Norway: “situation is more worrying now than in previous pandemic waves”

“The threat from Omicron is enormous”. NIPH director Camilla Stoltenberg says the Omicron variant of the coronavirus can cause a lot of infection and disease, “perhaps more than before in the pandemic”.

“It seems to be easier to infect vaccinated in addition to unvaccinated,” says Stoltenberg.

Stoltenberg says that it now seems that people will not get sicker from the new variant, but that more people will get sick and that this means that more people will become seriously ill as well.

The situation is serious. The government fears that a further increase in infection will lead to the health service not being able to provide all help.

– The infection must be limited so that not many people need health care at the same time, said Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and outlined new measures and recommendations:

– We encourage everyone to reduce the number of close contacts.

– The one meter rule is back, keep your distance.

– Recommends a maximum of 10 people at home, and 20 on Christmas Eve or another party at Christmas (if you can keep a meter distance between the guests)

– Training should take place outdoors.

– Take the vaccine.

Mandatory for facemasks if you can not keep a distance of one meter.

– Mandatory facemasks and restrictions on guests do not apply to children, who can invite more than 10 people from those they are still in a cohort with in kindergarten and school.

Very intrusive coronary restrictions are now being introduced that affect many companies. It is good that the government is acting quickly and introducing a national compensation scheme for November and December. But companies need further measures, says NHO director Ole Erik Almlid.

NHO wants to put in place a scheme for wage support, to avoid mass layoffs before Christmas.

NHO otherwise understands that the development of infection and the situation around the omicron variant necessitate new restrictions.

But Almlid is very worried about what it means for the restaurant and nightlife bars that you now get cancelled Christmas dinners and large falls in turnover.

NRK.no report

 

Image by Tommy Andreassen from Pixabay

 

Omicron: The world is “closer to the start of the pandemic than the end”

The emergence of the Omicron variant shows that the world is “closer to the start of the pandemic than the end”, one of Britain’s most senior scientific figures has warned, as he lamented a lack of political leadership over Covid.

Writing in the Observer, Sir Jeremy Farrar said rich countries had been taking “a very blinkered domestic focus, lulled into thinking that the worst of the pandemic was behind us”. He said while he was cautiously hopeful that current vaccines would protect against severe illness from Omicron, that may not be true for future variants.

The Guardian report

 

Welcome to the dark side Jeremy….

 

Norway: 37,000 people tested for Covid following tractor fair outbreak

37,000 Norwegians have been asked to test themselves following a Covid infection outbreak at a trade fair. Several people who visited a tractor fair in Lillestrøm, Norway last week have tested positive for Covid-19.

It is still unclear whether those infected at the fair were infected with the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus. The Omicron variant has appeared in several parts of Norway and led the authorities to tighten their pandemic measures.

SVT.se report (in Swedish)

 

Update: The tractor fair location in Lillestrøm is less than 30km from Frogner, in Oslo, where another superspreader event involving 60 Omicron infections took place around the same time.

 

 

 

Image by holzijue from Pixabay

Is Omicron another Plague Island export?

Is Omicron another Plague Island export?  Both the Alpha and Delta variants were exported across the globe from the UK because of its laissez-faire attitude to border controls. Now, it’s beginning to look like the UK may have exported another Covid variant abroad, this one mistakenly attributed to South Africa – the Omicron variant.

There is accumulating evidence that some of the Omicron cases turning up in the UK predate the first cases announced in South Africa. Why are we not surprised by that revelation?


“Scientific advisers are bracing themselves for hundreds of UK cases of the Omicron Covid variant to be confirmed in the next week or so, the Guardian has learned. Some of them may predate the earliest cases of Omicron found in South Africa last week but could still be linked to travellers returning from the country, it is understood. Evidence of community transmission also emerged on Monday.”

The Guardian report


“According to scientists, the first indications of the new Omicron corona variant came from the African state of Botswana. In a statement at the end of last week, Botswana’s Ministry of Health emphasized that the first suspected cases involved four foreign diplomats whose nationality was not disclosed.”

N-tv.de report (in German)


Botswana’s government said Friday 26th November 2021 that the four B.1.1.529 cases reported last week actually originated with fully vaccinated diplomats who visited from elsewhere. Their home country still is not identified.

“The new virus was detected on four foreign nationals who had entered Botswana on the 7th November 2021, on a diplomatic mission,” said Botswana in a statement. The four diplomats tested positive for COVID-19 on November 11 as they were leaving, and genomic sequencing confirmed the variant on November 24.

African Times report


Statement from Botswana Ministry of Health:


 

The BNONews Omicron tracker shows the latest infection numbers for Omicron. How can the UK have “hundreds” of cases of a variant that was first announced by South Africa less than a week ago, and that was first sequenced from samples given by four diplomats in Botswana just 18 days ago?


Omicron samples apparently have a “common ancestor 1-2 months ago”


Evidence of the spread of Omicron earlier this summer:


Lift off in early November 2021 in North Yorkshire?



Omicron was already in Europe on November 19th 2021, before it was first sequenced in South Africa:

“The omicron coronavirus variant was already in the Netherlands a week before South Africa reported the new variant to the World Health Organization, according to a Dutch health agency. The variant was recently identified in retests of samples that were taken on Nov. 19 and 23, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, or RIVM, announced on Tuesday.”

NPR.org report


Omicron has been spreading for “weeks” apparently:


Triple jabbed doctor infected with Omicron after flight from London:

Israel: Triple jabbed doctor found infected with Omicron after flight from London


Israeli doctor believes he caught Omicron variant of Covid in London


First London Omicron case had already left the country when confirmed infected:

UK: Third Omicron case confirmed, was last seen in Westminster


 

 

 

 

Photo by KMA .img on Unsplash

Germany: “We have to shut down the whole country even more”

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder calls for drastic nationwide measures to break the fourth wave. “Unfortunately, to protect our health system, we have to shut down the whole country even more,” said the CSU head.

“The Leopoldina’s* warnings are a wake-up call,” he says*. “We now need consistent contact restrictions for the unvaccinated, a lockdown for hotspot regions, masks in all schools and football games without spectators.” The CSU boss warns: “Every day of waiting and hesitation is a wasted day.” The whole of Germany is headed for an emergency, “the coming federal government must no longer stand idly by”.

  • The National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina recommends immediate comprehensive contact restrictions in view of the dynamic corona infection. “From a medical and epidemiological point of view, it is immediately effective to significantly reduce the number of contacts for a few weeks from the beginning of the coming week,” it says in a statement . “Due to the decreasing immunity, these measures would have to apply temporarily to vaccinated and convalescent people who have to receive a booster vaccination during this time.”

N-tv.de report (in German)

 

Belgium is now seeing its highest covid case rates ever, and, along with the Netherlands, it has already gone into some form of lockdown:

 

 

Image by ddzphoto from Pixabay

Netherlands: “Dozens” infected with Covid on flights from South Africa

Dutch health authorities said that dozens of people who arrived in Amsterdam on two flights from South Africa on Friday are likely infected with COVID-19, and they are conducting further testing to see if people are infected with the recently discovered Omicron coronavirus variant.

Around 600 passengers arrived at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on the two KLM flights on Friday and then faced hours of delays and testing due to concerns over the new virus variant.

Reuters report

** The latest figure we have seen is 61 people are infected from the two planes.

 

Image by Lars_Nissen from Pixabay

Netherlands: Evening lockdown for three weeks from November 28th

All locations and events must close from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. Essential stores, like supermarkets and drugstores, can remain open until 8 p.m.

The Netherlands will enforce an evening lockdown for three weeks beginning on Sunday, November 28. Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge unveiled a package of measures including the lockdown, expanded use of face masks, and stricter social distancing obligations in an attempt to bring about a 20 percent cut to the number of times people come in contact with each other.

The new measures were announced at a press conference on Friday, roughly eight weeks after most coronavirus restrictions were released in the Netherlands. Since that time, the average number of daily coronavirus infections has jumped from under 1,700 to over 22,000, including a single-day record of 23,789 set earlier this week. A handful of new measures were announced two weeks ago, but with little immediately measurable impact.

The full list of new coronavirus restrictions follows. They will remain in effect at least through Tuesday, December 14, when the Cabinet will again revisit the issue.

The new measures and urgent advisory statements

“Stay at home as much as possible,” the Cabinet said in a press release.
All adults 18 years of age and over must keep a distance of 1.5 meters from each other.
All locations and events must close from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Essential stores, like supermarkets and drugstores, can remain open until 8 p.m.
Face masks are required wherever assigned seating rules apply, including bars, cafes, restaurants, cinemas, and theaters.
Providing space so people can keep 1.5 meters away from each other is required at trade fairs, museums, zoos, amusement parks, and wherever assigned seating rules apply, including bars, cafes, restaurants, cinemas, and theaters. This is expected to impact maximum capacity of these locations.
Those working at an office or other worksite must keep 1.5 meters distance from others, the Cabinet advised.
“The urgent advice to churches is also to adhere to the measures. Show solidarity with the rest of the country,” Rutte said.
Amateur sports matches and practices are banned from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Elite athletes are not forbidden to compete and train from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. without an audience.
Professionals in arts and culture are allowed to rehearse from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. without an audience.
Face masks should be worn by primary school students in Groups Six, Seven and Eight when they are not in the classroom.
Face masks should be worn by all secondary school students when they are not in the classroom.
Children under 12 years of age cannot go to school if they have a mild cold, runny nose, or stuffed nose. They must stay home until they have been symptom-free for 24 hours, or until they test negative at a GGD test location.
Children under the age of 12 should be kept separate from those over 70 years of age.
Household guests should take a coronavirus self-test beforehand.

NLtimes.nl report

 

Europe: all-time Covid infection record broken by growing winter superwave

 

Image by Bernardo Ferreria from Pixabay

Sweden: 43% of patients in ICU are fully vaccinated, and the figure is rising

In September 2021, 23% of those cared for in Swedish IVA (ICU) were fully vaccinated. In October, the share increased to 31%. So far in November, 43% are fully vaccinated.

If you look at the age group 60 years and up – where vaccine coverage has been largely unchanged in recent months, in August, the proportion of fully vaccinated in intensive care was 20 per cent, in September 42 per cent, in October 61 per cent and in November 76 per cent.

Dagens Nyheter report (in Swedish)

 

Belgium doctor: Our ICU is full of vaccinated patients

 

 

Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash

Slovakian President: “We are losing the fight against the pandemic, we need a lockdown”

“We are losing the fight against the pandemic, we need a lockdown”, said President Zuzana Čaputová on Tuesday after visiting the hospital in Ružinov in Bratislava. According to her, it should affect everyone.

She pointed to the number of hospitalized, victimized, but also exhausted paramedics. She was quite angrily called for stopping the spread of “covid delusions” or “covid silencing.” According to her, people must start listening to experts.

She also added that in the fight against COVID-19 we are the worst in the world in terms of newly infected people per million inhabitants. She said in a statement that she did not know what more people needed to hear and see in order to change attitudes. Although the lockdown will be unfair to responsible and vaccinated people, they see no other solution.

“What I saw today at Ružinov Hospital was tragic and terrible. How is it possible that paramedics who save people face threats. Sometimes I feel that I do not know this country, said Čaputová.

Pravda.sk report (in Slovak)

 

 

 

 

Image by Peter Tóth from Pixabay

Netherlands: compulsory social distancing returns

Social distancing and keeping 1.5 metres apart is to become compulsory again in the Netherlands from Wednesday 25th November, the Dutch justice ministry has announced. Police and council wardens will be able to issue formal warnings from Wednesday and repeat offenders can be fined €95.

Currently, social distancing is strongly recommended but there was no basis for the requirement in law, since it was abolished two months ago. However, given the rise of coronavirus cases, which have gone up 40% in the past week, the cabinet has decided to bring back the measure, even though it still has to be anchored in law.

Dutchnews.nl report

 

 

Image by iqbal nuril anwar from Pixabay

UK: Fully vaccinated up to 29 times more likely to catch Covid

The latest UKHSA vaccine report is out, and the vaccine breakthrough figures are simply jaw-dropping. They show that, in every age group apart from the under-18s, the fully vaccinated are far more likely to catch Covid-19 than the unvaccinated. In the over-70s age group, you’re over 29 times more likely to catch it.

For 18 – 29yrs, there are nearly 1.5 times as many Covid cases in the fully vaccinated as in the unvaccinated (39,748 v 26,714)

For 30 – 39yrs, there are nearly 3 times as many Covid cases in the fully vaccinated as in the unvaccinated (77,958 v 27,457)

For 40 – 49yrs, there are nearly 8 times as many Covid cases in the fully vaccinated as in the unvaccinated (125,936 v 15,920)

For 50 – 59yrs, there are over 14 times as many Covid cases in the fully vaccinated as in the unvaccinated (102,635 v 7,152)

For 60 – 69yrs, there are over 22 times as many Covid cases in the fully vaccinated as in the unvaccinated (61,109 v 2,739)

For 70 – 79yrs, there are over 29 times as many Covid cases in the fully vaccinated as in the unvaccinated (31,232 v 1,067)

For 80 – 89yrs, there are over 19 times as many Covid cases in the fully vaccinated as in the unvaccinated (10,298 v 540)

 

The UK hospitalization figures show a similar story:

 

As do the figures for Covid-19 deaths:

UKHSA COVID-19 vaccine surveillance report Week 46 

 

The latest UK vaccination figures, however, show that there are only 4 times as many people that are fully vaccinated with two doses as there are unvaccinated:

 

So, even if the vaccines give ZERO protection against infection, there is still something very seriously wrong with these figures. 

 

Vaccinated are more likely to be infected with Covid-19

 

Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay

Slovakia Health Minister calls for three week full lockdown

The Slovakian Minister of Health, Vladimír Lengvarský, is calling for a three-week Covid lockdown for everyone. If it is introduced as soon as possible, Slovakians can have a Christmas without strict measures. However, Lengvarský added that this will be the first round of lockdown. If it doesn’t work, it will then continue.

He added that there were reports from the regions that the vaccinated themselves were asking for a lockdown in order to improve the situation as soon as possible.

Pravda.sk report

 

 

 

 

Image by 833211 from Pixabay

Austria: 40% vaccine breakthrough for symptomatic Covid infections

In the past four calendar weeks, 40 percent of 106,336 symptomatic infections in Austria were fully vaccinated.

Previously, the percentage of vaccination breakthroughs had risen continuously to just over 40 percent over several weeks – but only for the observation period of the previous four weeks.

Vienna.at report (in German)

 

** This is the country that wants to LOCK UP the unvaccinated! **

 

Germany: “We do not have a pandemic of the unvaccinated”

 

Deutsch: Innerhalb der vergangenen vier Kalenderwochen waren laut AGES unter 106.336 symptomatischen Ansteckungen 40 Prozent der Betroffenen vollständig geimpft. In der Vorwoche war es noch ein 41-prozentiger Anteil der Impfdurchbrüche in den vorangegangenen vier Wochen. AGES-Epidemiologin Daniela Schmid hatte den Rückgang gegenüber der APA bereits auf die Auffrischungen zurückgeführt.

Vienna.at report

 

Nederlands: Volgens AGES was 40 procent van de getroffenen volledig gevaccineerd in de afgelopen vier kalenderweken van 106.336 symptomatische infecties. In de vorige week was het een aandeel van 41 procent van de vaccinatiedoorbraken in de voorgaande vier weken. AGES-epidemioloog Daniela Schmid schreef de daling ten opzichte van de APA al toe aan de versnaperingen.

Vienna.at report

 

Français: Selon l’AGES, 40 pour cent des personnes touchées ont été complètement vaccinées au cours des quatre dernières semaines civiles contre 106 336 infections symptomatiques. Au cours de la semaine précédente, il s’agissait d’une part de 41 pour cent des avancées de la vaccination au cours des quatre semaines précédentes. L’épidémiologiste de l’AGES Daniela Schmid avait déjà attribué la baisse par rapport à l’APA aux rafraîchissements.

Vienna.at report

 

Español: Según AGES, el 40 por ciento de las 106,336 infecciones sintomáticas se vacunaron por completo en las últimas cuatro semanas calendario. En la semana anterior, representó un 41 por ciento de los avances en la vacunación en las cuatro semanas anteriores. La epidemióloga de AGES, Daniela Schmid, ya había atribuido la disminución en comparación con la APA a los refrigerios.

Vienna.at report

 

 

Image by Sonja CZESCHKA from Pixabay

UK: 600 babies born prematurely to mothers hospitalised by Covid

More than 600 babies have been born prematurely and needing critical care to mothers hospitalised by Covid-19 in the UK. Women are warned they are up to three times more likely to have an early birth with the virus.

Data uncovered by The Independent from a national maternity conference shows that, out of 3,306 babies born to mothers admitted to hospital with Covid-19 between the start of the pandemic in March 2020 and July 2021, 694 were born prematurely and of those 604 were so ill they had to be admitted to a critical care unit.

Independent.co.uk report

 

** The idiotic removal of ALL UK Covid mitigations (including those in schools) on “Freedom Day” in July 2021 certainly won’t have helped this situation. The unfettered spread of this virus is as big a threat to the vaccinated as to the unvaccinated  **

 

 

Sars-CoV-2 – checkmate to the virus in four moves

 

 

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay