Covid-19: Emmanuel Macron, new cases of the Omicron variant, borders closed … The recap of November 29

► Emmanuel Macron received his booster dose

Emmanuel Macron carried out his vaccine booster against Covid-19, and at the same time was vaccinated against the flu, he said Monday, November 29 in a tweet. While a fifth wave of the epidemic is affecting France, Emmanuel Macron also urged the French to be vaccinated and to carry out their booster shots. “For you, for those you love, for our caregivers, make an appointment on santé.fr”, he asked them in a second tweet.

→ READ. Covid-19: a new school health protocol implemented from Monday

► Omicron presents a “very high risk”, according to the WHO

The new Omicron variant presents “A very high risk” globally, warned the WHO on Monday, while emphasizing the many uncertainties that still surround the dangerousness and transmissibility of the variant.

→ READ. Omicron: what we know about the new variant of Covid

“Given the mutations that could confer escape potential to the immune response as well as possibly give an advantage in terms of transmissibility, the likelihood of Omicron spreading globally is high”, indicates the organization.

► The list of countries where new cases are detected is growing

The list of countries where Omicron is detected continues to grow, especially in Europe.

In Portugal, thirteen cases identified among footballers of the Belenenses SAD club are the first in this country to be “Related” to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, announced the National Institute of Health (Insa). The variant was also detected for the first time in Spain and Austria, in people who recently traveled to South Africa. Finally, six cases were detected for the first time in Scotland, some unrelated to travel abroad.

► Border closures are increasing

Faced with the increasing number of cases of the new variant, several countries have closed their borders to foreign visitors. Australia has suspended its plan to reopen the borders to students and skilled workers, which was due to take place on 1er December. Japan has also announced that it will close its borders to all foreign visitors, three weeks after easing certain restrictions.

► For G7, the Omicron variant requires “urgent action”

The Omicron variant, “Highly transmissible”, requires a “Urgent action”, warned the health ministers of the G7 countries, after an emergency meeting convened by London on Monday.

“The ministers praised the exemplary work of South Africa, which was able to detect the variant and alert others”, they add in a joint press release, highlighting in particular the “Strategic relevance of ensuring access to vaccines”. The G7 countries also commit “To continue to work closely with WHO and international partners to share information and monitor Omicron”. “The ministers have pledged to meet again in December”, they conclude.

► Pfizer has already started work on a version of the vaccine against Omicron

Pfizer has already started work on a new version of its anti-Covid vaccine targeting more specifically Omicron in case the current vaccine is not sufficiently effective against the new variant, said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on Monday. “There are still a lot of unknowns” around the new variant detected in South Africa, he said in an interview on the American channel CNBC. “We will know most of what there is to know in a few weeks”.

→ ANALYSIS. What do anti-Covid vaccines protect against?

► The Chinese President promises Africa a billion doses of anti-Covid vaccines

Xi Jinping on Monday promised a billion doses of anti-Covid vaccines to Africa, which is severely delayed in vaccination. “China will provide Africa with a billion doses of additional vaccines, including 600 million in the form of donations and 400 million in other forms such as the establishment of vaccine production units”, he announced in a remote intervention at the China-Africa Cooperation Forum (Focac).


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