (NSW), Victoria and Queensland recorded a total of 361 cases of the highly infectious Delta variant. Australia also reported five coronavirus-related deaths, one of its highest numbers this year.
About 15 million people in the three states are under a stay-at-home order for six weeks.
NSW suffered its worst pandemic day, reporting 319 new locally-acquired cases. There are 345 people admitted to hospital in NSW, with 56 in intensive care and 23 under ventilation.
Authorities said some people “not complying” with the rules has been a problem.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said: “Just stay at home – that is the circuit breaker. Stay at home and get vaccinated.”
Australia has had just over 36,000 Covid cases. But only 20 per cent of people aged over 16 are fully-vaccinated.
Lamiat Sabin7 August 2021 09:19
First child dies of Covid in Northern Ireland
The first death of a child aged under 15 linked to Covid-19 in Northern Ireland has been recorded.
Patricia Donnelly, head of Northern Ireland’s vaccination programme, has said she was “really sorry” to hear the news.
She also said: “I do send my sincere condolences to that family. I think it is a very stark reminder that it is not just older people who are affected by this virus.”
The weekly bulletin of Covid-19 figures revealed that there were 19 deaths between 24-30 July.
People aged 75 and over accounted for more than three-quarters of the deaths, but it also included the first death in the region in the under-15 age group.
The recent figure takes the Covid death toll recorded by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency to 3,026.
Lamiat Sabin7 August 2021 09:00