Changing Travel Requirements To Address Covid
Effective All Canadians returning from short trips must take a molecular pre-entry test. The test must be taken outside of Canada.
Effective Temporary enhanced requirements ending for travellers who have been in Botswana, Egypt, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada, regardless of your vaccination status. Omicron travel health notice
Latest Coronavirus News As Of 12pm On 25 February
Around 3.3 million children worldwide have lost a parent to covid-19, researchers estimate
A study of mortality data suggests that, globally, around 3.3 million children have had a parent die of covid-19.
Researchers analysed data from 21 countries including England, India and Peru from March 2020 to October 2021.
The team estimated that at least 5.2 million children had lost a parent, grandparent or caregiver in this period, with about 3.3 million losing a parent.
But researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , who led the analysis, say this estimate is likely an underestimate as many countries lack a robust reporting system for deaths. The World Health Organization estimates that the number of coronavirus deaths in Africa is actually 10 times higher than what has been reported.
Three out of four parents lost in the pandemic were fathers, according to the analysis. Those aged between 10 and 17 were the most likely to have lost a parent.
The study was published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.
Other coronavirus news
Indoor mask guidance will be loosened in the US today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , according to reports.
The CDC has been recommending the use of indoor masks in public spaces like gyms and cinemas for the majority of the US population.
Anti-vaccine and anti-vaccine mandate protesters have been occupying the countrys parliament grounds for over two weeks.
Know More About The Omicron Variant
On November 24, 2021, a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, B.1.1.529, was reported to the World Health Organizationexternal icon . This new variant was first detected in specimens collected on November 11, 2021, in Botswana and on November 14, 2021, in South Africa. On November 26, 2021, WHO named the variant Omicron and classified it as a Variant of Concern . Four days later, on November 30, the U.S. government SARS-CoV-2 Interagency Group also designated Omicron as a VOC. On December 1, 2021, the first confirmed U.S. case of Omicron was identified in California. As of December 15, 2021, 70 countries have verified SARS-CoV-2 infections caused by the Omicron variant.
CDC has been working with state and local public health officials to monitor the spread of Omicron in the United States. Multiple states have now detected Omicron cases. On December 10, 2021, CDC released an MMWR article summarizing characteristics of the first infections in the United States with the Omicron variant, along with prevention strategies to slow the spread.
We expect current vaccines to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths from infection with the Omicron variant. However, Omicron might cause more breakthrough infections than prior variants, though information on the extent of vaccine protection against infection is not yet available.
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Vaccine Hesitancy Is An Issue
Dr. David Hirschwerk, an infectious disease specialist with Northwell Health in Manhasset, New York, said while vaccination may be the way out of the pandemic, vaccine hesitancy, especially regarding children, makes him skeptical about the outcome.
The more extensive our population is vaccinated, the better the control of COVID will be, he said, adding that the pandemic may look different in a year, but he is having trouble imagining that the virus will not remain in circulation.
According to Hirschwerk, while theres no argument that expanded vaccine uptake will lead to better COVID-19 control, vaccine hesitancy is a problem.
This applies to adults who have not been vaccinated as well as their support to have their children vaccinated, he said.
I hope the models are correct, but there have been so many unforeseen surprises with this virus that I am not willing to make a prediction, Hirschwerk said.
How Long Will It Take For Covid
Most public health experts currently agree COVID is here to stay rather than likely to disappear like small pox, at least for a while. They expect the number of infections to become fairly constant across years with possible seasonal trends and occasional smaller outbreaks.
Globally, the road from pandemic to endemic will be a rocky one. In Australia our national and state leaders are announcing future plans to reopen businesses and eventually borders. The process of doing this will result in the second nation-wide epidemic of COVID. People will die and our health systems will be challenged. Vaccination rates will protect many, but there are still those who wont, or cant get vaccinated. Herd immunity will play a key role in ensuring we move towards an endemic COVID.
With time, scientists predict COVID will become more prevalent among unvaccinated youths or those without prior exposure to the virus. This is what happens with common cold coronaviruses. Despite periodical spikes in caseloads each season or immediately after relaxation of economic, social, and travel restrictions, COVID will eventually become more manageable.
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Johns Hopkins University Public Health Experts Offer Insights Into What Will Signal That Sars
As the United States approaches the second anniversary of its initial COVID-19 shutdowns, we’re daring to dream about what the end of the pandemic might look like. With omicron cases plummeting, indoor mask mandates in every state but Hawaii are set to expirea change that would have seemed unthinkable just weeks ago.
Some are having an easier time than others embracing this shift in mindset. The idea of setting aside a bulk order of newly purchased, highly protective N95 masks might cause whiplash for some, while others gleefully head to their local pub to celebrate sans mask, NIOSH-approved or otherwise. Just because the rules are changing, does that mean the pandemic is really ending? Here, Johns Hopkins University public health experts offer insights into what signs their research tells them will signal that SARS-CoV-2 is moving from pandemic to endemic.
Pandemic Supply Chain Woes Could Worsen With New Lockdowns In China
Companies are bracing for another round of potentially debilitating supply chain disruptions as China, home to about a third of global manufacturing, imposes sweeping lockdowns in an attempt to keep the Omicron variant at bay.
The measures have already confined tens of millions of people to their homes in several Chinese cities and contributed to a suspension of connecting flights through Hong Kong from much of the world for the next month. At least 20 million people, or about 1.5 percent of Chinas population, are in lockdown, mostly in the city of Xian in western China and in Henan Province in north-central China.
The countrys zero-tolerance policy has manufacturers already on edge from spending the past two years dealing with crippling supply chain woes worried about another round of shutdowns at Chinese factories and ports. Additional disruptions to the global supply chain would come at a particularly fraught moment for companies, which are struggling with rising prices for raw materials and shipping along with extended delivery times and worker shortages.
China used lockdowns, contact tracing and quarantines to halt the spread of the coronavirus nearly two years ago after its initial emergence in Wuhan. These tactics have been highly effective, but the extreme transmissibility of the Omicron variant poses the biggest test yet of Chinas system.
One of them, Simon Avramov, came with his wife and two small children.
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Annual Covid Boosters Could Become A Reality
On Monday, Walensky touted boosters as the best available defense against the threat of new Covid variants like omicron. Currently, 27% of fully vaccinated people who are eligible for booster shots have gotten them, according to the CDC.
There’s a chance you might need to get regular Covid boosters going forward. Some experts say that Covid vaccines could become an annual occurrence, similar to your flu shot.
This might be a good thing: If new Covid variants keep popping up, each year’s booster can be specifically designed to fight whichever variant is dominant at the time.
But convincing people to follow through could prove challenging. It’s hard enough to convince people to get their annual flu shots: During the last flu season before Covid, only 48% of American adults got a flu vaccine, according to the CDC.
The CDC currently recommends annual flu vaccinations for anyone 6 months or older.
“People in a pandemic can accept things,” Ali Ellebedy, an associate professor of pathology and immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, told STAT on Wednesday. “But I think if you’re talking about a regular vaccine that’s not really needed because of a pandemic, I’m not sure if people would be more accepting of that.”
Correction: This story has been corrected to reflect that it is nearly two years into the pandemic.
Vaccines: Between Optimism And Caution
For instance, Sarah Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology at Oxford University in the U.K., and her team have been working on a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, which she believes will be available for the general population by the fall.
She explains that normally, it may take years of trials before a vaccine reaches the population, but during the pandemic, scientists can fast-track this process by doing as many of the necessary steps as possible in parallel.
First, there is the need to manufacture the vaccine for clinical studies under tightly controlled conditions, certified and qualified we need ethical approval and regulatory approval. Then, the clinical trial can start with 500 people in phase I.
The vaccine could get approval under emergency use legislation, meaning that in an emergency situation, if the regulators agree, its possible to use a vaccine earlier than in normal circumstances, explains Prof. Gilbert.
Still, experts have cautioned that such estimates are overly optimistic. Their comments shed light on the difficulties of making vaccines available in general, not just Prof. Gilberts.
For instance, Prof. David Salisbury, associate fellow of the Centre on Global Health Security at the Royal Institute for International Affairs at Chatham House in London, U.K., warns, t is not just the availability of the first dose that we need to focus on.
Martin Bachmann is another researcher who is optimistic that his lab will help make a vaccine available in 68 months.
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More Than Twice As Many New Cases:
- Africa: Bahrain, China, Cyprus, India, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Timor- Leste, Turkey, United Arab Emirates
- Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia
- Americas: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Grenada, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, United States of America, Uruguay
- Europe: Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom
- Oceania: Australia, Fiji
What Needs To Happen To Make Covid Manageable
There isnt a strong consensus on the role booster shots will play in the overall recovery of the nation. While some medical experts believe that otherwise healthy populations should get a booster shot approximately six months after infection, others have made a strong case for natural immunity, or immunity to a virus that occurs after exposure to the virus.
Unvaccinated patients involved in the study who were previously infected with the novel coronavirus were not only suspected to be protected against COVID for longer periods of time than those who have two-dose vaccine-induced immunity, but they may also be less likely to develop symptomatic manifestations of the disease and to be hospitalized upon reinfection.
More discreetly, the authors of the report say that vaccinated participants were 27 times more likely to get a symptomatic COVID case than those with natural immunity from COVID.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published data suggesting fully vaccinated populations that get infected with COVID-19 carry a comparable amount of viral particles in their throat and nasal passages as unvaccinated individuals. This means that fully vaccinated people can still spread the Delta variant to others.
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You Can Infect Others Even If You Don’t Have Symptoms
You may be infected but not have symptoms. However, you can still spread the virus to others. You may:
- develop symptoms later
- never develop symptoms
Follow the advice of your local public health authority on quarantine or isolation if you:
- dont have symptoms but have been exposed to someone who has or who may have COVID-19
- have tested positive
Vaccination efforts continue to increase vaccine coverage and lower community transmission. Even with increased coverage, continue to follow the advice of your local public health authority on the use of individual public health measures.
Learn more about:
Providing Proof Of Your Result
When you arrive at the border, you must present an accepted negative molecular test result or proof of a previous positive molecular test result taken between 14 and 180 days that includes:
- Traveller name and date of birth
- Name and civic address of the laboratory/clinic/facility that administered the test
- The date on which the test was taken
- The type of test taken
- The test result
Keep proof of your test results with you for the 14-day period that begins on the day you enter Canada.
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The Status Of Booster Shots
As of the time of this writing, booster shots of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine can now be officially administered to disproportionately affected adults in the U.S. depending on age and medical history.
However, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky wants to widen the pool of candidates that are eligible for boosters to include those between the ages of 18 and 64 who are at increased risk of COVID-19 because of their workplaces in addition to long-term care facility residents.
When It’s Less Worrisome Than The Flu
David Dowdy, associate professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
It’s difficult to know exactly how the pandemic will “end,” but I think there’s at least a reasonable chance that COVID-19 ends up being less of a public health concern than the flu. Even now, for someone who is vaccinated and boosted, the risk of hospitalization is higher if they were to get the flu than if they were to get COVID-19. I think it’s too early to say whether COVID-19 waves will happen every winter, more frequently, or less frequently. But to my mind, if COVID-19 is not causing more people to get seriously ill than another “non-pandemic” infectious disease , it makes sense to declare the COVID-19 pandemic over.
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What’s Changing In Scotland
From 31 January:
Work from home advice ends, although the government wants a “phased return to the office”, with some staff continuing to work remotely.
Some changes have already been made:
- adults participating in organised activities with under-fives no longer need a mask
- face covering exemptions requiring two-metre physical distancing have been reduced to one metre
- nightclubs can open
- no limit on the size of indoor events
- no requirement for social distancing indoors, or table service in hospitality venues
- no limit on the number of households meeting indoors
- non-professional indoor contact sports allowed
Some restrictions are still in place:
- shops and businesses need to take measures to limit the spread of Covid
- face coverings are compulsory on public transport and most indoor spaces, including secondary schools
- a Covid certification scheme is in place for some venues including nightclubs, meaning people must provide proof of their vaccination status or a recent negative test
Anyone who had their second dose more than four months ago must now also have received a booster to be considered fully vaccinated.
A gradual easing of Covid restrictions is under way:
- there are no longer limits on numbers at outdoor events
- nightclubs can open
- gatherings in pubs and restaurants are no longer limited to six people
- there is no longer a legal requirement to work at home
- businesses no longer need to ensure 2m social distancing in the workplace
Some measures remain in place:
What Happens In 2021 And Beyond
The pandemics course next year will depend greatly on the arrival of a vaccine, and on how long the immune system stays protective after vaccination or recovery from infection. Many vaccines provide protection for decades such as those against measles or polio whereas others, including whooping cough and influenza, wear off over time. Likewise, some viral infections prompt lasting immunity, others a more transient response. The total incidence of SARS-CoV-2 through 2025 will depend crucially on this duration of immunity, wrote Grad, Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch and colleagues in a May paper exploring possible scenarios .
If infections continue to rise rapidly without a vaccine or lasting immunity, we will see regular, extensive circulation of the virus, says Grad. In that case, the virus would become endemic, says Pulliam. That would be really painful. And it is not unimaginable: malaria, a preventable and treatable disease, kills more than 400,000 people each year. These worst-case scenarios are happening in many countries with preventable diseases, causing huge losses of life already, says Bhatt.
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