Index number – 6 Toros 6 Sat, 08 Jan 2022 02:44:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Index number – 6 Toros 6 32 32 U.S. Coronavirus: Hospitalization Rates for Children Rise to Record Highs as Omicron Variant Becomes Widespread Sat, 08 Jan 2022 02:44:00 +0000 This represents a 48% increase from the week ending December 4, and the largest increase in the hospitalization rate for this age group during the pandemic.

“For our youngest children, those who are not yet eligible for vaccination, it is extremely important that we surround them with vaccinated people to ensure their protection,” CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky said on Friday.

New hospital admissions for children under 18 with confirmed Covid-19 are already at an all-time high, averaging 797 each day, according to data from CDC and US Department of Health and Human Services social. This is the highest on record, and an 80% increase from the previous week.

“I would say the best way to protect these children is to immunize them because they are eligible and surround them with siblings and parents who are themselves vaccinated,” Walensky said.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, nearly 82,000 children have been hospitalized with Covid-19, according to the most recent data from the CDC.

CDC updates prevention tips in schools

In line with its latest quarantine and isolation recommendations, the CDC on Thursday updated guidelines for the prevention of Covid-19 in K-12 schools.

Students, teachers and staff with Covid-19 must stay home and isolate themselves from others for at least five days, according to guidelines. Day 0 is considered the first day of symptoms or the day of a positive viral test for people who do not have symptoms.

People whose symptoms improve can leave isolation after five full days if they are fever-free for 24 hours, the CDC said. They should wear a mask around others for an additional five days.

The children who were exposed to coronavirus and have not been fully vaccinated should be quarantined for at least five days after their last close contact with someone with Covid-19, according to the guidelines. Adults not vaccinated against Covid-19 or who have not received a booster are also invited to follow this recommendation.

For the first time since July, the CDC will organize an independent telebriefing on the pandemic on Friday. The CDC typically participates in joint briefings with officials from the White House or the National Institutes of Health.

New proposal on how to live with the virus

A leading health expert has said that in order to get to a place where the coronavirus is endemic like the flu, the United States has to be in a situation where there are no major flare-ups.

“We need a lot more people vaccinated in this case. We need additional therapies, not just the few oral therapies we have now. We need to improve our air filtration system. We need to reduce the prevalence, then we ‘I can find a new normal,’ Dr Ezekiel Emanuel, former member of President Joe Biden’s advisory board on Covid-19, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Friday.

Emanuel and other former members of Biden’s Covid-19 Transition Advisory Board wrote three articles published this week in the medical journal JAMA about a “new normal” of living with the virus. They proposed a new plan and defined strategies for testing, mitigation, vaccines and treatments.

He said one of the problems with the testing regime is that the country did not make plans last summer to make sure the entire system was working properly. “So if we plan today, we won’t have a recurrence or shouldn’t have a recurrence of these and other shortages in the next few months,” Emanuel said.

He predicted two potential scenarios for how the pandemic can be handled.

“It is possible, with Omicron, that we will come to a new normal around the middle or the end of the year, but… we have to foresee various scenarios, including a pessimistic scenario where we have a new variant, a positive scenario where Omicron is kind of a serious last variant and it won’t be outdone, and we will be able to hit the new standard much faster, ”said Emanuel.

With testing shortage, anyone with symptoms should assume they are positive, doctor says

With Covid-19 tests hard to find in many parts of the country and the Omicron variant spreading rapidly, health experts are advising people with symptoms to self-isolate if they don’t even suspect they have the virus. .
And with the latest news, rapid antigen tests may be slow to detect positive cases compared to PCR tests, the best time to take a rapid test may be a day or two after symptoms appear, the epidemiologist said on Thursday. Michael Mina.

“The important thing is that when you experience symptoms, assume you’re positive at this point, especially with Omicron being so prevalent,” Mina said in an interview with telehealth company eMed, where he is a chief medical officer.

America calls the sick

For those who take a rapid test and show a positive result after swabbing but the line shown is very low, they may have an active infection and still be contagious, he said.

“Does that mean you’re going to walk into a room and be a super-broadcaster?” No. But does that mean you should go see your 90-year-old grandma and give her a hug? I would say no, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t personally want to sit next to someone who is still positive in any way on these tests, ”Mina said.

Health officials in Louisiana echoed the message Thursday as the state reported a record daily number of infections.

“When you’re in a wave like we are right now and Covid is everywhere – and it’s everywhere right now – if you’re struggling to take a test, a take-out test in particular, and you show symptoms, the cautious thing to do is just assume you have Covid and isolate yourself from other people. It’s the safest thing to do right now, ”said Dr Joseph Kanter, Public Health Officer and Medical Director.

Up to 1 million Covid-19 rapid tests expired in Florida last month, state official says
Leaders in several states are working to expand access to testing, as an increase in demand coupled with a lack of supply has resulted in many shortages.

In Minnesota, officials said a new testing site would be opened and 1.8 million rapid tests would be sent to schools. In Maryland, 20 more testing sites will be set up outside hospitals to prevent people from going to the emergency room for Covid-19 testing.

Yet the build-up of tests has not been so smooth across all states. As many as one million unused rapid test kits have expired in a warehouse in Florida, a senior state official said Thursday.
If you caught Covid-19 while on vacation, here's what you need to know

Stock was idle in the fall when cases declined in Florida and demand was low, said Kevin Guthrie, director of the Florida Department of Emergency Management, and the kits expired “before Dec. 26 at December 30 “.

The testing problem has been only part of the response to the pandemic that must be rearranged in the face of a “new normal” of living with the virus, six former advisers to President Joe Biden wrote in the medical journal JAMA Thursday.
The authors described the initial response to the virus as “severely flawed” and called for inexpensive, accessible testing with immediate counseling when someone tests positive. Other suggestions include modernizing public health data and infrastructure as well as vaccination mandates and accelerated efforts to develop a universal vaccine against the coronavirus.
A healthcare worker administers a Covid-19 test at a drive-thru test site in Tropical Park in Miami on Jan.6.

Vaccinations remain critical, officials say

Ohio, New Hampshire and New Jersey National Guardsmen have announced plans to deploy members to help hospitals and long-term care facilities facing a shortage of workers, which face higher risks exposure due to an influx of patients and must self-isolate after testing positive.
Celebrating passengers stranded in Mexico after airlines refuse to take them home
Widespread infections also spread to other industries such as public safety services. In Los Angeles, 505 police officers and 299 firefighters are in home quarantine on Wednesday.

“These are big numbers, numbers that reflect the staffing challenges we all face,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti.

“Our continued response time will cause some delay in routine calls,” said LAPD chief Michel Moore, but stressed that 911 services were fully staffed.

Health experts have stressed that being vaccinated gives those infected the best opportunity to recover faster and avoid serious illness. Reports show that unvaccinated people remain at higher risk.
Los Angeles to host Super Bowl despite growing number of Covid-19 cases

In Maryland, “75% of patients currently admitted to our hospitals with Covid-19 across the medical system are unvaccinated,” according to Dr. Mohan Suntha, president and CEO of the University of Maryland medical system , and less than 5% of all patients hospitalized with Covid-19 are vaccinated and boosted.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said Thursday that all long-term care staff and state contract workers will need to get a Covid-19 recall by February 11 if they are eligible.

In addition, hospital employees will be mandated to obtain the recall, said Connecticut Hospital Association vice president Patrick Charmel. Officials expect all staff who need a booster to have one by early March.

CNN’s Virginia Langmaid, John Bonifield, Naomi Thomas, Jamie Gumbrecht, Katherine Dillinger, Chris Boyette, Carma Hassan, Stella Chan, Amy Simonson, Steve Contorno and Taylor Romine contributed to this report.

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CDC recommends Pfizer / BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine boosters for children as young as 12 Thu, 06 Jan 2022 02:23:00 +0000 On Monday, the FDA extended emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s Covid-19 booster shots to children aged 12 to 15. 19 boosters for children of this age group.

The CDC cleared the Pfizer / BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for use as a booster for 16 and 17 year olds in December.

“It is essential that we protect our children and adolescents from infection with COVID-19 and the complications of serious illness,” said CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. in a press release. “Today, I approved ACIP’s vote to expand eligibility and strengthen our recommendations for booster doses. We now recommend that all adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 receive a booster 5 months after their Primary series. This booster dose will provide optimized protection against COVID -19 and the Omicron variant. I encourage all parents to keep their children informed of the CDC’s recommendations on the COVID-19 vaccine. “

The ACIP recommendation came after members heard research on rare cases of myocarditis and pericarditis in young people who received Covid-19 vaccines and noted that many parents are concerned about the side effects to long-term vaccines. They also considered that vaccination among 12 to 17 year olds had recently slowed and weighed in the record number of Covid-19 cases in children amid a wave of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The CDC on Tuesday approved shortening the booster interval from six months to five months for people who received the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine. It also recommended that children aged 5 to 11 who are moderately or severely immunocompromised receive an additional primary dose 28 days after their second injection; only the Pfizer / BioNTech shot is authorized for this age group.

The booster dose of Pfizer contains the same amount of vaccine as the initial doses: 30 micrograms.

Adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 became eligible to receive their initial round of the Pfizer / BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in mid-May, opening vaccinations to around 17 million more people.

Today, about half of the population aged 12 to 15 – about 8.7 million – is fully vaccinated, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 5 million of them have been fully vaccinated for more than five months and are now eligible for a booster.

Children in this age group make up about 5% of the total United States population. They make up about 4% of the fully vaccinated population in the United States and about 3% of those eligible to receive a booster, according to the latest CDC data.

In October, the CDC recommended that adults who completed their initial Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna vaccine series at least six months ago receive a booster, as well as those who received their first Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least six months ago. at least two months.

Overall, around 71.6 million people in the United States are fully vaccinated and boosted against Covid-19. That’s less than half of the roughly 180 million people eligible to receive their booster injection, and about one-fifth of the total United States population. And at least 67.5 million people aged 5 and over have not received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to the latest CDC data.

CNN’s Deidre McPhillips, John Bonifield and Jamie Gumbrecht contributed to this report.
Correction: A previous version of this report misrepresented October as the time when booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were recommended for children aged 16 and 17 by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It has been updated to reflect that the agency recommended Covid-19 booster injections for adults in October.

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Homicides in the United States: 10 of the country’s most populous cities set records last year Tue, 04 Jan 2022 02:56:00 +0000 Ten of these cities recorded more homicides in 2021 than any other year on record. These are Philadelphia; Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; Portland, Oregon; Memphis, Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky; Milwaukee; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Tucson, Arizona. Minneapolis equaled his previous record number of homicides, with 97 during the years 1997 and 2021.

Many cities have seen homicides reach record highs in the past year. Chicago Police investigated 797 last year, the highest number since 1996. But more than 800 homicides have occurred in the city, including highway shootings, which are being investigated by a other body.

Homicides are also up 12% in Los Angeles from 2020 and 4% in New York. Several cities did not respond to CNN’s data requests; the number of cities reporting year-over-year increases could increase.

Homicides increased in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer and subsequent unrest in cities across the country. For many cities, high homicide rates continued into 2021.

The increase in homicides – primarily by firearms – has occurred across the country. Thomas Abt, senior researcher at the Council on Criminal Justice, attributed the peak to three main factors: the impact of Covid-19 on communities and first responders; the fallout from social unrest after Floyd’s murder; and the surge in firearms sales since the start of the pandemic.

These increases are not isolated from any region. Year over year increases do not always portend a significant increase in crime. But almost all major US cities recorded more homicides in 2020 and 2021 than in 2019. Homicides rose sharply in the summer of 2020 and have remained at high levels since.

According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report 2020, homicides increased 30% from 2019 to 2020, the largest single-year increase the agency has recorded since it began tracking these crimes in the 1960s.
“The pandemic, like community armed violence, is concentrated among the poorest and most disenfranchised people”, Abt told CNN in December. “So these communities are doubly affected, not only by Covid-19, but by gun violence. “

At the same time, the institutions responsible for responding to the violence, including the police and community organizations, were also under pressure, Abt added, calling it a “perfect storm”.

Fueled by gun violence, US cities break homicide records
While experts say the reasons for the increase in homicides are varied, murders are increasingly being committed with guns. The increase in gun violence was highlighted in the DUC 2020 report, which said about 77% of reported murders in 2020 were committed with a firearm, up from 74% in 2019. There is no federal gun sales database, but other independent surveys. found that gun sales have skyrocketed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the FBI’s 2020 Crimes Summary Report, the number of homicides that year began to increase during the summer months, peaking in June and July and remaining at high levels. It is almost impossible to paint a complete picture of homicides in the United States. The DUC report is the most comprehensive data set available, but the participation of law enforcement agencies is voluntary.

About 85% of the nation’s more than 18,000 agencies have submitted their crime data for 2020 to the FBI. The DUC 2021 report is unlikely to be released until the end of this year.

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American coronavirus: Americans could face a different reality in January as Covid-19 sweeps the country, experts warn Sun, 02 Jan 2022 01:15:00 +0000 “Omicron is really everywhere,” Dr. Megan Ranney, professor of emergency medicine at Brown University’s School of Public Health, told CNN Friday night. “What worries me the most over the next month is that our economy is going to shut down, not because of the policies of the federal government or the state governments, but rather because many of us are sick. “

In New York City, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is plagued by staffing issues and has announced that three subway lines – the B, Z and W – which serve various parts of the boroughs have been suspended.

New York continues to break its own record, adding 85,476 reported Covid-19 cases, according to New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s Saturday briefing.

Hospitalizations jumped to 8,451, from about 8,000 in the report released Friday, according to the latest data. The state’s seven-day positivity rate is 19.79%.

The number of one-day case additions has increased 219% since Monday, when the state reported an addition of 26,737 cases.

Health services – exhausted after several virus outbreaks and now stretched again by a growing number of Covid-19 patients – are also already feeling impacts. The University of Maryland Capital Region Health this week joined a growing list of state medical centers to activate emergency protocols after a surge in cases fueled staff shortages and overwhelmed emergency services .

“The current demand for care is draining our available resources, including staff,” UM Capital Region Health said in a statement Friday.

In Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine on Wednesday announced the deployment of about 1,250 National Guard members as hospitals grapple with staff shortages.

That same day, the mayor of Cincinnati declared a state of emergency due to a lack of personnel in the city’s firefighters following an increase in Covid-19 infections. The mayor’s statement said that if the personnel issue was not addressed, it would “significantly undermine” the readiness levels of first responders.

“Prepare yourself. We have to remember that in the coming weeks there is going to be an unprecedented number of social disruptions,” Dr Peter Hotez, dean of the University’s National School of Tropical Medicine, told CNN. Baylor.

These also include flight disruptions, he said, due to absences of TSA agents and aircrews.

Thousands of flights have already been canceled or delayed throughout the holiday season, as staff and crew called in sick. The Federal Aviation Administration said on Friday that a “Increase in the number” of its employees were positive for the virus, and “to maintain security, the volume of traffic at some facilities could be reduced, which could cause delays during peak periods.”

Previous virus rules are “out the window”

The last wave, which sent the number of cases is exploding across the world, is powered by the Omicron variant, the most contagious strain of coronavirus to date, according to health experts.

The virus is now “extraordinarily contagious” and previous mitigation measures that were helping now may not be as helpful, CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner told CNN on Friday.

Is a fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine necessary?  US health officials say not yet

“At the start of this pandemic… we were all taught that you have significant exposure if you are within six feet of someone and are in contact with them for more than 15 minutes. All of these rules are by the way. window, ”Reiner said. “It’s a hyper-contagious virus.”

Now even a quick and transient encounter can lead to infection, Reiner added, including if someone’s mask is loose, or if a person quickly pulls their mask down, or if a person walks into an elevator in. which someone else has just coughed.

“This is how you can get this virus,” Reiner said.

The transmissibility of the variant helps explain the sheer number of infections reported worldwide, including the United States. Over the past week, several states reported new records of cases and hospitalizations, shattering previous records.

New Jersey has more than 28,000 new cases of Covid-19 thanks to PCR tests, Governor Phil Murphy wrote on Twitter Friday. At a press conference, the governor said the number was about “quadruple compared to just two weeks ago and four times more cases than at the height of the wave last winter” .
Hospitalizations of children are increasing in this Chicago hospital.  Only one of the young patients has been fully vaccinated, doctor says

“Our hospitals are currently at about the same number as they were on the worst day of the wave last winter,” he added. “The problem is, right now, we’re not seeing any signs of slacking off.”

Other states, including Arkansas, Maryland and New York, have also reported new record high numbers of cases.

And a sharp rise in infections – especially among children – could soon lead to an increase in hospitalizations, said infectious disease expert Dr Jeanne Marrazzo.

“The explosive increase in the number of cases is really fueling what might normally be a relatively small proportion … of children who experience these serious consequences,” she told CNN’s Amara Walker on Friday. “But you associate the gigantic number of cases with the small number affected, plus the proportion of unvaccinated, and I really fear that we are facing a tidal wave of admissions, especially for children in the weeks to come. to come. .”

Hospital admissions of the Covid-19 child has already reached an all-time high this week, with a record-breaking average of 378 children admitted to hospitals on any given day during the week ending December 28, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Children under 5 are not yet eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine, and an injection for these groups is likely won’t be available until mid-2022, experts say.

Concerns about going back to school

With the virus spreading, some staff and experts are expressing concern about what reopening schools could mean.

“There will be pediatric hospitalizations,” Hotez said. “And what will be the other difficult element over the next few weeks, keeping the schools open, because of this high transmissibility – especially if you start to see absences of teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria staff.”

The Massachusetts Teachers Association, New England’s largest public sector union, urged the state’s education commissioner this week to keep schools closed on Monday, except for staff Covid-19 testing .

Colleges and K-12 Schools Adjust Schedules and Requirements as Covid Cases Rise

“Using Monday as a day for testing and analyzing data will allow our school districts to make prudent decisions about staffing needs so they can continue to learn in person for students if it is safe or develop plans for it. emergency if a district deems it necessary, “Merrie Najimy, the association’s president, said in a statement.

The state’s executive education office said Friday schools will be open on Monday, despite a request from the teachers’ union.

“The Ministry of Elementary and Secondary Education has been working hard this week to make rapid home tests available to all teachers and staff in public schools in light of testing shortages the country is experiencing. Massachusetts is one of the few states that provides rapid testing. tests to its teachers. It is not an obligation for teachers to return to work, nor necessary to reopen schools after the holidays, ”said Colleen Quinn, spokesperson for the office, in a statement.

What parents need to know about returning children to school during Omicron

“It is disappointing,” the statement added, “that once again the MTA is trying to find a way to close schools, which we know is to the extreme detriment of our children.”

Atlanta Public Schools (APS) announced that all district schools will operate virtually until Friday, Jan. 7 for all students and staff, according to a statement released on Saturday.

Citing the increase in Covid-19 cases, APS said the district has chosen to postpone the in-person learning until Monday, January 10. The move will allow students and staff to be tested and, if necessary, to isolate and quarantine, according to the CDC and the Department of Health. Guidelines, according to APS.

All APS staff are required to report to their workplace on Monday for Covid-19 testing, the statement said.

Neighboring Fulton County schools and DeKalb County schools also announced on Saturday that they would begin online next week as students return to class after the holidays, according to verified tweets from both districts.

Fulton and DeKalb are also aiming to resume in-person teaching on January 10.

Meanwhile, a growing number of colleges and universities across the country are making changes at the start of the 2022 spring semester due to the increase in the number of cases.

Duke University extended its plan for distance education by a week amid “incredibly high” positive cases among faculty and growing number of cases among students who are already in the area , school noted Friday.
University of Michigan announcement On Friday, classes will begin mostly remotely on January 10 and stay remotely for at least three weeks.

“I realize that students prefer to be in person, and so do I,” said Samuel L. Stanley Jr., president of the university, in a statement. “But it’s important that we do it in a safe manner. Starting the semester remotely and de-densifying the campus in the coming weeks may be one solution to slowing the spread of the virus.”

Correction: A previous version of this article misrepresented the number of records broken this week in the seven-day average of daily new cases of Covid-19. The most recent average figure has also been updated to reflect the latest data from JHU.

CNN’s Claudia Dominguez, Kiely Westhoff, Virginia Langmaid, Elizabeth Stuart, Laura Studley, and Sharif Paget contributed to this report.

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Asian stocks mixed in rare New Year’s Eve exchanges Fri, 31 Dec 2021 14:21:52 +0000

A forex trader walks near a screen showing the Korean Stock Price Index (KOSPI) at a foreign exchange trading room in Seoul, South Korea on Thursday, December 30, 2021. Asian stock markets were mixed on Thursday after that Wall Street has peaked, and daily new coronavirus cases in the United States hit a record high.  (AP Photo / Lee Jin-man)

A forex trader walks near a screen showing the Korean Stock Price Index (KOSPI) at a foreign exchange trading room in Seoul, South Korea on Thursday, December 30, 2021. Asian stock markets were mixed on Thursday after that Wall Street has peaked, and daily new coronavirus cases in the United States hit a record high. (AP Photo / Lee Jin-man)


Stocks were mixed in Asia on Friday after a late decline tipped major indices into the red on Wall Street, leaving the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average slightly below record highs.

Tokyo and many other regional markets have been closed.

Hong Kong jumped 1.7% in New Years trading to 23,496.86 and the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.4% to 3,634.61. Sydney lost 0.7% to 7,461.43 as the number of new coronavirus cases increased.

Singapore grew while Malaysia edged down.

2021 has been a mixed year for Asian markets. Some benchmarks, such as the Hang Seng in Hong Kong which suffered from turmoil in the Chinese real estate sector and US-China friction, languished. Others, like the Tokyo Nikkei 225 Index and the Shanghai Composite Index, turned but remained relatively stable.

The Indian Sensex, meanwhile, has set new records despite severe episodes of COVID-19 outbreaks.

On Thursday, the benchmark S&P 500 fell 0.3% and the Dow and Nasdaq each lost 0.2%. Trading was relatively calm, with many investors closing their positions for the year.

Investors are unlikely to make any big moves until next week with the start of the new year, although in China, year-end skins may have pushed prices up.

On Thursday, the S&P 500 Index slipped 0.3% per day after hitting a record high, closing at 4,778.73. The Dow Jones, which also set a new record on Wednesday, fell 0.2% to 36,398.08. The Nasdaq also slipped 0.2% to 15,741.56.

The Russell 2000 index of small business stocks slipped less than 0.1% to 2,248.79.

Major US stock indices are set to end December with solid gains, closing a record year for the market. The S&P 500 is heading for a gain of over 27% for 2021, the best performance since 2019, yet another landmark year.

A wave of consumer demand fueled by reopening economies has pumped up corporate profits more than expected this year, helping to keep investors in a buying mood.

The Federal Reserve and other central banks have also helped by keeping interest rates low, making borrowing more affordable for businesses and consumers.

Many economic challenges persist, including rising inflation, disruptions to the global supply chain, and outbreaks of more contagious variants of the COVID-19 virus.

Investor concerns about the omicron variant, which is spreading quickly and quickly becoming the dominant variant of the coronavirus, have eased in recent weeks after researchers said it appeared to be causing less severe symptoms.

Tech companies were a big part of Wall Street’s fall in the late afternoon. Micron Technology led the industry’s decline, falling 2.4% after revealing that the release of its memory chip was hampered by a lockdown in the Chinese city of Xi’an intended to contain a coronavirus outbreak.

Investors have received some good news. The number of Americans claiming unemployment benefits has fallen below 200,000, further proof that the labor market remains strong in the aftermath of last year’s coronavirus recession. Wall Street will receive the December jobs report next week.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index, an indicator of manufacturing and economic activity, stood at 63.1 for December. That’s slightly better than the 62.0 reading economists were expecting, according to FactSet.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury bill fell slightly to 1.51% from 1.54% the day before.

In other exchanges, US benchmark crude oil lost 64 cents to $ 76.37 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 43 cents to $ 76.99 a barrel on Thursday.

Brent crude oil, the basis of international oil prices, fell 60 cents to $ 78.93 per barrel.

The US dollar was virtually unchanged at 115.08 Japanese yen. The euro slipped to $ 1.1320 from $ 1.1326.


AP business writer Alex Veiga contributed.

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Efficacy of BNT162b2 vaccine against Omicron variant in South Africa Wed, 29 Dec 2021 22:00:15 +0000

For the publisher:

In early November 2021, the B.1.1.529 (omicron) variant was first identified in South Africa and quickly became the dominant variant in Gauteng province, where a third wave of 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid- 19) caused by virus B. The 1.617.2 (delta) variant was largely reduced. As of November 15, the omicron variant was detected in more than 75% of positive Covid-19 tests that have been sequenced in South Africa1 (Figs. S1 and S2 in the supplementary annex, available with the full text of this letter on On November 26, the World Health Organization declared omicron a variant of concern. In a study of live virus neutralization tests, omicron was shown to escape antibody neutralization by the BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech).2 Thus, data was needed regarding the effectiveness of current vaccines against the omicron variant in preventing hospitalizations for Covid-19.

Using data from Discovery Health, a South African managed care organization, we estimated the vaccine effectiveness of two doses of BNT162b2 vaccine (i.e. one full vaccination) against hospitalization for Covid-19 caused by the omicron variant by analyzing data sets that included the results of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, pre-authorization admission data, a complete history of members’ medical records, records regarding chronic disease and body mass index data to obtain the number of risk factors for Covid-19 per patient, according to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).3 Vaccination status was determined from private sector complaint data, and patients who had been vaccinated in the public sector were listed in a vaccine category called “other vaccine type” (Table S4). Among fully vaccinated members, we compared the vaccine effectiveness against Covid-19 hospitalization associated with the omicron variant during the period November 15 to December 7 in South Africa, which we have dubbed the dominance proxy. of the omicron variant (omicron proxy period), compared to estimates of vaccine efficacy between September 1 and October 30, when the delta variant was dominant (comparison period).

In our study, we used a negative test design and data exclusion rules to obtain estimates of vaccine efficacy.4 (Table S1), according to the following formula: 1 − odds ratio of Covid-19 hospitalization in the vaccinated population, where the odd ratio was calculated using logistic regression after adjustment for confounding factors age, sex, history Covid-19 infection, week of surveillance, geographic location and number of CDC risk factors. In this analysis, hospitalization related to Covid-19 was a dependent variable and vaccination status was included as an independent variable.

We then performed three sensitivity analyzes on different data subsets during the omicron proxy period. First, we performed PCR tests showing the failure of the S gene target as an indication of omicron infection. Second, we only included PCR results obtained from patients in Gauteng province, given the geographic concentration of the omicron variant during the study period. Third, we limited the results of PCR tests to those obtained from patients who had been hospitalized (eg, respiratory medical admissions), the latter being used as a proxy to identify tests among a symptomatic population (Table S4).

Hospitalization for Covid-19 and positivity test before and during the Omicron proxy period in Gauteng province (September-December 2021).

We analyzed 133,437 PCR test results that were obtained during the comparison period, of which 38,155 (28.6%) were obtained at least 14 days after the patient received the second dose of vaccine. For the omicron proxy period, we analyzed 78,173 PCR test results, of which 32,325 (41.4%) were obtained at least 14 days after the second dose (Table 1). The overall positivity of the test was 6.4% during the comparison period and 24.4% during the omicron proxy period, while the Covid-19 admission rate was 10.8% and 2.2%, respectively, as a percentage of the positive results of the PCR test. Patients with positive cases were younger during the omicron proxy period than during the comparison period (Table S3).

Efficacy of two doses of BNT162b2 vaccine before and during the Omicron proxy period.

During the omicron proxy period, we found a vaccine efficacy of 70% (95% confidence interval [CI], 62 to 76), a conclusion which was confirmed by the results of all sensitivity tests. This measure of vaccine effectiveness was significantly different from that during the comparison period, when the rate was 93% (95% CI, 90 to 94) versus hospitalization for Covid-19 (Table 2).

Thus, during the omicron proxy period, we saw continued efficacy of the BNT162b2 vaccine (albeit at a reduced level) against hospitalization for Covid-19 that was presumed to have been caused by the omicron variant by compared to the rate associated with the delta variant earlier in the year. Adding a booster dose of vaccine may mitigate this reduction in vaccine effectiveness.5

Shirley Collie, B.Sc.
Jared Champion, M.Sc.
Discovery Health, Johannesburg, South Africa

Harry Moultrie, MB, B.Ch.
National Institute of Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg, South Africa

Linda-Gail Bekker, MB, B.Ch., Ph.D.
Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa

Glenda Gray, MB, B.Ch.
South African Council for Medical Research, Cape Town, South Africa
[email protected]

Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the full text of this letter on

This letter was posted on December 29, 2021 on

  1. 1. Genomic Surveillance Network in South Africa. SARS-CoV-2 sequencing update. December 3, 2021 (

  2. 2. Pulliam JRC, van Schalkwyk C, Govender N, et al. Increased risk of reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 associated with the emergence of the Omicron variant in South Africa. December 2, 2021 ( preprint.

  3. 3. Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention. Scientific Note: Evidence used to update the list of underlying medical conditions associated with a higher risk of severe COVID-19. October 14, 2021 (

  4. 4. Lopez Bernal J, Andrews N, Gower C, et al. Efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines against variant B.1.617.2 (delta). N English J Med 2021; 385:585594.

  5. 5. Barda N, Dagan N, Cohen C, et al. Effectiveness of a third dose of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 in preventing serious complications in Israel: an observational study. Lancet 2021; 398:20932100.

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2,500 more flights canceled Monday as travel disruption continues amid Omicron outbreak Tue, 28 Dec 2021 02:25:00 +0000 Of the more than 2,800 canceled flights, about 1,000 were within, to or from the United States, according to FlightAware. Almost 11,000 flights are delayed.

Globally, airlines have canceled more than 6,000 flights on Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. In the United States, more than 1,200 flights have been canceled and more than 5,000 were delayed on Sunday alone as staff and crew call in sick.

Cancellations occur at the busiest time of the year for air travel. The U.S. Transportation Safety Administration said it screened millions of people every day over the holiday weekend, peaking at 2.19 million travelers on Thursday, December 23. More people passed through TSA checkpoints on Wednesday than on the same day in 2019.

Alaska Airlines, which canceled 133 flights from 19% of its operations on Monday, attributed its cancellations and delays to winter conditions in the Pacific Northwest. The airline said it canceled nearly 250 major flights scheduled to arrive or depart Seattle on Sunday. As of Monday afternoon, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport had the most delays and cancellations in the world, according to FlightAware.

“We are working as quickly as possible to ensure that all of our affected passengers are reassigned to other flights while operating safely,” Alaska Airlines said in a statement. “Reservations experience extremely long wait times of up to 11 hours.”

Air travel was slower on Saturday due to flight cancellations: more than 1.53 million people passed through security checkpoints on Saturday.

United airlines (UAL) said last week he had had to cancel hundreds of flights because he lacked crew members to safely complete all of his scheduled routes.

“The national peak of Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operations,” said a note from United obtained by CNN.

Delta (DAL) said he was working to get all stranded travelers home as quickly as possible.

“We apologize to our customers for the delay in their vacation travel plans,” Delta said in a statement. “The folks at Delta are working hard to get them where they need to be as quickly and safely as possible on the next available flight.”

International flights

European airlines are also experiencing a small number of cancellations amid a record number of Covid-19 cases in several European countries.

A British Airways spokesperson told CNN on Monday that the airline had canceled “a number of flights due to operational constraints” and was instead using larger planes, where possible, to get customers to their destinations. destinations. According to the tracking site FlightAware, 46 British Airways flights were canceled on Monday.

Virgin Atlantic told CNN the flights were continuing “as planned,” noting the exception of one of their London Heathrow – New York JFK rotations which saw cancellations on December 21. A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson told CNN: “We continue to take preventative measures to maintain operational and workforce resiliency, always putting the health and safety of our customers and employees first.”

German airline Lufthansa has announced it will cancel 10% of its winter flight program as the pandemic continues to hit the aviation industry.

In an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung last week, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said that due to a “sharp drop in bookings” the airline will have to cancel 33,000 flights from mid-January to February 2022, i.e. 10% of the group’s winter flight program.

Spohr’s comments were confirmed to CNN by the Lufthansa press office.

– CNN’s Pete Muntean, Arnaud Siad and Ramishah Maruf contributed to this report

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WA Detects New Backpacker-Related Case | Canberra weather Sun, 26 Dec 2021 06:45:49 +0000

news, latest news

Western Australia has detected a new local case of COVID-19 linked to an infected French backpacker who arrived in the state of Queensland. The new case also attended a busy event at Perth Mess Hall in Northbridge a week ago and was staying at a hostel linked to a previous case, WA Health said on Sunday. This brings the total number of locally acquired cases in the current outbreak to eight. All are believed to be the Delta variant, after the 25-year-old index case – the first identified in the cluster of cases – was confirmed to have this strain of COVID-19. The unvaccinated backpacker visited nightclubs, malls, restaurants and a movie theater in several Perth suburbs after arriving in WA on December 12. The newly detected case tested positive in quarantine and is not considered contagious in the community. An international traveler also tested positive in quarantine at the hotel overnight. There are now 18 confirmed active cases in WA, 15 in quarantine hotels and three in self-quarantine. Meanwhile, police have charged a 25-year-old French tourist in quarantine at a hotel after he allegedly left his room, threatened security personnel, resisted arrest and cursed on Christmas Day. He was accused of failing to comply with a health instruction, threatening to destroy, damage, endanger and harm property and obstruct public officials. The indicted man, who is not the same person as the index case, had stayed at the Old Fire Station Backpackers in Fremantle and was considered close contact on Christmas Eve. The man is due to appear in Perth Magistrates’ Court on Sunday. Associated Australian Press


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Covid crisis in the Premier League: fans left behind Fri, 24 Dec 2021 10:00:00 +0000 It is estimated that around 1.4 million people in the UK contracted Covid-19 during the week ending December 16, the Office for National Statistics said on Thursday.

Against this surge in positive cases, the Premier League said earlier this week that fixtures over the holiday season would go as planned despite a number of clubs experiencing outbreaks of Covid-19 among players and staff. Around 300,000 fans are likely to watch Premier League games on Boxing Day.

The decision to play came following a virtual meeting of the 20 clubs and the league on Monday, called to discuss testing measures and postponement guidelines in light of the increased number of cases.

CNN has been told that clubs are expected to play games as long as they have 13 outfielders and a goalie available for selection.

These guidelines have been in place since the start of the 2021-2022 campaign – in accordance with Annex 17 of the Premier League Handbook, which states that “the authorization not be allowed to postpone a league match when the applicant club has 14 or more players listed on its available membership list. ”
Each team was scheduled to play three times between December 26 and January 3 in what is traditionally the busiest time on the domestic league calendar, although on Thursday the Premier League was forced to postpone two games scheduled for Boxing Day due to Covid- 19 issues within Watford and Leeds United.
Watford were due to play away against Wolverhampton Wanderers, while Leeds were due to travel to Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday 26 December.
The picture is further complicated by the vaccination rates in the Premier League.
The league says 77% of its players are currently vaccinated with two doses, which is considered fully vaccinated under current government guidelines, although scientists have stressed the importance of a third booster to successfully fight Omicron. .

England’s vaccination rate for 25-29 year olds is 78.5% – the average age of a Premier League player is 26.9 years old.

The league said 84% of players are currently on a “vaccination trip”, having to wait for the required time between jabs.

READ: English Premier League witnesses rise in Covid-19 cases with 77% of players doubled

“We are disappointed, we are a little angry”

Monday, the Premier League announcement 90 positive cases of Covid-19 among players and staff over a seven-day period – the highest number recorded since the start of the pandemic and more than double the record 42 positive tests from the previous week.

This meant that for the majority of Premier League fans, last weekend went without the routine activity of watching their team in action – only four Premier League stadiums have opened their doors to spectators.

If Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel had succeeded it would have been three.

However, Chelsea’s request to postpone their game against Wolves was denied on Sunday.

Lacking a host of key players and only able to name four substitutes on the pitch, the Blues limped to a 0-0 draw, leaving Tuchel to bemoan the club’s rejection of the request.

“I am medically worried,” Tuchel told reporters before the game. “We have had four consecutive days of positive tests.

“How is it going to end if we’re on a bus and in a meeting together? We’re disappointed, we’re a little angry.”

CNN has learned that each postponement request is assessed on a case-by-case basis by the Premier League board, which takes into account a number of factors – such as suspensions, injuries and illness – before making a decision. decision.

Chelsea’s rescheduling request did not meet the criteria and was subsequently turned down – although they are not the only club to have seen such a request rejected.
And while other teams suffered postponements, Chelsea, as well as Manchester City, Newcastle United and Arsenal continued to play.

Chelsea have now played 18 games, but Tottenham Hotspur only managed to complete 15 games, giving the league table something rambling.

Tense journeys

A number of Chelsea fans CNN has spoken to in recent days have equaled their manager in expressing bemusement over how the match schedule was being handled.

After completing the first leg of his 286 mile round trip from Stamford Bridge to Molineux Stadium, Teruhito Komatsu arrived at Wolverhampton on match morning unsure if the match would even take place.

Had Chelsea’s postponement request been granted, Komatsu would have joined thousands of fans forced to bear the subsequent economic and logistical costs of wasted travel, not to mention failing to watch his squad.

The day before, Aston Villa and Burnley fans suffered the worst-case scenario as Saturday’s game at Villa Park was postponed just hours before kick-off following further positive tests in the squad home.

Had Burnley fans gone door-to-door, the game’s cancellation would have wasted a 235 mile round trip.

CNN has learned that decisions to postpone matches are made as quickly as possible once requests are submitted, but the precocity with which such announcements can be made is limited by the timelines of test results – situations changing as late as the morning of matches. .

New, stricter guidelines on daily club testing should speed up follow-up and subsequent decision-making on postponements, as the league aims to perform PCR testing in the morning before match days in order to have results in the evening. .

Thursday’s announcement of the postponement of those two Boxing Day matches – three days in advance – would suggest the measures are working as intended.

Mixed signals

On Monday, the Welsh government announced that due to an increase in the number of cases of the Omicron variant, all sporting events across the country will be played behind closed doors from December 26. In Scotland, all outdoor events in the country will be limited to 500 spectators from 26 December for “up to three weeks”, Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Tuesday.

In contrast, the Premier League reaffirmed Covid-19 matchday metrics that are familiar to many fans around since the start of the season – showing a valid NHS Covid pass or proof of a negative test at the during the last 48 hours after entry, and wearing face coverings in unseated areas around the stadium.

An additional condition, effective December 15, requires fans over the age of 18 to complete a self-declaration of Covid status through their club’s website before the match, but the general guidelines are effectively in line with how operations were carried out all season.

A Chelsea fan shows his Covid Pass to a Covid-19 flight attendant ahead of a match at Stamford Bridge.

While concerns about the clarity of the lineup can be traced to a recent spike in the number of cases, fans told CNN that the contradictions surrounding game day protocols predate the Omicron variant.

“Entry into the stadiums has been very irregular,” said Manchester United fan Rohan Malhotra.

“Some stages check your Covid vaccination status without letting us know before it’s ready, while in some stages we were told to have our vaccine passports handy to be checked and then not asked to show them. “

Several supporters spoke of the “relaxed” application of match-day controls.

“Nothing has really changed at the start,” Chelsea fan Tom Masters said of the stadiums returning to full capacity this season.

“It was so nice to be back and the only difference was the Covid pass checks – not particularly strict.”

‘Sing loud’

The upside from a fan perspective is that for some, this season has allayed fears that the pandemic might void the fans’ experience on match day, with Komatsu claiming that – except for the Covid pass – he doesn’t see no “major differences” between the games and those before the confinement of March 2020.

“We can drink in the lobby normally and we can sing normally during games because masks are not needed for eating, drinking and sitting,” Komatsu said.

“The situation outside the football fields is also the same. Many fans go to crowded pubs and sing loudly like we did before the lockdown.”

Aston Villa and Wolves play a league game in an empty Villa Park in March.

For others, although the pandemic has had a more noticeable impact on their match routine, with Chelsea Fan Group chairman Peter Trenter – usually at the heart of discussions on the terrace on the upper level of Stamford Bridge’s Shed End – revealing that he socializes much less because he maintains a close adherence to covid measures.

Yet as it stands – given the league’s alignment with national government and public health guidelines – fans will have the option to follow their squads throughout the Christmas season, potentially contradicting the opinion of an NHS official.

NHS Director of Primary Care Dr Nikki Kanani told reporters last week that fans should prioritize their reminder “rather than going to watch a game”.

For Komatsu – having received his recall at the Stamford Bridge pop-up vaccination center last week – Kanani’s comments were unfair.

    People arrive at a Covid-19 mass vaccination center in Stamford Bridge, which aimed to administer 10,000 jabs on December 18.

“I think we should be strengthened (…) to protect our clubs, our communities, our families and our friends,” Komatsu said. “However, I’m not sure why the NHS director needed to mention football.

“We can go to a vaccination center on non-game days. Perhaps the manager could have said that people who do not reserve their booster shots should prioritize their booster over something else.

“There must be a lot of non-football fans who don’t prioritize their booster and choose to do something else.”

As Premier League managers anxiously await their players’ fitness results and try to organize Covid-exhausted squads, they can take comfort in knowing that fans appear ready to face a whole Christmas time. also uncertain after their teams.

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Downing Street Christmas party: London police refer guard dog to deal with allegations Wed, 22 Dec 2021 11:49:00 +0000

“We can confirm that on Friday, December 17, we received a referral from the Metropolitan Police Department of a complaint about an alleged Downing Street party in December 2020. We are evaluating it to determine what further action, if any, is required. might be needed. from us, “the IOPC spokesperson said in a statement.

Baroness Jones de Moulsecoomb, a member of the UK’s Green Party, wrote a letter of complaint to the IOPC over the involvement of the Metropolitan Police in the Christmas party allegedly held at number 10 Downing Street on December 18 2020. Baroness Jones shared the letter on her verified Twitter account.

“Due to the heavy police presence at 10 Downing Street, including its role in controlling all access to and from Downing Street, I think the answer is that the police are assisting and encouraging a criminal offense, or deliberately fails to enforce the law in favor of government politicians and their staff, ”the letter said.

Baroness Jones also criticized Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick’s refusal to investigate the allegations after the Christmas party was reported.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has come under enormous pressure since allegations of numerous social gatherings held in Downing Street – with the rest of the country under Covid-19 restrictions – emerged earlier this month.

Johnson has repeatedly said that to his knowledge no rules have been broken.

Downing Street declined to comment on the allegations while they are under investigation.

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