The nation has some of the strictest entry requirements in the world, mandating most inbound travelers to spend at least 14 days in a government quarantine facility, followed by seven days of isolation at home. On Tuesday, the National Health Commission said incoming visitors only need to spend seven days in a quarantine facility and three days at home.
No start date was provided for the new move, nor is it considered an imminent end to China’s strict “zero-Covid” policy, which locked down entire communities and cities with only a handful of coronavirus cases Is.
Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed the country’s “zero-Covid” policy during his visit to Wuhan on Tuesday, saying he was “little bit” rather than “harming people’s health”, state news agency Xinhua reported. economic development”.
Today, the world’s most populous country remains an outlier for its continued zero-tolerance approach, which has seen cities across China – including Beijing and Shanghai – recently placed under complete or partial lockdowns. has gone. The strategy has ruined economic activity and hurt the job market. In May, the unemployment rate for people aged 16-24 reached a record high of 18.4%.
After cornering himself with his earlier rhetoric, China’s leaders feel unable to change behavior – even in light of more transmissible coronavirus variants such as Omicron – without a sharp loss of face. When World Health Organization (WHO) chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called the strategy “untenable” in May, his comments were taken off the Internet by Chinese censors.
The Beijing Daily removed the quote, calling it an “editing error”, and the reference to it was removed from the Internet as Chinese censors sought to downplay a huge online backlash. CNN reviewed the entire speech and while the quote published from the Beijing Daily was misleading, Beijing’s party chief Cai Qi discussed at length the possibility of implementing zero-Covid policies in the capital over the next five-year period.
State media quoted Cai as saying that epidemic control includes regular PCR tests, strict entry rules, regular health checks in residential neighborhoods and public places, as well as rigorous surveillance and testing for people entering and leaving Beijing. .
Questions are being raised about how long Beijing can keep the policy on the road as citizens lose patience. While Shanghai ended its brutal two-month lockdown in early June, many communities are again taking confinement measures. A viral video – which has since been taken off Chinese social media – recently captured a protest at the Shanghai campus.
It shows residents crowding along fences, demanding their release and preventing authorities from sending Covid-negative residents to quarantine facilities, simply because they live in a building around a Covid positive case. One of them – who says through a loudspeaker, “We are being imprisoned illegally” – is promptly removed by the authorities. Another sticks his middle fingers on the enforcers of the Kovid-rules in hazmat suits.
Despite apparent anger from the public, NHC spokesman Mi Feng said on Tuesday that the new quarantine requirements were not intended to loosen COVID controls, but to promote “more scientific and targeted” measures.
you asked We answered.
Question: How effective are the updated COVID-19 boosters compared to the Omicron variant?
Pfizer President and CEO Albert Bouerla said in a news release that he believes they have “two very strong Omicron-modified candidates that elicit significantly greater immune responses against Omicron than we have seen to date.” have seen.”
The study looked at two different dosage levels — 30 micrograms and 60 micrograms — in more than 1,000 adults aged 56 and older. The current dosage for this age group is 30 micrograms for both the primary and booster shots. The fourth booster showed a significantly higher immune response at both dose levels.
reading of the week
FDA advisors voted to include an Omicron-specific ingredient for the booster because BA.4 and BA.5 have become the leading cause of infection in the US.
The US Food and Drug Administration’s Independent Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee on Tuesday voted to support a recommendation to include an omicron-specific ingredient for a COVID-19 booster vaccine.
In the past week, BA.4 and BA.5 accounted for about 52.3% of COVID-19 cases in the United States – 37.4% more than the week before. These subvariants are genetically distinct from other versions of the virus. Several studies have shown that BA.4 and BA.5 are able to evade most of the immune protection from vaccines and prior infections, which is likely helping them spread more rapidly.
The severity of the virus varies by country. In South Africa, its BA.4/BA.5 wave led to an increase in COVID-19 cases, but did not increase the risk of hospitalization. In Europe, cases and hospitalizations are increasing with BA.4 and BA.5 as the dominant strain. It remains to be seen what effect this has on America.
Long covid can affect children including babies
The study, published in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, found that children who had previously tested positive were more likely to experience at least one symptom for two months or more, compared with children who never tested positive. was not tested. Long-lasting COVID symptoms include headache, mood swings, stomach problems, and fatigue. The most common symptoms vary by age.
“Although the likelihood of children experiencing chronic covid is low, especially compared to the control group, it should be recognized and treated seriously,” said Selina Kikkenborg Berg, study co-author and Copenhagen, Professor of Cardiology at Rigshospitalet in Denmark. Said, their findings are in line with previous studies looking at longer covids.
Kovid still supporting hospitals
Most nursing homes are limiting new patients due to staff shortages, with longer stays in the average hospital than pre-pandemic.
In Washington, about 10% of patients currently in hospital beds do not require hospital care, said Cassie Sawyer, chief executive officer of the Washington State Hospital Association. Most are waiting for the spot in a nursing home or mental health facility.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that hundreds of thousands of workers have left the nursing home industry since the start of the pandemic. According to a survey conducted by the American Health Care Association in May, more than 60% of nursing homes are limiting new admissions due to staffing shortages, with most saying it has worsened since January.
Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association, said the pandemic “has made the really tough job even harder.”
People with poor vision or blindness can now sign up for a free at-home COVID-19 test kit in the US.
“A persistent issue that was raised is that people who are blind or have low vision are often unable to access rapid self-testing on their own,” said Dr Ashish Jha, White House COVID-19 response coordinator.
On Thursday, the Biden administration launched tests designed to be more accessible to the visually impaired, and they can be ordered for free from Covidtests.gov — which ships the tests through the US Postal Service.
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