Japan closes borders as WHO rushes to assess severity of new variant – .

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Japan closes borders as WHO rushes to assess severity of new variant – .


Passengers from South Africa have not been tested and “returned home in a normal way”, admits Sajid Javid

Japan has announced the closure of borders for all foreigners traveling to the country, including business travelers and foreign students.

The announcement comes even as the WHO said there was no evidence the new ‘variant of concern’ is more transmissible than other variants of Covid, including Delta. Its discovery, however, coincided with a slight increase in cases in South Africa.

The World Health Agency said it was working with researchers around the world to determine whether the new “worrying variant” causes “more serious illness than infections with other variants.”

Meanwhile, high school students across England have been told they are again required to wear face coverings in common areas as the government tries to contain the spread of the variant.

Under the new directive – which comes into effect on Monday – it is “strongly advised” to wear face coverings for all staff, visitors and students in grade 7 or above, unless they are exempted from doing so. The rule covers all educational institutions, including universities, as well as childcare facilities such as day care centers.

It comes after a third Omicron case was confirmed in the UK, involving a traveler who visited Westminster but has since left the country.

This came after Sajid Javid admitted on Sunday that air passengers from South Africa had not been tested upon arriving in the UK on Friday – despite fears they could carry the new variant.

Follow our live coverage below

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Philippines to vaccinate 9 million people in next three days

The Philippines launched an ambitious campaign on Monday that it hopes will vaccinate nine million people against Covid-19 in the next three days.
Although the vaccination campaign was not specifically organized due to the spread of the Omicron variant, the government said it would help the country respond to it. “It’s best to prepare for the effects of Omicron,” Carlito Galvez, the country’s immunization manager, told CNN Philippines on Monday.
Due to a combination of reluctance to vaccinate and logistical limitations, only a third of the 110 million people in the Philippines are fully vaccinated. The country administered an average of 829,000 shots per day in November, against the ambitious target of 3 million a day that the government has set itself.
A medical worker prepares a vaccine for the BioNtech-Pfizer Covid-19 coronavirus at a shopping mall in Manila city, November 29, 2021

(AFP via Getty Images)

Namita SinghNovember 29, 2021 5:58 AM
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G7 health ministers to meet around Omicron

G7 health ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday amid concerns over the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, which was first discovered in southern Africa and has now spread to 13 countries and territories .
The meeting was convened by Britain, which currently chairs the G7 and is on the list of affected countries.
Passengers, many wearing face covers to combat the spread of Covid-19, travel on the London Underground in central London on November 28, 2021

(AFP via Getty Images)

Namita SinghNovember 29, 2021 5:36 AM
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Japan suspends entry of foreign visitors

Japan will ban entry to foreign visitors from November 30, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday. Citizens of the country returning from a list of specified nations will be allowed to return, but must self-quarantine at designated facilities.
Namita SinghNovember 29, 2021 4:59 AM
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Indian state sees demand for vaccines increase

Amid global concerns about the spread of Omicron, at least one Indian state has confirmed a spike in interest in vaccinations and booster shots.
Maharashtra, a western state that includes India’s financial capital Mumbai, said it administered 839,005 vaccines on Saturday, the highest number in a single day in November.
More than 9.2 million people in the state have yet to receive a second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
A worker gets vaccinated against Covid-19 at a temporary vaccination center in Mumbai on October 19, 2021

(AFP via Getty Images)

Namita SinghNovember 29, 2021 4:42 AM
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India tightens airport screening

The Indian government on Sunday revised its guidelines for screening international travelers from Europe, including the UK and 11 other “at risk” countries.
The country has also imposed on-arrival tests, a home quarantine for seven days in the event of a negative result and another Covid-19 test every eight days. Individual states were asked to randomly test five percent of arriving passengers on flights from “at-risk” countries.
File: An airport worker wearing a face shield checks the body temperature of a passenger at Bagdogra Airport, on the outskirts of Siliguri, May 28, 2020

(AFP via Getty Images)

Namita SinghNovember 29, 2021 3:54 AM
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Too early to conclude that Omincron variant causes more serious Covid-19 infections: WHO

It is not yet clear whether Omicron is more transmissible compared to other variants, including Delta, the WHO said.
The World Health Agency said that although the number of people testing positive for the variant has increased in South Africa, it added that “epidemiological studies are underway to understand if it is because of Omicron. or other factors ”.
The WHO also said that “it is not yet clear whether infection with Omicron causes more serious disease compared to infections with other variants, including Delta.”
He said the increase in hospitalizations may be due to “the increase in the total number of people infected, rather than a specific infection with Omicron.” The WHO added that there is currently no information to suggest that the symptoms associated with Omicron are different from those of other variants.
Namita SinghNovember 29, 2021 3:48 AM
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Watch: Oxford Street shoppers agree to omicron restrictions

Omicron: Oxford Street shoppers agree to new restrictions due to Covid variant
Sam HancockNovember 28, 2021 10:50 PM
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Face masks must be worn in high schools again – ministers

Following my previous post (6:21 p.m.), here is Tom Batchelor with more information on the new Covid rules for secondary schools in England.
Face masks are to be worn in common areas of schools and colleges across England, as part of efforts to slow the spread of the omicron Covid variant, the government has said.
Pupils in grades 7 and up, as well as staff and visitors, are “strongly advised” to wear a face covering as part of the “temporary and precautionary” measure, which will take effect from Monday.
Masks will not be mandatory in classrooms and waivers will remain in place for those who have a medical reason not to wear them.
Sam HancockNovember 28, 2021 10:30 PM
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Switzerland approves Covid restrictions as cases rise

A vote in Switzerland on Sunday gave the green light to new legislation, which prohibits unvaccinated people from attending public events and gatherings. People who have recovered from Covid or who test negative will be able to attend such events, alongside those who are vaccinated.
The final tally showed that 62% of voters supported the measure, which is already in force. The vote on the country’s “Covid-19 law”, which also released billions of Swiss francs in aid to workers and businesses affected by the pandemic, came as Switzerland – like many other countries in Europe – faces a sharp increase in Covid cases.
The Swiss government, unlike others, has not reacted with further restrictions. Analysts said he did not want to generate more opposition to his anti-Covid-19 policies until he faced Sunday’s test at the polls.
Swiss Minister of Health Alain Berset

(Wikimedia Commons)

The Minister of Health Alain Berset declared, with the result now, the authorities “still have the necessary instruments to manage the crisis, and we can, if necessary, adjust the instruments to the evolutions”.
“A decision has been made and we need to come together now to get through this winter as well as possible,” Berset said. “It is a call for unity but also for respect for the decisions that have been taken. “
Swiss health officials on Tuesday warned of a growing “fifth wave” of infections in the wealthy Alpine country, where vaccination rates are roughly in line with those in harsh neighbors Austria and Germany. affected, which represent about two-thirds of the population.
Sam HancockNovember 28, 2021 10:17 PM
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Fauci says ‘fifth wave’ of Covid is possible if Americans avoid vaccines

The United States could experience a new wave of Covid-19 infections unless Americans continue to receive vaccines and boosters, White House chief medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci said.
Speaking to CBS News’ Confront the nation On Sunday, Dr Fauci warned that the next few weeks will be crucial in determining whether the United States can stem the tide of new cases and deaths that could result from a fifth wave.
“We definitely have the potential to enter a fifth wave,” he said amid the new omicron variant. “And the fifth wave, or the magnitude of any increase, if you want to call it it turns into a wave, will really depend on what we do over the next few weeks to a few months. “
Andrew Feinberg Washington, DC reports:
Sam HancockNovember 28, 2021 9:45 PM

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