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


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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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Israel #coronavirus chief Nachman Ash: “the possibility of a fourth lockdown before the election exists”

“We are concerned about the increase in infection in the coming days,” coronavirus czar Nachman Ash told 103FM Radio, adding that “the possibility of a fourth lockdown before the election exists.”

Ministry figures showed the virus’s basic reproduction number, or R-number, was at 1.01 Friday morning. The R-number is the number of new cases stemming from each coronavirus infection, or the number of people who caught the virus from each infected person. Any number lower than 1 means the pandemic is slowing down, while a number above 1 means it is expanding. The figures are based on new case numbers from 10 days earlier due to the virus’s incubation period.

Times of Israel report


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WHO Investigators scrap plans for interim report on probe of #coronavirus origins

WSJ:  “The World Health Organization team investigating the origins of Covid-19 is planning to scrap an interim report on its recent mission to China amid mounting tensions between Beijing and Washington over the investigation and an appeal from one international group of scientists for a new probe. A group of two dozen scientists is calling in an open letter on Thursday for a new international inquiry. They say the WHO team that last month completed a mission to Wuhan—the Chinese city where the first known cases were found—had insufficient access to adequately investigate possible sources of the new coronavirus, including whether it slipped from a laboratory.”

Open Letter Link    “Call for a Full and Unrestricted International Forensic Investigation into the Origins of COVID-19”

WSJ full report



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

More than 450 cases of the South African #coronavirus variant 501Y.V2 diagnosed in Israel

Over 450 cases of the South Africa coronavirus variant 501Y.V2 have been diagnosed in Israel so far, and health professionals estimate that dozens more are being infected each day.

The Israeli Health Ministry’s committees on vaccinations and the pandemic said two weeks ago that the B.1.351 or 501Y.V2 variant was spreading beyond control. 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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Nigerian #coronavirus variant #B1525 isolated in Brescia, Italy. Mutations include E484K, Q677H, F888L and a similar suite of deletions to B.1.1.7.

The Nigerian variant of Covid has been isolated in Brescia. “For the first time in Italy we have isolated the virus carrying these mutations which are of concern because they could confer resistance to the anti Covid vaccines available today” explained Arnaldo Caruso, president of the Italian Virology Society and director of the Asst Spedali Civili Microbiology Laboratory. of the Lombard city which has been in the orange zone for a week and will remain so for another week.

“From the last survey, which ended on March 1, from the analysis of the variants on positive swabs causally extracted by the Lombard laboratories, it is highlighted that the English variant [B.1.1.7] is equal to 64% of the sampling on a regional basis. attended, a range ranging from 43% to 86% is observed “. report


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Czech Republic makes #coronavirus testing #compulsory for companies with 50+ employees

From March 12th, all employees at companies with over 250 staff must test negative for coronavirus once a week to continue going into work, and this will apply to all companies with over 50 employees from March 15th. Around 2.1 million employees will be tested in the next two weeks. Photo: Ministers at the press conference after the government meeting on March 1.

BRNODaily report



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