Slovakia on Monday reimposed coronavirus restrictions in the hardest-hit parts of the country amid the latest surge of infections.
Five counties all located in northern Slovakia are affected by the measures, which include the closures of restaurants with people only allowed to buy meals at takeout windows.
Fitness and wellness centers also have been closed. The number of people allowed to attend public gatherings is reduced to 100 fully vaccinated people. It’s also mandatory to wear face coverings both outdoors and indoors.
Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš told reporters that from Monday, October 21, for four weeks or until November 15, an especially strict Covid-19 lockdown will come into force in Latvia.
He mentioned that almost all shops, entertainment and other services, as well as schools, will be closed during the lockdown.
The Minister of Health Daniels Pavļut explained that during this period all stores, except for basic necessities, will not open and only the most necessary services will be available. It is also planned to introduce a curfew from 8 pm to 5 am. Pavluts added in this connection that “people will be able to return from work and go to it”.
Latvia, Russia and Romania are all reporting pandemic high case rates
The UK government approach – backed by its scientists – was to try to manage the situation and in effect achieve herd immunity by infection, it said. This led to a delay in introducing the first lockdown, costing lives.
Coronaheadsup Twitter feed, 15th March 2020 – the UK promotes herd immunity and our prediction of the outcome of the policy
— Corona Heads Up (@CoronaHeadsUp) March 15, 2020
Coronaheadsup Twitter feed, 15th March 2020 – the UK promotes herd immunity and ignores warnings from Italian doctors about the severity of the coronavirus
Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock, Patrick Vallance, Chris Whitty.
— Corona Heads Up (@CoronaHeadsUp) March 15, 2020
Coronaheadsup Twitter feed, March 13th 2020 – warning of a catastrophe in UK schools if they are left open. This is another lesson still not learned. Millions of British schoolchildren have been infected by Covid-19 in UK schools in 2021, with no mitigations allowed.
In an ongoing attempt to impose herd immunity, defenceless British kids are being told to fight a BSL4 pathogen in classrooms with no protection, mitigations, bubbles or vaccines. It’s homicidal insanity, and by far the biggest scandal of this pandemic.
UK: Mass gatherings WILL be banned from next weekend in dramatic government U-turn.
Now close the schools. Creating "Herd Immunity" is NOT a defence in a court of law for crimes against humanity.https://t.co/NgthAGUY8S
— Corona Heads Up (@CoronaHeadsUp) March 13, 2020
What we don’t want or need is another government apology or a public inquiry in a year’s time after millions more lives have been wrecked by this virus. We need preventative action, and we need it NOW.
Public health observers are confident that China’s “zero tolerance” COVID-19 policy will safeguard the country to withstand epidemic flare-ups, although the outbreak in East China’s Fujian Province is still intense and Northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province reported three fresh cases on Tuesday during the national holidays to mark the Mid-Autumn Festival.
China also shut an entire city down today after ONE case of Covid-19 was found:
“Chinese officials shut down the northern city of Harbin after a single patient was hospitalized with Covid-19, adding a second flank to the country’s ongoing delta outbreak during the Mid-Autumn Festival and public holidays.”
The UK has announced its plans to keep Covid-19 at bay this coming winter.
Here is Plan A (it’s basically the status quo):
* Building our defences through pharmaceutical interventions: vaccines, antivirals and disease modifying therapeutics.
* Identifying and isolating positive cases to limit transmission: Test, Trace and Isolate.
* Supporting the NHS and social care: managing pressures and recovering services.
* Advising people on how to protect themselves and others: clear guidance and communications.
* Pursuing an international approach: helping to vaccinate the world and managing risks at the border.
If Plan A doesn’t work, there is a Plan B:
* Communicating clearly and urgently to the public that the level of risk has increased, and with it the need to behave more cautiously.
* Introducing mandatory vaccine-only COVID-status certification in certain settings.
* Legally mandating face coverings in certain settings.
* You may be asked to work from home
And if Plan B doesn’t keep the dragons at bay, there’s always Plan C. It’s not explicitly mentioned, but it’s another lockdown.
Well, it’s not quite what we had in mind, it’s detention material at best, but, let’s move on shall we?
The UK announced its plan to deal with Covid this coming winter in a marathon one hour press conference in Downing Street this afternoon. The main image pretty much sums it up. Despite 65% of the UK population having been vaccinated, the current Covid situation is far worse than at the same point last year.
At 24:25 in the conference:
Oh, and the vaccines have been so successful you will need to have a third dose to top up that incredible success.
65% of the population have been vaccinated in the UK:
Whilst the Downing Street press conference was being held, today’s UK Covid figures were released. Another 185 people have died and more than 1,000 have gone into hospital since yesterday.
UK SAGE: Between 2,000 and 7,000 people a day could be hospitalised with Covid in England next month (The Guardian)
SAGE DOCUMENT: SPI-M-O: Consensus statement on COVID-19, 8 September 2021
A bill has been introduced in the Argentine Chamber of Deputies to mandate vaccination against Covid-19 for all residents of the country. Since it falls within the framework of Immunization Law 27.491, passed in 2018, it can even be “coercively” applied; authorities can demand a fine or jeopardize the implementation of basic procedures such as the renewal of identity cards, passports or driver’s licences, to which every citizen and resident is entitled.
“The UK Government is planning October ‘firebreak’ restrictions if hospital admissions stay high”.
A senior Government scientist and Sage member has told iNews that half-term could be extended to two weeks in late October if NHS is pushed to the brink of capacity.
** Yes, let’s not take any action until we are way beyond the point of no return, shall we? **
A case of SARS-CoV-2 infection in mink has been discovered in connection with the ongoing mandatory disease surveillance that was initiated this summer as a result of an EU decision and which covers all mink farms in the country.
Viral genetic material was detected by PCR in one of six samples sent from the affected farm. Complete genome sequencing shows that the detected virus is of a type not previously seen in Sweden, but which has been reported from several countries within and outside the EU since April 2020. It is thus a more original SARS-CoV-2 type and not any of the later virus variants that cause particular concern due to changed virus properties, so-called variants of concern .
It is currently unclear how the virus got into the herd and where it comes from. All mink farms in the country are subject to special infection control restrictions to reduce the risk of introduction and further spread of infection following a decision from the Swedish Board of Agriculture taken in connection with the extensive outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 that affected Swedish mink farms in autumn 2020, says state epizootologist Karl Ståhl at SVA.
Swedish Veterinary Institute report (in Swedish)
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced an alert-level 4 lockdown in New Zealand starting at 11.59pm tonight for seven days in Auckland and Coromandel, and three days elsewhere.
The NZ Ministry of Health announced about 2.30pm today a new case had been found in the community in Auckland, saying a link between the case and the border or managed isolation had not been established.
In announcing the government’s decision Ardern said going hard and early had worked before and that the Delta variant was harder to combat.
Prime Minister Jacinda Arden said “We are one of the last country’s in the world to have the Delta variant in our community. This has given us the chance to learn from others.”
Locations of interest for the latest Covid-19 outbreak in New Zealand can be found here
** Now that’s how it’s done! **
The Israeli Health Ministry on Monday warned that new coronavirus variants from abroad could force Israel into a lockdown that the government is working hard to avoid, with the Lambda variant posing a particularly pressing threat.
During a meeting of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee to approve new measures for travel from abroad, a top ministry official warned of the Lambda variant that has rampaged across South America and crossed into the US.
“If it arrives in Israel we will go into the lockdown that we are so much trying to avoid,” Asher Salmon, director of the International Relations Department at the Health Ministry, told the committee.
Israeli Health Ministry figures released Monday showed 5,083 new virus cases were identified the day before. Of the 50,693 active cases, 531 are in serious condition. The death toll since the start of the pandemic was 6,673.
During the past two weeks, 7 residents of a care home near Zaventem in Belgium have died after having contracted the B.1.621 variant of coronavirus first identified in Colombia, South America. All those that have died at the care home had been fully vaccinated against coronavirus.
On 16th July, two coronavirus infections were confirmed at the Ter Burg care home. As soon as the first infections were confirmed those in charge at the home put the afflicted section under quarantine. A total of 20 residents tested positive. As measures had been taken the outbreak was contained in the section of the home where it had started.
Nevertheless, 7 of the 28 residents with advanced dementia have passed away. Some of these were in poor physical health to start with. One of them was terminally and another was being given palliative care. However, some of those that died were in relatively good physical health.
Interestingly, the UK PHE have just released a threat assessment for B.1.621, reprinted below, and there are some recent posts from their Twitter account.
This variant was blamed for the rapid growth in Colombia 🇨🇴 in June/July
(at that time Alpha was dominant, almost no Delta) pic.twitter.com/EXwut4WgqL
— Meaghan Kall (@kallmemeg) August 6, 2021
In a possibly related development, Belgium has decided to lift its ban on travel from countries with high levels of coronavirus infections
An official in the high-level coronavirus cabinet, speaking on the condition of anonymity, tells the Kan public broadcaster that the government will wait and see what the effects of the third vaccine booster shot are before declaring a nationwide lockdown.
“The chances of a lockdown in August are slim,” the official says. “The assessment is that they’ll wait two weeks to see if the third shot helps bring down serious cases among the over 60s and if we see a wave of vaccinations among teenagers. If that doesn’t happen, the question is not if there will be a lockdown, but when.”
Booster jabs may be extended to younger Israelis
At the last Corona Cabinet meeting on Tuesday night, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett raised the possibility that Israel would soon advance to a 40-60-year-old vaccine with third impulse injections – but the head of public health services at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Sharon Elrai Price, reacted and cooled Bennett’s initiative
The Bangladeshi government will not allow any unvaccinated people aged 18 or above on the streets from August 11, the day it will relax the ongoing lockdown. “Anyone above 18 years will not be allowed on streets and on any mode of transport unless they are vaccinated,” Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque, who presided over the meeting, told reporters.