Coronavirus digest: German well being officers urge new journey curbs | Information | DW

The health ministers of the German federal states demanded tougher entry measures on Saturday in order to slow the spread of the Omicron variant of the corona virus.

“Entry security helps prevent the Omicron variant from spreading so quickly,” said Health Minister Karl Lauterbach of the dpa news agency after a conversation with the state ministers about the pandemic situation.

According to the latest figures from the Robert Koch Institute, the state’s health authority, Germany has recorded 6,764,188 confirmed coronavirus cases and 108,053 deaths.

The new rules are said to apply to those arriving from countries affected by virus variants, including the UK, where the Omicron variant has caused a surge in infections.

The UK, currently classified as a high risk area in Germany, reported a daily record of COVID-19 infections for the past three days, hitting over 90,000 on Friday.

Hospital admissions in London rose nearly 30% this week, with Mayor Sadiq Khan declaring the crisis a “serious incident”.

Germany will quarantine travelers from Great Britain from Monday at midnight and require a negative COVID-19 test for entry, said the Robert Koch Institute.

“The spread of Omicron in Great Britain is very obvious … We have to prevent the spread for as long as possible and slow it down as much as possible,” said a statement by the German health ministers of the regions.

Travelers aged 6 and over who have been in a virus variant region at any time in the past 10 days must present a negative PCR test before traveling to Germany.

A rapid antigen test is no longer sufficient. The measure would also apply to travelers in transit at a German airport.

Here’s a look at the latest coronavirus-related news in other parts of the world

Europe

the Netherlands will go into a tough lock from Sunday morning to mitigate a feared COVID-19 surge due to the Omicron coronavirus variant, Chief Minister Mark Rutte said at a press conference on Saturday.

Rutte said the move was “inevitable because of the fifth wave caused by the omicron variant that is acting on us”.

Shops, restaurants, schools and other public facilities must be closed during the lockdown. Only essential businesses such as supermarkets and pharmacies are exempt from the rules.

Earlier warnings of a lockdown led residents to flock to stores to buy Christmas presents.

The lockdown is expected to last until January 14th, with schools remaining closed until January 9th.

The National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) reported 14,616 new infections in 24 hours on Saturday.

Italy The National Health Institute (ISS) said there was a “strong acceleration” in the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus in the north and south of the country.

The ISS reported that its network of regional laboratories had reported 84 Omicron cases to date.

33 of the cases were found in the northern Lombardy region and another 20 in the southern Campania region.

Portugal announced that tens of thousands of children under the age of 12 will receive their first vaccination against COVID-19 this weekend.

With around 87% of its 10 million fully vaccinated population, Portugal has one of the highest vaccination rates for COVID-19 in the world. The country is now facing an increase in infections, among other things due to the Omicron variant.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised to send 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Africa.

“We are aware of the global injustice in access to the COVID-19 vaccine and the unfair treatment of Africa,” Erdogan told dozen of heads of state and government and ministers at the Turkey-Africa summit.

“It is a shame for humanity that only 6% of Africa’s population is vaccinated.”

Turkey is developing its home-grown Turkovac vaccine, which is currently receiving approval for use in an emergency. Once approved, it will be shared with Africa, Erdogan said.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Turkey would send doses of the internationally approved vaccines it is currently using first, such as BioNTech-Pfizer.

Africa

Egypt has declared that it has discovered the first three cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The Ministry of Health said three Egyptians tested positive when they returned from overseas, without specifying where they came from.

One of them had mild symptoms and the other two had none, he added.

As of December 1, Egypt has banned officials and students who are not vaccinated against the coronavirus from government agencies and universities unless they present a negative PCR test.

Asia

Beijing urges residents not to take unnecessary trips outside of the city in early 2022, an important Christmas season in China, in order to limit COVID-19 risks during the Winter Olympics.

Beijing is keen to “ensure local freedom from infection, the successful staging of the Winter Olympics and Paralympic Winter Games, and enable the public to enjoy joyful, peaceful and peaceful holidays,” the authorities said in a statement.

mvb / wd (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)

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