► New record for Covid tests last week
More than 5.86 million PCR and antigenic screening tests for Covid-19 were carried out during the week of December 6 to 12, i.e. a 10% increase compared to the previous week, according to figures from the Ministry of Health released Thursday, December 16. This is more than the previous “record” set on August 20 (5.81 million), shortly after the extension of the health pass to trains, cafes and restaurants.
→ READ. Covid-19: recommended for the holidays, are the self-tests reliable?
This new flight is worn by children and adolescents : almost a third of the tests (1.8 million) concern people under 16, more and more of them being screened since the return from the All Saints holidays. However, screening is “On the rise for all age groups”, underlines the Ministry of Health.
► 3,150 classes closed in France, a figure “in stagnation”
Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer announced that 3,150 classes are currently closed in France, against 3,208 classes the previous week. “I have always said it, the school environment is not an environment of particular contamination”, he said when asked on Franceinfo. “It is true that children can be infected, more currently those who are under 12 years old because they are the only ones who are not vaccinated”, he continued.
→ ANALYSIS. Vaccination of children, the doubts of some parents
Emmanuel Macron, meanwhile, ruled on Wednesday that the childhood vaccination was “ desirable “ but without obligation, while judging “Possible” in the long term, a vaccination obligation for all. “Between 5 and 11 years old, the health authorities explained that this would protect”, he said on TF1, “And therefore I think it is desirable”, corn “Afterwards, it is the choice of parents”.
► Return of “compelling reasons” for travel to and from the UK
The French government will restore the obligation to “Compelling reasons” for travelers to and from the UK, face “The extremely rapid diffusion of the Omicron variant” in this country. These patterns “Will not allow travel for tourist or professional reasons”. In addition, travelers, including those who have been vaccinated, should initially have a negative PCR or antigen test within 24 hours.
Will be able to travel to the UK or enter France for “Compelling reason” all “French national, as well as his spouse (married, civil union and cohabiting) and his children”, and all “British national and members of his family benefiting from the agreement” on Brexit. Can also benefit from a “Compelling reason” The travellers “In transit for less than 24 hours in the international zone at airports”, some registered students “In French as a foreign language (FLE) courses” or even some health professionals.
► Omicron: the British asked to limit their interactions, Elizabeth II cancels her Christmas meal
England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty called on the British to choose their “Priorities” to reduce their social interactions before Christmas, to slow the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant. “It’s about telling people ‘This is a time to prioritize” ”. UK recorded Thursday 88,376 new cases of Covid-19 in 24 hours, a record since the start of the pandemic for the second day in a row.
→ EXPLANATION. Omicron variant in the United Kingdom: Boris Johnson facing a slingshot
For her part, Queen Elizabeth II has decided to cancel, as a precaution, the traditional meal she is organizing with her extended family before Christmas, British media reported. The 95-year-old sovereign, whose appearances have been rare since her brief hospitalization in October, planned to bring together around fifty people at noon Tuesday at Windsor Castle, west London. She then has to spend Christmas in Sandringham, in the east of England, with her close family.
► European regulator approves two new treatments and Pfizer’s anti-Covid pill
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved two new treatments: the monoclonal antibody treatment of GlaxoSmithKline as well as an immunosuppressive medicine already authorized in the EU for the treatment of various inflammatory conditions. GSK processing “Considerably reduced” hospitalizations in patients at risk, said the EMA. As for the Kineret treatment of Swedish Sobi, it can “ prevent the development of severe respiratory failure “.
The EMA also approved emergency use Pfizer’s anti-Covid pill, which has yet to receive full marketing authorization. “The EMA has issued this opinion to support the national authorities who can decide on a possible early use of the drug”. The pharmaceutical giant announced earlier this week that its pill reduced hospitalizations and deaths among at-risk people by nearly 90% when taken in the first few days after symptoms appear.