Some 10-12 percent of the COVID-19 patients in the latest COVID-19 outbreak in Guangzhou are critically ill, Guan Xiangdong, a specialist in the Guangdong COVID-19 medical team, told media on Thursday. The proportion is higher than in the epidemic in Wuhan, and the following 20 regional clusters that took place across China, in which the proportion was usually 2-3 percent, 5-8 percent or “8-10 percent in a few areas,” Guan said to China Central Television (CCTV) on Thursday.
The relatively high proportion of severe and critically ill cases was probably caused by the highly pathogenic viral strains that spread in this wave of the epidemic in Guangzhou, Guan said.
In Galicia this week another mink farm has been temporarily closed down by the authorities following an outbreak of Covid-19 at the establishment. The American mink farm concerned is located in Carral in the province of A Coruña and the regional Department of the Environment reports that the outbreak has been reported to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing and Food.
The presence of coronavirus has been detected in five mink, all of them asymptomatic, and the samples will now be analysed to establish which strain of SARS-CoV-2 is involved.
There are currently 25 registered mink farms in Galicia with a total of 71,479 reproducing females, and this is the fourth registered Covid-19 outbreak among them over the last 15 months. Anti-mink farming groups have again demanded the immediate closure of all such establishments in the light of the most recent findings, citing over 400 similar instances since the start of the pandemic in 12 countries, 10 of them in Europe.
The French city of Bordeaux is to fast-track vaccinations for residents in one neighbourhood, opening access the jab for all adults after nearly 50 people tested positive for a “very rare” variant of Covid-19. Labelled VOC 20I/484Q, the strain is related to the British variant B.1.1.7 but with an additional mutation E484Q. The variant has already been identified on a national level in France but it has reportedly been very rare until now. At least 46 people have been infected with the variant in Bordeaux, with mass testing launched on Friday to track down further cases.
“There has never been a cluster like that in the general population,” said Professor Patrick Dehail of the The National Reference Center in Lyon
UPDATE 1: There’s nothing in the latest Epidemiological Update from French Health Department about 20I/E484Q, but 20I/E484K gets a mention:
Le VOC 20I/484K, identifié pour la première fois en Grande-Bretagne suite à l’acquisition par le VOC 20I/501Y.V1 de la mutation E484K, était peu détecté en France jusqu’à la mi-mars. Une transmission communautaire a été rapportée depuis début avril dans plusieurs régions : Bretagne (en particulier à Brest), Ile-de-France et Hauts-de-France. Toutefois, le variant 20I/484K restait très nettement minoritaire par rapport au variant 20I/501Y. Dans les autres régions, aucune évolution notable dans les détections de cas du variant 20I/E484K n’a été observée et le nombre de cas restait faible.
UPDATE 2: The European CDC, which still lists all B.1.617 sub-lineages as Variants of Interest (VOI), not Variants of Concern (VOC), shows the E484Q mutation appears in both B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.3, but NOT B.1.617.2
Nine residents have died following a “devastating” outbreak of coronavirus at a care home.
Brandon House in Exmouth, Devon, had been free of Covid for 11 months prior to residents getting ill in February.
Diane Loxam, a training coordinator, said nine residents at the dementia specialist care home had died and two were “quite poorly”.
“It’s just awful, no words can express how we’re all feeling at the moment,” she said.
All residents at the home received their first dose of the vaccine in January.
As many as 33 positive coronavirus cases were reported to have been recorded over a period of three days at Holmesley Care Home in Sidmouth, Devon earlier this week. Three residents died and several others are believed to have been admitted to hospital.
Public Health Devon said the fact that residents and staff in the home have received their first dose vaccinations will be “providing a level of protection for them”.
“This level of outbreak is unusual following the roll out of the vaccination programme, but it is a reminder that we must all stay on our guard,” said the agency’s director Steve Brown.
“While the vaccine roll out is going well and proving effective, we need to remember that no vaccination is ever 100% effective,” he added.
The number of cases in Germany has levelled off at too high a level for some time, explained RKI boss Lothar Wieler. The incidences rose “very rapidly” since mid-February in children and adolescents under 15 years of age. More day-care outbreaks were observed again, even more than before Christmas. It could be that the more contagious variant B.1.1.7 plays a role here. In some federal states, the number of cases in intensive care units is also increasing slightly again.
UPDATE from Der Spiegel 12th March 2021
The incidence among children is exploding, and more of them are affected by an outbreak – RKI boss Wieler described closing daycare centers and schools as a “good way” to protect against infection.
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), there are more corona outbreaks in day care centers. The numbers in children and adolescents under 15 even rose “very rapidly,” said RKI boss Lothar Wieler . There are also more infected people per daycare outbreak.
In the second half of February there were 87 outbreaks per week, explained an RKI spokeswoman. Wieler spoke of a possible connection with the more contagious British variant B.1.1.7.
“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.“
The school had to close last Friday, just under a week after it opened. The boy’s classmates and teachers and their families are affected by the quarantine. Two kindergarten groups also had to be isolated as a precaution because a sibling of the student was being looked after there. Where the boy was infected is unclear, said a community spokeswoman.
Because the boy’s teacher also tested positive , their contacts and their families also had to be in quarantine. However, it is still unclear whether the infection is a virus mutation.
Harstad Municipality in Norway is introducing stricter measures and putting around 800 people in quarantine after a coronavirus outbreak at the fitness center Family Sports Club in Seljestad.
On Saturday, Harstad Municipality received confirmation of eight new corona cases. All eight people have been to the Family Sports Club fitness center, which has now been closed.
Everyone who has been to the fitness center between Monday afternoon and Friday is considered to be a close contact of infected people, and has to immediately go into quarantine for ten days, the Municipality warned on Saturday.
The National Institute of Public Health (FHI) has asked the Municipality to treat the outbreak as if the British mutation of the coronavirus was confirmed.
There is an outbreak of a South African coronavirus variant B.220.127.116.11 in the North-West quarter of Copenhagen. All citizens close to the outbreak should be tested at the weekend.
This is the message from health and care mayor Sisse Marie Welling (SF) in a press release sent out by the City of Copenhagen on Friday evening.
“For all intents and purposes, the South African variant must not be allowed to spread in Copenhagen,” is her urgent message.
Table 1 reports anti-SARS-CoV-2 RBD antibody detection according to the time of sample collection in Italy. In the first 2 months, September–October 2019, 23/162 (14.2%) patients in September and 27/166 (16.3%) in October displayed IgG or IgM antibodies, or both.
The first positive sample (IgM-positive) was recorded on September 3 in the Veneto region, followed by a case in Emilia Romagna (September 4), a case in Liguria (September 5), two cases in Lombardy (Milano Province; September 9), and one in Lazio (Roma; September 11). By the end of September, 13 of the 23 (56.5%) positive samples were recorded in Lombardy, three in Veneto, two in Piedmont, and one each in Emilia Romagna, Liguria, Lazio, Campania, and Friuli.
Sweden will soon introduce an entry ban from Norway to reduce the risk of the spread of infection. The message comes from Mikael Damberg after the outbreak of the British mutation in the Oslo area. According to Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, the border will be closed at midnight, the night before Monday.
China traced the now-contained Covid-19 outbreak last month in the northwestern Xinjiang autonomous region to contaminated freight trucks that transported export goods to neighboring countries.
The virus was discovered on the inside surface of multiple trucks in Kashgar, and the first case was traced to a loading worker who might have been infected through a contaminated truck, according to Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Object-to-person transmission of Covid-19 has gained attention after a recent outbreak in Shanghai was tracked to an air cargo container at Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport. The outbreak was linked to two cargo handlers who cleaned a container that arrived from North America