After Austria, Germany is also sweeping out against the unvaccinated population. European media reported today (Thursday) that with the end of a meeting of senior officials in the country that focused on the new guidelines, it has been decided that certain restrictions will apply to gatherings of the unvaccinated only. As you may recall, a few weeks ago Austria announced the imposition of a closure on the unvaccinated, but within a week it imposed a general closure on the entire population. In Finland, too, the government has chosen to recommend vaccinating children aged 5 and over who are only at risk.
At the ministerial meeting in Germany, which was held in the presence of Chancellor Merkel, Yorsha Schultz and representatives of the provinces, it was decided that certain restrictions would be imposed on gatherings of the unvaccinated (the criterion for this has not yet been finally determined). In addition, the proposal for a vaccine requirement starting in February will soon be discussed in the Bundestag and it has been decided that clubs will be closed in accordance with a number of Corona cases determined in advance.
According to outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who noted that she is “depressed” from the fourth wave in the country, cultural and leisure events will only be open to the vaccinated and recovering. She added that “those who are not vaccinated and have not yet recovered will not be able to enter non-essential businesses.” The corona wave of the Delta variant has hit in recent days in Germany, where tens of thousands of new infections are registered every day. Also yesterday, more than 75,000 new cases were diagnosed there.
Omicron strikes South Africa: jump in numbers
A dramatic jump in the number of people infected in South Africa, where the Omicron variant was first discovered, is causing concern among residents. In recent days, the number of verified numbers in South Africa has skyrocketed daily by tens and even hundreds of percent. For example, on Tuesday 4,373 new verified patients were diagnosed in South Africa, while yesterday the number jumped twice – with 8,561 new infections per day.
In September, South Africa emerged from the third corona wave that hit it after a daily verified record of more than 21,000 new infections was recorded in the country in July. Since the beginning of October, the number of daily infections in the country has averaged several hundred, while in the ten days there has been an alarming jump – to the peak confirmed by the current wave of more than 8,500 infected yesterday.
Dr Michael Grom of the National Center for Infectious Diseases in South Africa said there had been an “exponential increase” in the number of infections in the past two weeks. “The level of jump in morbidity is extremely worrying.”
The National Center for Infectious Diseases in South Africa has made it clear that at least 74% of those infected in Corona in the past month have been infected with the Omicron variant, whose first case was diagnosed on November 8 in Gauteng, the country’s most populous province. At this time, in South Africa no information is yet provided on the rate of infection in the new variant among the vaccinated. It should be noted that the immunization rate there is relatively low and less than 25% of the population is fully vaccinated (in two doses, without a booster).
Despite the great concern about the outbreak in South Africa, and despite the fact that the omicron variant is being discovered in more and more countries around the world, the World Health Organization made it clear yesterday that so far Corona vaccines seem to be effective in its face as well. An official in the organization stated that if changes are still required in the components and structure of the vaccine – these will be only minor changes and adjustments.
In Israel, 6 cases of the omicron variant have been identified so far, and the results of the genetic sequencing of the last four infected are expected to be published tomorrow morning. Following the announcement by the World Health Organization yesterday, government officials said that if positive indications continue to be received about the usefulness of the vaccines against the new variant, there will be no justification for continuing restrictions imposed on Ben Gurion Airport. Of three days from any destination abroad, pre-determined for a period of two weeks.
There is also an intention to change policy with regard to the GSS’s, which were the subject of a major storm around the use of the variant. Stop this in a verified range of 200-150.