Schools close in Lombardy, Piedmont, Romagna and Calabria in Italy due to fresh #coronavirus variant outbreaks

In Lombardy, The president of the Lombardy Region said of his decision to order the immediate closure of schools. “this variant of the virus, which is now in the majority in Lombardy, is particularly aggressive, more rapid in spreading and also affects young people, who until a few months ago were almost unscathed

In Piedmont, 20 districts out of 38 will restart distance learning in schools.

In Romagna, the region will adopt a new ordinance tomorrow to deal with the spread of infections which continue to increase due to the new variants, even among young people. and very young and in light of the increase in hospitalizations in Covid wards and in intensive care

In Calabria, schools closed in Calabria starting from Monday and for two weeks. It is the decision of the acting president of the Calabria Region Nino Spirlì who underlined the need to suspend teaching in presence in all schools and in universities. report


 Image by Taken from Pixabay

B.1.1.7 #coronavirus variant infections have the potential to cause substantial additional mortality

The mortality hazard ratio associated with infection with VOC-202012/1 [B.1.1.7] compared to infection with previously circulating variants is 1.64 in patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the community. In this comparatively low risk group, this represents an increase from 2.5 to 4.1 deaths per 1000 detected cases.

Medrxiv Preprint  Increased hazard of mortality in cases compatible with SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern 202012/1 – a matched cohort study




#Czech hospitals in #coronavirus crisis “Each vacated bed fills up immediately”

Medical facilities in Prague are reaching the limit of their capacities – personal and inpatient. According to statistics, 1,171 covid patients were hospitalized in Prague on Wednesday, of which about a quarter are in serious condition.

“Every bed that is vacated is immediately occupied. We accept patients in an acute condition, but we must consider very carefully every free bed that occurs, “said Sulek.

Currently, the hospital is mainly looking for paramedics and general nurses, but they have been in short supply for a long time. “Every free hand fits. The duty to work would help us a lot,” says the spokesman. report


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#Denmark EPA: Contamination from the mink graves must be removed #coronavirus

Contamination from the mink graves must be removed

Substances from buried mink have been found under the mink graves, according to the Danish Environmental Protection Agency’s pollution investigation. The first step is now taken to collect and clean the pollution. The soil under the mink graves is being investigated in connection with the pollution investigation.

Water from the ground under the mink graves at Nørre Felding and Karup must be pumped up and cleaned. It must prevent substances such as ammonium and phenols – which are substances typically found in carcasses – from polluting the environment. When the minks are dug up to be burned at the end of May, contaminated soil under the mink graves must be removed at the same time.

This is the recommendation in a draft report on the pollution survey that COWI, Geo and Rambøll have made for the Danish Environmental Protection Agency.

“Although we do not yet have the final report, a picture is now emerging of the pollution and how the groundwater is moving around the mink graves. It is important to emphasize that the advisors clearly point out that there is no risk to drinking water. And they point to well-proven treatment methods that can remove the pollution before it reaches lakes and streams, ”says Acting Office Manager Charlotte Moosdorf from the Danish Environmental Protection Agency.

Summary of pollution report for Nørre Felding

Summary of pollution report for Karup

In November, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency asked advisers from Cowi and Rambøll to carry out the pollution investigation after about four million mink had been dug into the military training grounds at Karup and Nørre Felding.

Good time to remove contamination

The pollution study shows that the degradation of the mink can be traced under the mink graves. But advisers also say it will take several years for the pollution to reach the nearest watercourse. So if remedial measures are put in place within one to one and a half years, the pollution will be curbed in good time. There is no risk of contamination of drinking water. At Karup, the drinking water is protected by thick layers of clay, and in both places the pollution moves away from the areas where drinking water is extracted.

The Danish Environmental Protection Agency will now, as the responsible supervisory authority, check the results from the advisers and then send recommendations to the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, which is the developer and responsible for the mink graves, to take measures to contain and remove the pollution at the mink graves.

The Danish Environmental Protection Agency initiated the pollution investigation in December and has also made a so-called basic analysis of the environmental situation. Read the news: Environmental studies at the mink graves are in full swing

Recommends portable treatment plant

At the mink grave at Karup, pollution from mink has been found at three out of 32 boreholes at a depth of six meters at the graves. At the mink pit at Nørre Felding, pollution from mink has been found in one of a total of 26 boreholes at a depth of seven meters. The consultants recommend that groundwater be pumped up and treated in a transportable treatment plant that can stand in a container. It is a method that has been used, among other things, to purify groundwater under landfills. It is estimated that the cleaning must continue for a minimum of five years.

The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration has sent excavation and transport for tender. Read the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration’s news about the tender

The advisers also recommend that contaminated soil be removed in connection with the excavation of the mink. The excavation will begin at the end of May, when the risk of infection from the minks is over.

The Environmental Management Service will continue to monitor the environment at the mink graves in the coming months.

Denmark’s Environmental Management Service Press Release



Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

All Isle of Man schools to close today after a fresh #coronavirus outbreak

“Given a growing number of COVID-19 cases on the Island, particularly amongst children, all of the Island’s schools, nurseries and childminders will be closed tomorrow (Friday 5 March).

This difficult decision has been taken to create a firebreak to help stop the spread of the virus, particularly amongst the Island’s young people. The situation will be reviewed over the weekend as the situation becomes clearer.

The Chief Minister, Howard Quayle MHK, said: “As we know, the Kent variant of COVID-19 is particularly virulent and we are seeing it spreading rapidly amongst our community. The virus spreads when people mix and so we need to do all we can to minimise that mixing. We are currently seeing a strong level of transmission between our young people and we need to take every opportunity we have to interrupt this.

“Whilst much of the opportunity for transmission has been minimised through the circuit break, there are still a number of settings where children are moving around outside of the home. In the interests of children and broader society, we need to prevent children from mixing.

Manx Radio Report

“Manx outbreak will be ‘more difficult’ to eliminate”  BBC Report

Preliminary reports of four #stillbirths linked to #Covid19 #coronavirus

The Deputy Chief Medical Officer has said that NPHET has been made aware of four preliminary reports of stillbirths in Ireland, that could potentially be associated with a condition called Covid Placentitis.

Dr Ronan Glynn said that these reports should be interpreted with caution as the coroners have not concluded their findings.

Dr Glynn said the condition is a “concern”, but also stressed that is “very rare”.

RTE.IE Full report


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16 cases of new #coronavirus variant VUI-202102/04, B1.1.318 under investigation in Britain

Sixteen cases of a new variant, VUI-202102/04 (lineage B.1.1.318), have been identified in the UK. The variant has been designated a Variant Under Investigation (VUI) by Public Health England (PHE).

Cases of this variant, understood to have originated in the UK, were first identified on 15 February through genomic horizon scanning. All individuals who tested positive and their contacts have been traced and advised to isolate.

Following assessments, the variant was designated a VUI on 24 February. It contains the E484K mutation, which is also found in 2 existing VUIs present in the UK, but does not feature the N501Y mutation, present in all variants of concern (VOCs).

The addition of this variant as a VUI means there are now a total of 4 VUIs and 4 VOCs currently being tracked in the UK. variant statement

Daily Mail report


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Anders #Tegnell’s #coronavirus strategy should have been successful in #Sweden. He was completely wrong

“You must not judge us yet”, said Anders Tegnell in the spring of 2020, while the whole world looked at the open Swedish strategy and the accompanying high death toll.

Just wait until the second wave hits Europe. Then Sweden will be better equipped than the neighboring countries, he predicted confidently. Now the second wave has long since peaked – in Sweden a third is underway – and Anders Tegnell has been completely wrong. slams Sweden’s coronavirus Tsar



Second case of variant Fin-796H confirmed in Finland. Four more #Fin796H infections likely

Vita Laboratories and the University of Helsinki report that the variant Fin-796H has now been found in another patient. Both confirmed infections are related to the same chain of infection.

It is likely that the variant will also be found in four other patients involved in the chain of infection.

The entire genome of the Fin-796H variant has now been determined. According to Vita Laboratories, sequencing studies have confirmed that this is a previously unrecognized variant in the world.

According to the laboratory, Fin-796H differs from all previous variants in at least 15 different places in the genome of the virus. The deviations suggest that the Finland variant is unlikely to have developed in Finland,

The Finnish Covid variant Fin-796H variant has key coronavirus mutation E484K

YLE.FI report (in Finnish)



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First case of the #P1 Brazil #coronavirus variant found in Denmark with mutations #501YV3, #N501Y, #K417T & #E484K

Denmark’s SSI:  The Technical University of Denmark, DTU, has found a case of the P1 variant, which was originally detected in Brazil.

The virus variant is also called VOC 202101/02 (Variant Of Concern, year 2021, month 01, variant 02). It has also been named 501Y.V3 after one of the key mutations. The Danish case has been found on Zealand.Mutations N501Y, K417T and E484K in particular are biologically important. As this variant has the mutation N501Y, which variants B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 also have, there is a strong suspicion that this variant has increased infectivity, but this has not been conclusively proven. This variant also has the mutation E484K, which studies have associated with decreased sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies. It is not known whether this variant causes more serious disease courses.

The variant was found by sequencing positive PCR samples performed by DTU’s Center for Diagnostics and the sample has just been completely sequenced, and thus confirmed.

The vaccines that are approved in the EU incl. Denmark, is also expected to work against the new variant. Impaired effects may occur, but the vaccines are still expected to protect against serious illness.

Denmark’s SSI report


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Brazilian #coronavirus variant #P1 at 4.3% in Umbria, Tuscany, Lazio, and Marche in #Italy

“in our territory, in particular in some regions of central Italy ,there is an estimated prevalence of the Brazilian variant of 4.3%, not in the whole country, but in Umbria, Tuscany, Lazio, Marche”. This is “a particularly worrying fact. These variants are new and must be estimated both with respect to increased transmissibility and the potential not to guarantee the same immune coverage : increased transmissibility and the potential ability to reduce protection. They are extremely important to monitor and it is important that the most restrictive measures possible are taken.”  The variant South African , on the other hand, “is 0.4%  particularly in some areas of South Tyrol”.

The president of the CSS to reiterate that “the English variant has greater power infectious on the pediatric population . We have clear evidence. There is an increase in the number of cases even between 6 and 10 years “.

“The English variant has a greater transmission capacity. It has an estimated prevalence of around 54% , but it is a figure referred to February 18, so today the value is undoubtedly higher”.,

Comments by Silvio Brusaferro , president of the Italian ISS, and Franco Locatelli , President of the CSS. report


 Image by loveombra from Pixabay

333 Italian doctors have died of #coronavirus during the pandemic

The number of doctors who died in Italy during the Covid-19 pandemic rose to 333.  Maria Teresa D’Istria , general practitioner, is the latest victim remembered in the list of fallen soldiers updated by Fnomceo, National Federation of Medical Surgeons and Dentists, which will remain listed in mourning in their memory, in a sad list that is gradually updated.

“The dead make no noise, they no longer make noise as grass grows, wrote Ungaretti – comments the president of Fnomceo, Filippo Anelli -. And yet, the names of our friends, our colleagues, put here, in black and white, make a deafening noise. As well as the number of infected health workers, who now make up 10% of the total. We can no longer allow our doctors, our health workers, to be sent to fight the virus with their bare hands. It is an unequal struggle, which hurts us, hurts the citizens, hurts the country ”.

Il report