Europe has seen major changes in coronavirus case rates over the last two months. In many areas of Europe covid case rates have dropped sufficiently to allow restrictions to be eased, but there are notable exceptions. The Covid-19 rate in Spain now appears to be as bad, if not worse, than two months ago, and the Netherlands has seen a dramatic increase in numbers recently.
In the case of both Spain and the Netherlands, the rates increased following the decision to unlock their countries too quickly, and in both cases those decisions have had to reversed within weeks. Greece too appears to be seeing a new wave, and these areas now represent the largest threat to Europe’s strategy to keeping infection rates down.
The Irish Cabinet is set to agree to ban fur-farming from next year, with a compensation package for farmers also expected. There are approximately 120,000 mink on three farms in counties Laois, Donegal and Kerry. The Cabinet will be told that the three farmers will be compensated for the closing down of their operations with asset value, earnings, redundancy payments and demolition fees to be considered in the package.
Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue will today (Tuesday) bring a memo to Cabinet on the prohibition of fur-farming in Ireland, which will begin early in 2022 to allow the farmers see out the 2021 season.
Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory Dr Cillian de Gascun said that there have been three cases of the recent variant [B.1.617] first identified in India. Dr De Gascun said at least two of them are associated with travel. He said NPHET does not have any data to determine whether the variant is more transmissible or not, but said at this stage people need to remain vigilant and try to contain it locally. Separately, 24 cases of the P.1 variant, which was first found in Brazil, have so far been confirmed in Ireland, while 55 cases of B.1.351 South African variant have also been confirmed.
The first comprehensive study of community transmission of Covid-19 in Ireland has identified shops as the most likely source of infection. Of the 3,476 positive cases since then, 787 (22 per cent) were as a result of community transmission, where the source of infection is not known. More than 60 per cent of these community transmission cases were recorded in Dublin. Of those who did not know the source of their infection, 55.8 per cent mentioned shops as the most likely place they would have picked up the disease in the previous seven days.
This was followed by workplaces (15.6 per cent), primary schools (3.8 per cent), public transport or car sharing (3.5 per cent), travel at home or abroad (2 per cent), outdoor gatherings (1.9 per cent), pre-school gatherings (1.8 per cent) and outdoor sports activities (1.7 per cent).
The first cases of a rare blood clot associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine in Ireland is being investigated in a Dublin hospital. A 40-year-old woman is reportedly being treated in the Mater Hospital for cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), the blood clot on the brain which the European Medicines Agency has said is possibly linked to the AstraZeneca treatment.
A spokesperson for the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) confirmed to Dublin Live it has been informed about the case.
He said: “The HPRA can confirm that it has received a case of interest, associated with the AZ vaccine, which describes CVST, an unusual clot in the brain.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday that democratic governments can make vaccinations obligatory, in a landmark judgement rejecting complaints brought by Czech families penalised for refusing compulsory jabs for their children.
“The… measures could be regarded as being ‘necessary in a democratic society'” the court ruled, saying that the Czech health policy was consistent with the “best interests” of children.
Our opinion: ** Is there an easier or quicker way of antagonising parents in the middle of a global viral pandemic than encouraging mandatory vaccinations? We can’t think of one. Expect severe blowback **
Ireland has added Israel to its #coronavrus quarantine list of 56 countries: “All those intending to travel to Ireland from or via any of these countries/territories, who will arrive in Ireland after 04.00 on Tuesday 6 April are required to book accommodation for mandatory hotel quarantine at least 48 hours in advance of travel.”
The full list of countries whose visitors will be expected to quarantine on arrival are: Albania, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Austria, Aruba, Bahrain, the islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Eswatini, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Guyana, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Malawi, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Oman, Palestine, Paraguay, Panama, Peru, The Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and the Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands.
Note that the United States does NOT appear on this quarantine list!
Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people
Graphs & data courtesy of OurWorldInData.org
Ireland’s Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) has said it has received 16 reports of blood clots occurring following vaccination with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. It said that none describe a rare blood clot. The figures are up to the end of March.
The HPRA said that none of the reports describe cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, which is a rare type of blood clot in the brain, nor the occurrence of a blood clot associated with low platelets.
“Wheezing, chest or stomach pain, swelling or coldness in an arm or leg, severe headache or worsening or blurred vision after vaccination, persistent bleeding, small multiple bruises, reddish or purplish spots or blisters of blood under the skin” – if you have these symptoms after vaccination against Covid with AstraZeneca serum seek medical help immediately and report that you have recently been vaccinated.
Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Indonesia & Thailand have suspended AstraZeneca vaccinations over blood clot fears.
Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Luxembourg and Lithuania have suspended vaccinations with some Astrazeneca batches, notably ABV5811 ABV2856 and ABV5300
ABV5300 was delivered to 17 European countries – Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden – and in total comprises one million doses.
Update: Spain has also suspended use of the vaccine for 15 days as a precaution. This was decided by the inter-territorial council of the Spanish Health.
A total of 30,000 people will now not receive their first Covid-19 vaccine this week, after the rollout of AstraZeneca was paused over blood clot fears.
Around 20,000 people in at-risk groups and a further 10,000 frontline healthcare workers had been due to be vaccinated in the coming days, however, this will now not happen.
A cluster of people who suffered clots in Norway after being vaccinated has led to a temporary halt on the drug’s use in Ireland.
European Medicines Agency (EMA), the corona vaccine from the manufacturer Astra-Zeneca can cause severe allergic reactions. Anaphylaxis and hypersensitivity reactions should be included in the list of possible side effects of the vaccine citing , the EMA said on Friday, several such cases in the UK.
The European Commission received the message from AstraZeneca on Thursday afternoon (11 March 2021). According to Sweden’s vaccination coordinator Richard Bergström, it is export restrictions and not production capacity that are behind it.
Astra Zeneca has really made an effort to find volumes to live up to the contract. 75 million doses would come from the United States, the United Kingdom and to some extent from India in the second quarter. Now we have just been told that we will not get rid of these doses, says Richard Bergström to TV4.
The USA and India, where AstraZeneca’s has production, have introduced export bans to ensure that they themselves get enough vaccine. The fact that the vaccine cannot be delivered from the UK has contractual reasons.
Covid-19 has been confirmed as a “significant factor” in four stillbirths, an Nphet briefing heard tonight.
The four stillbirths, first reported on Thursday, are linked to a rare inflammation of the placenta — Covid placentitis. One case of placentitis was previously reported in Cork, but that baby survived. Of 15 such cases of Covid placentitis reported globally, five have occurred in Ireland.
Dr Cliona Murphy, chair of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, expressed condolences to the families.
She said: “For these four cases, it is the view of the pathologists conducting these investigations that Covid-19 was the significant factor that resulted in the stillbirth of these babies.