Indonesia has reported 1,054 new COVID-19 cases – the highest daily increase in three months – in the same week that the government launched its vaccine booster program to the general public.
A new UK study said about a third of people infected with coronavirus can still be contagious after a five-day quarantine.
Researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School in England also found that one in 10 people can still be contagious after a 10-day quarantine. Some people retained these levels for up to 68 days, the researchers said.
Elsewhere, the United States has revised its guidelines for Americans to wear masks to protect against coronavirus, and recommended taking “the most protective mask you can” while stopping advocating for nationwide use of N95 respirators.
Here are the latest updates for Saturday:
The city of Beijing reports the first local Omicron case
The Chinese capital Beijing has reported its first locally transmitted infection of the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, according to state media, just weeks before the holding of the Winter Olympics.
Laboratory tests found “mutations specific for the Omicron variant” in the person, Pang Xinghuo, an official with the city’s disease control authority, told a news briefing.
Officials have sealed the infected person’s home and workplace and collected 2,430 samples for testing from people linked to the two sites, a Haidian district official said.
Indonesia reports the highest number of daily COVID-19 cases in 3 months
Indonesia reported 1,054 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily increase in three months as the government prepares for a new wave of coronavirus infections driven by the spread of the Omicron variant.
The world’s fourth most populous country struggled with a devastating second wave of infections in July, driven by the spread of the Delta variant.
The number of daily cases dropped to around 200 in December before rising this month amid reports of local transmission of the Omicron variant.
“Local infection has been found and Jakarta has become an infection cluster,” Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said in a statement on Saturday. “We need to coordinate with the regional government to tighten mobility and strengthen health protocols, (give) booster vaccine shots and strengthen health facilities.”
Palermo nurse arrested for pretending to be vaccinated
A nurse has been arrested in Palermo for allegedly pretending to vaccinate a married couple and allegedly receiving a fake vaccination from a colleague, according to Italian police.
The woman who worked at the “Fiera del Mediterraneo” vaccination center in the Sicilian city was placed under house arrest, accused of issuing false certificates and wasting public goods.
This followed an investigation which in December led to the detention of another nurse at the same vaccine center. The investigation into whether other nurses have issued fake vaccines continues.
Saturday’s arrest came days after a male nurse was arrested in the Italian city of Ancona, accused of pretending to inject vaccines into at least 50 people in exchange for bribes.
The Philippines confirms Community transfer of Omicron
The Philippine Ministry of Health has confirmed the local spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant around Manila as infections hit record highs for a third day in a row.
“We are seeing community transfer of the Omicron variant in the metropolitan area,” health secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told a public briefing.
The ministry reported 39,004 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, while active cases also hit a record 280,813.
COVID infestation may last longer than five days: Examination
After a five-day quarantine, about a third of people infected with coronavirus can still be contagious, according to new data.
PCR tests detect virus particles, but can not tell if they are infectious or simply inactive residues.
“After five days, 30 percent of people still showed clinically relevant levels of potentially active virus,” said study leader Lorna Harries of the University of Exeter Medical School in England.
After a 10-day quarantine, one in 10 people can still be contagious. Some people retained these levels for up to 68 days, the researchers said.
E-cigarette users risk more symptoms of COVID
Coronavirus-infected e-cigarette users may be more likely than infected non-vapers to experience COVID-19 symptoms, according to a new study.
The researchers compared 289 vapers with 1,445 people of the same age and sex who neither steamed nor smoked tobacco, all of whom tested positive for coronavirus on PCR tests.
Compared to infected non-vapers and after taking into account participants’ other risk factors, infected vapers experienced higher incidence of chest pain or pressure, chills, body aches, headaches, odor and taste problems, nausea, diarrhea and dizziness, the study published in the Journal said. of Primary Care & Community Health.
Djokovic returns to detention as he battles Australia’s expulsion
Novak Djokovic has returned to detention in Australia after authorities revoked his visa for the second time, declaring the unvaccinated tennis player a threat to the public.
The world’s top-ranked player had surrendered to officials in Melbourne for an interview around 1 p.m. 8 local time Saturday (21:00 GMT Friday), following a court order issued Friday night.
Read more here.
Anti-vaccination protesters gather in central Sydney
Hundreds of protesters have marched through central Sydney as part of a demonstration against COVID-19 vaccinations for children.
Protesters waved flags and carried banners as they walked through the city streets.
Some adorned themselves with Serbian flags, apparently in support of the struggling tennis star Novak Djokovic, who is threatened with deportation from the country as he seeks to compete in the Australian Open in Melbourne.
Mexico sees fake versions of the COVID-19 drug
Mexico reportedly sees black market or fake versions of molnupiravir circulating for sale just a week after authorities approved the drug to treat those at risk of severe COVID-19, according to the Associated Press.
The news comes as the country posted a fresh daily record of 44,293 new cases.
According to official health data, 301,107 people have died from COVID-19 in Mexico.
Omicron spreads to southern China, which borders Macau
The southern Chinese city of Zhuhai has suspended public bus routes after announcing that it had detected at least seven cases of the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant there and warned residents not to leave the city.
The coastal city bordering the gaming center Macau said late Friday that Omicron had been detected in a mildly ill and six asymptomatic patients after launching mass tests due to a case in a neighboring town.
China is battling a wave of coronavirus outbreaks, including several from the Omicron variant, forcing millions of people under severe lockdown as the country increases vigilance against the virus ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics next month.
The Omicron wave is leading to a shortage of health workers in Brazil
Health centers in Brazil are facing significant staff shortages amid the latest wave of coronavirus cases driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant.
In Sao Joao de Meriti, outside Rio de Janeiro, the authorities have to adapt with as many as 40 percent of the medical staff on leave due to COVID-19.
Late Friday, Brazil reported 112,286 new coronavirus cases within the last 24 hours and 251 COVID-19 deaths, the health ministry said, raising the total number of cases to nearly 23 million and the death toll to at least 620,796 since the onset of the pandemic.
You can read all the updates from January 14 here.
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