Germany, US agree to new COVID curbs as Omicron spreads across globe

Germany focuses on the unvaccinated, who will only be allowed in essential businesses such as grocery stores and pharmacies, while legislation to make vaccination mandatory will be drafted for early next year

Covıd-19, Germany

12/2/2021 7:20:00 PM

Germany decided on Thursday to bar the unvaccinated from all but the most essential businesses and the United States was due to announce further travel curbs as countries around the globe scramble to keep out the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Germany focuses on the unvaccinated, who will only be allowed in essential businesses such as grocery stores and pharmacies, while legislation to make vaccination mandatory will be drafted for early next year

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the variant showed the pandemic could be around for “some time,” as countries including the United States, India, and France reported their first cases.In an interview with Reuters, Yellen said she hoped the pandemic would not completely stifle economic activity, adding that the US stimulus at the start of the pandemic had helped fuel a very strong recovery.

Such Unluckly Moment Has Never Been Seen! The Scariest Sports Accidents

The new measures agreed in Germany focus on the unvaccinated, who will only be allowed in essential businesses such as grocery stores and pharmacies, while legislation to make vaccination mandatory will be drafted for early next year.“We have understood that the situation is very serious and that we want to take further measures in addition to those already taken,” Chancellor Angela Merkel told a news conference.

A nationwide vaccination mandate could take effect from February 2022 after it is debated in the Bundestag and after guidance from Germany’s Ethics Council, she said.Eager to avoid derailing a fragile recovery of Europe’s biggest economy, Germany kept businesses open to the almost 69% of the population that is fully vaccinated as well as those with proof of having recovered from the virus. headtopics.com

Much remains unknown about Omicron, which was first detected in southern Africa last month and has been spotted in at least two dozen countries, just as parts of Europe were already grappling with a wave of infections of the Delta variant.But the European Union’s public health agency said Omicron could be responsible for more than half of all COVID-19 infections in Europe within a few months, lending weight to preliminary information about its high transmissibility.

Gov't mulls mass vaccination option if 77-M target not hit by April

In the United States, the Biden administration was expected to announce steps included extending requirements for travelers to wear masks through mid-March.By early next week the United States will require inbound international travelers to be tested for COVID-19 within a day of departure, regardless of vaccination status.

It will also require private health insurance companies to reimburse customers for at-home COVID-19 tests, a senior administration official said.Travel restrictionsSouth Africa said it was seeing an increase in COVID-19 reinfections in patients contracting Omicron – with people who have already had the illness getting infected again – in a way that it did not see with other variants.

The first known US case, announced late on Wednesday, was a fully vaccinated person in California who had travelled to South Africa. The two French cases, in the greater Paris region and in eastern France, were passengers arriving respectively from Nigeria and South Africa. headtopics.com

Pasig Vice Mayor Iyo Bernardo calls out Mayor Vico Sotto for allegedly putting on a show on social media: ‘Puro palabas na lang’

Global shares fell on Thursday, reversing gains from the previous session as a lack of information about Omicron left markets volatile, while crude oil futures extended losses.Russia has imposed a two-week quarantine for travellers from some African countries including South Africa, the Interfax news agency said, quoting a senior official. Hong Kong extended a travel ban to more countries.

Amid all the new restrictions, Europe’s largest budget airline, Ryanair, said it expected a challenging time at Christmas, although it was still optimistic about summer demand.In the Netherlands, health authorities called for pre-flight COVID-19 tests for all travel from outside the European Union, after it turned out that most of the passengers who tested positive after arriving on two flights from South Africa on November 26 had been vaccinated.

In France, the country’s top scientific adviser, Jean-Francois Delfraissy, said the “true enemy” for now wasstill the more familiar Delta variant of the virus, spreading in a fifth wave.

Read more: Rappler »

Robredo's new campaign tagline: 'Gobyernong Tapat, Angat Buhay Lahat'

Vice President Leni Robredo says while it has been challenging to impose message discipline among her supporters, it's still a 'good problem' to have

US reports first case of Omicron COVID variantThe United States on Wednesday announced its first confirmed case of the COVID19 Omicron variant had been detected in California, in a fully vaccinated traveler who had recently returned from South Africa and was recovering from mild symptoms.

South Korea hits new COVID-19 record, halts quarantine exemptions to block OmicronSouth Korea’s daily record of coronavirus cases reached a fresh high on Thursday, as authorities halted quarantine exemptions for fully vaccinated inbound travellers for two weeks in a bid to fend off the Omicron variant.

COVID-19 Omicron variant detected in more countries as scientists race to find answersSouth African scientists have discovered a new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, with multiple mutations that is thought to be highly contagious. Track the spread of the variant with the map below. READ: Minsan puro imbento tlaga ang mga scientist para sumukat

Vaccines save lives even if there's a reduction in efficacy: WHO expertDespite the current uncertainty over the new Omicron COVID-19 variant, people should still get vaccinated because it will save lives, a World Health Organization (WHO) expert said on Wednesday.

America keeps adding jobs but we're still not back to normalThe US jobs recovery has picked up steam again in the final months of the year, bringing some good news in the face of persistently rising prices and a new COVID variant.

Manila ready to revive 24/7 vaxx hubs for boostersThe capital city is ready to revive its 24/7 vaccination hubs once it receives new vaccines that will be used as booster shots for adult Filipinos.