Main COVID variant of Omicron in France: live news | Coronavirus pandemic News

Omicron has become the dominant coronavirus strain in France which joins other European countries like the United Kingdom and Portugal as the number of cases has increased in recent days.

In the United States, health experts have urged Americans to prepare for serious disruption in the first weeks of 2022, as the growing wave of COVID-19 cases led by the Omicron variant threatened hospitals, schools and other sectors that have an impact on their daily lives.

Meanwhile, the Australian city of Sydney is gearing up for New Years celebrations on Friday despite a record increase from Omicron. A total of 21,151 cases were reported on Friday.

Here are the latest updates:

Israel begins administering 4th dose of vaccine

Israel has started providing a fourth dose of the vaccine to those most vulnerable to the coronavirus, becoming one of the first countries to do so as it braces for a wave of infections caused by the omicron variant.

The deployment of the fourth dose began on Friday morning at the Israeli Sheba Medical Center and was administered to heart and lung transplant patients.

Hong Kong says Omicron has spread despite COVID restrictions

A woman wearing a face mask walks on a Hong Kong street on November 29, 2021. [File: Kin Cheung/AP Photo]

Hong Kong health officials have said the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has surpassed some of the world’s toughest COVID 19 restrictions, with the city reporting its first cases outside of its strict quarantine system.

Hong Kong’s latest COVID-19 case tracked outside its quarantine facilities and hotels was discovered in October. Previous infections with the Omicron variant have been discovered during quarantines of people returning to Hong Kong.

Health Secretary Sophia Chan told reporters that one of the four aircrew who tested positive after returning to Hong Kong broke home quarantine rules by going to a restaurant, where he had transmitted the virus to his father and to a customer seated at another table.

“Omicron is raging around the world… and it has now found its place in the community,” Chan said.

Omicron is now the main variant of the coronavirus in France: official

Omicron has become the main strain of coronavirus in France where the number of infections has seen a sharp increase in recent days, the country’s public health agency said.

“62.4% of tests showed a profile compatible with the Omicron variant” at the start of this week, up from 15% the week before, the agency said.

The strain contributed to the current surge in cases, which topped 200,000 during the 24-hour period from Wednesday to Thursday.

Indian Serum Institute seeks full approval of Covishield vaccine

The Serum Institute Of India has asked the country’s drug regulator and the Department of Health for full approval of its COVID-19 Covishield vaccine, the company’s chief executive said on Friday.

Serum Institute, which produces AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine under the brand name Covishield, has supplied more than 1.25 billion doses of the vaccine to India.

South Africa lifts curfew as it announces peak of fourth wave

South Africa lifted the midnight to 4 a.m. curfew on the movement of people with immediate effect, saying the country has passed the peak of its fourth wave of COVID-19 driven by the Omicron variant, according to a government press release.

The country has made the changes depending on the trajectory of the pandemic, immunization levels and available capacity in the health sector, according to a press release issued by Mondli Gungubele, a minister in the presidency. South Africa is at the lowest of its five COVID-19 alert levels.

‘People miss travel’: IATA optimistic about Asian travel rebound in 2022

Asia will reopen for travel as more is learned about the Omicron variant, with recent border tightening just a ‘temporary slowdown’ on the road to recovery, senior industry representative says air transport.

In an exclusive interview, Philip Goh, regional chief of the International Air Transport Association, told Al Jazeera he was optimistic about the resumption of travel to Asia in 2022 despite the region’s travel restrictions doubling in answer to the variant.

“People miss travel and they want to travel. You can’t replace a hug, a handshake with a virtual zoom call, ”Goh said. “Videos also cannot capture and invigorate the senses stimulated by the sights, sounds and scents of the places we travel. “

Read more here.

Chinese cities on COVID alert as New Year’s holidays approach

China is on high alert against COVID-19 as the New Year holidays loom, with the city of Xian closed while several New Year’s Eve events in other cities have been canceled and some provinces have urged to restrict travel during the holiday season.

China on Thursday reported 166 locally transmitted infections with confirmed symptoms, according to the National Health Commission, including 161 from Xian, which is battling the worst outbreak for a Chinese city this year.

The number of nationally transmitted infections in Xian exceeded 1,200 during the period from December 9 to 30.

Sydney gears up for New Years celebrations despite Omicron’s record increase

A man runs towards the iconic Sydney Opera House on July 23, 2021, amid a coronavirus outbreak which heads of state say has become a ‘national emergency’. [File: Saeed Khan/AFP]

Sydney, the Australian city hardest hit by the Omicron wave, will continue New Years celebrations on Friday, with authorities encouraging revelers to get out and enjoy the festivities despite a record number of COVID-19 cases.

Thousands of people are expected to flock to major spots in the harbor to watch Sydney’s famous fireworks, the traditional 12-minute fireworks display to ring in the New Year, with queues forming at many vantage points from early in the morning.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison wanted people to “enjoy the evening”, while New South Wales Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet urged everyone to “go out and enjoy the New Years” as the Daily infections in the state nearly doubled to a record high of 21,151 on Friday.

Pediatric hospitalizations in the United States on Omicron, but it’s no worse

New COVID-19 pediatric hospitalizations have reached an all-time high in the United States, as children are increasingly swept away by the spread of Omicron lightning.

While experts are worried and stress the need to step up vaccination in children, early indications suggest that the rate of severe disease of the new variant may in fact be lower and that its extreme contagiousness is at the root of this. rapid increase.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, nearly 199,000 children have been reported infected with COVID-19 in the week ending December 23, the last week for which data is currently available, and a 50% increase compared to the figures at the beginning of the month.

Health expert warns of increase in COVID pediatric hospitalizations in New York City

Le Québec du Canada annonce un couvre-feu

La deuxième province la plus peuplée du Canada a annoncé qu’un couvre-feu nocturne serait mis en place alors que les infections à coronavirus continuent d’augmenter.

Le premier ministre du Québec, François Legault, a déclaré que le couvre-feu de 22 h 00 à 5 h 00 HNE commencerait la veille du Nouvel An vendredi.

De plus, les restaurants ne seront plus autorisés à offrir des repas en personne, la plupart des rassemblements privés seront interdits et toutes les activités sportives en salle seront suspendues, entre autres mesures.

« Nos experts nous disent qu’il y a un risque que nous ne soyons pas en mesure de traiter tous ceux qui en ont besoin dans les semaines à venir. Je sais que nous sommes tous fatigués, mais c’est ma responsabilité de protéger [us] of that, ”Legault told reporters at a press conference.

New York’s Times Square spectacle to continue, mayor says

People line up for COVID-19 test in Times Square New YorkPeople line up for a COVID test in Times Square as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus continues to spread in New York City, United States. [File: Andrew Kelly/Reuters]

New York City will ring Times Square in 2022 as planned despite a record number of COVID-19 infections in the city, state and nation, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.

“We want to show that we’re moving forward, and we want to show the world that New York City is fighting this,” said de Blasio, whose last day in office is Friday, on NBC’s “Today” show. .

After banning revelers from Times Square a year ago due to the pandemic, city officials previously announced plans for a scaled-down New Years party with smaller crowds and required vaccinations.

Premier League postpones 17th game this season

The Premier League have postponed an upcoming game between Leicester City and Norwich City – the 17th game of the season to be called off due to COVID-19.

The league said Thursday it had accepted a request from visiting team, Norwich, to postpone the game because the club did not have enough players available due to cases of COVID-19 and injuries.

The game was scheduled for January 1; the Premier League has not announced a new date for the game.

“The League realizes that the recent decisions to postpone matches will disappoint fans and understands their frustrations at a particular time of the year when fans are eager to attend and watch football matches,” the league said. in a press release.