Coronavirus digest: Elderly Belgian woman infected with 2 variants at a time | News

Coronavirus digest: an elderly Belgian woman infected with two variants at the same time | News

A 90-year-old woman in Belgium had been infected with the alpha and beta variants at the same time before dying of the disease, medical researchers said on Saturday.

The woman was taken to the OLV hospital in the city of Aalst on March 3 and tested positive for coronavirus during her stay. She was not vaccinated and lived in a retirement home.

Medical staff discovered that she carried the alpha and beta variants of the virus.

The woman’s condition began to worsen and she died five days after her initial diagnosis.

The alpha variant originated in the UK, while the beta variant was first discovered in South Africa.

Molecular biologist Anne Vankeerbergen of the OLV Hospital said the woman was likely infected with two different variants from two different people. Vankeerbergen said it is still unclear how she became infected with the virus.

Here’s a look at the latest coronavirus news around the world:

L’Europe 

While many areas of Germany continuing to reverse restrictions amid the low number of cases, the incidence rate for the country increased for the fifth day in a row.

Germany’s public health body, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), reported 745 new national cases and six other confirmed deaths on Sunday.

However, the incidence rate – the number of new infections per 100,000 population over a seven-day period – increased for a fifth consecutive day, reaching 6.2 from 5.8 on Saturday.

Although the figure remains low, the slight increase in the number of cases comes amid concerns about the spread of the delta variant.

Elsewhere in Germany, the legendary techno club of Berghain in Berlin partially reopened on Saturday following a shutdown caused by a pandemic.

For the moment, the club’s garden is the only part of the place open to revelers. They must be vaccinated, collected or tested negative to enter the club garden. Guests should also wear a mask when in the garden.

Karl Lauterbach, Social Democratic member of the Bundestag, denounced UEFA Sunday, accusing him of “being responsible for the dead by his ignorant approach” to the size of the crowds.

In an interview with German football site 11Freunde, Lauterbach said allowing 60,000 fans into Wembley was “completely out of control”.

Fans need a negative lateral flow test or full proof of vaccination to attend the game.

The finale is one of the UK government’s test events ahead of plans to abolish all social distancing measures on July 19 on what has been dubbed ‘Freedom Day’ by some UK newspapers.

Another is the annual tennis event, Wimbledon, which was also played in front of full crowds.

In Serbia, more than 40,000 visitors from all over Europe flocked to the Petrovaradin Fortress above the Danube for the famous Exit festival. Visitors were required to provide a negative test result, proof of vaccination, or proof that they have recovered from the coronavirus. Free testing centers have also been set up in the region.

The house and techno festival started on Thursday and ends on Sunday.

While the people in England will no longer be legally required to wear masks indoors, the UK government says there is “an expectation” that they will continue to do so. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to lift most COVID restrictions in mid-July, despite a sharp increase in cases.

Travelers from Spain now face tighter restrictions when entering Germany after Berlin called it a COVID risk zone. From Sunday, travelers will need to test negative or proof of vaccination or recover if they wish to avoid quarantine.

Restaurants in Portugal are in trouble, with the government imposing new restrictions on meals in parts of the country on Saturday. Portuguese residents of 60 high-risk municipalities are required to show proof of vaccination, a negative coronavirus test or proof of recovery if they wish to dine inside.

Middle East

Israel Now offers a third dose of the BioNTech-Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for high-risk adults. The booster is only for adults with weakened immune systems who have already received their first two vaccines.

The move comes as cases are on the rise in Israel. The German and US companies behind the jab have said a third booster shot may be needed after six months, but have yet to release data showing the risk.


Libya faces an “unprecedented” increase in coronavirus cases, health officials have warned. The North African country recorded 2,854 new cases on Saturday – a significant increase from the 719 recorded a week earlier. The actual numbers of COVID cases and deaths are believed to be higher than official figures, after years of conflict that have significantly weakened the Libyan health system.

South America

Brazil recorded 1,205 new deaths from the virus on Saturday and 48,504 new cases. The country has recorded nearly 533,000 deaths from the virus, the second highest number of deaths from the disease in the world behind the United States.


More than 600 medical workers in Thailand have contracted COVID-19, despite obtaining two doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine, the health ministry said on Sunday. An expert group is now recommending a third dose for at-risk medical workers – although the booster dose “will be a different vaccine.”

Elsewhere in Thailand, a beauty contest Last month’s outfit turned ugly after police warned they could press charges against contestants who violated mask-wearing rules.

Thirteen beauty queens and nine other people tested positive for coronavirus after the Miss Grand Samut Sakhon pageant in Bangkok, which was held at the end of June.

The organizers had obtained permission to hold the event, but had to comply with COVID-19 regulations.

“People who attended the competition and were not wearing masks also (violated) the emergency decree and disease control laws,” Piya Tawichai, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, told reporters.

South Korea recorded 1,324 new cases on Saturday, down from the record 1,378 the day before.

The health system in Indonesia is running out of oxygen as coronavirus cases skyrocket. The country recorded a record 1,040 new deaths last Wednesday and nearly 39,000 new confirmed cases Thursday and Friday.

The United States and the United Arab Emirates have both offered aid to Indonesia amid the health crisis.

Continent China recorded 24 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, down from 26 new cases a day earlier.

A large semiconductor company in Taiwan, TSMC, said on Sunday that it was in the process of signing a contract to procure the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine. Taiwan has accused China of sabotaging direct talks between the Taiwanese government and vaccine makers because China considers the autonomous island to be one of its provinces. Beijing has denied the allegations.

Taipei has now authorized TSMC to negotiate on its behalf to purchase vaccines and then donate the vaccines to the government for distribution. Authorities have been criticized for being slow in rolling out the vaccine.


Australia recorded its first death from COVID-19 on Sunday this year. While Australia’s anti-pandemic efforts have been mostly successful, the country is currently struggling to contain the Delta virus variant and Sydney is under a three-week lockdown.

wd / dj (AFP, Reuters, dpa)


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