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COVID-19. British scientists dedramatize new variants of effects – observer

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British scientists this Saturday downplayed alarm over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, admitting that, despite many genetic mutations, vaccines are likely to remain effective in preventing serious illness.

Immunologist Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford University Vaccine Research Group that developed the covid-19 vaccine for the AstraZeneca lab, told the BBC that many variant mutations are present in other SARS-CoV-2 strains for which vaccines have proven to be effective. …

“Mutations [da Ómicron] there are other options, and vaccines have been able to prevent serious illness from [variantes] Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta, ”said a researcher from the UK, where the new strain has already been discovered.

According to microbiologist Calum Semple, it is “likely that the immunity” afforded by the Covid-19 vaccines “still protects” against serious illness that the new variant could cause.

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Semple considered it advisable that several countries suspended flights to southern Africa in order to “buy time” to intensify vaccinations and assess the true health impact of the new strain.

It is still not known for certain whether micron is more transmissible or dangerous, as it causes more serious illness, death and eludes the protection provided by Covid-19 vaccines.

Microbiologist João Paulo Gomes said Friday in a statement to Lusa that the new SARS-CoV-2 strain, originally discovered in South Africa, is “troubling” given the large number of genetic mutations it presents, in particular in the viral spike protein. which allows it to enter human cells.

However, there is no cause for concern for National Institutes of Health researcher Dr. Ricardo Jorge, as having multiple matching mutations does not mean that the variant is more transmissible or eludes vaccination.

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According to a report by the South African Genomic Surveillance Network, the new variant contains more than 30 mutations in the spike protein.

According to João Paulo Gomes, “many of these mutations are in the cell binding zone, while others are mutations known to be associated with an inability to bind antibodies.”

“The problem with this new strain is that it has many more mutations than the other variants that have bothered us so far,” he stressed.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday classified variant B.1.1.529, first discovered in South Africa’s Gauteng province, as a “dangerous” variant and named it “Omicron,” a letter of the alphabet.

According to the WHO, this variant has “a large number of mutations, some of which are of concern,” with preliminary data suggesting an “increased risk of re-infection” with the new SARS-CoV-2 strain compared to other variants to worry.

As defined by WHO, options of concern are associated with increased transmissibility or virulence or decreased effectiveness of social and public health interventions, diagnoses, vaccines and treatments.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control believes that Omicron raises “serious concerns that it could significantly reduce the effectiveness of vaccines and increase the risk of reinfection.”

After South Africa, the variant has already been found in the UK, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Hong Kong (administrative region of China), Israel and Botswana.

Portugal, which is investigating cases of infection with the new strain, will suspend flights to and from Mozambique from Monday.

Starting this Saturday, all passengers arriving on flights from Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, Essuatini (formerly Swaziland), Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe are required to comply with a 14-day quarantine upon entering mainland Portugal.

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On Friday, European Union member states decided to temporarily suspend flights from seven South African countries, including Mozambique, to limit the spread of Omicron.

Covid-19 is a pandemic respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, discovered at the end of 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China.

In addition to Omicron, there are four other variants of the virus that WHO believes are of concern, including Delta, which is the dominant and most contagious virus in the world today.

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Spain: it is already known where the trap envelopes were sent

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The Spanish police claim that six trap parcels that arrived at diplomatic missions and ministries were sent from the city of Valladolid.

Despite the established origin, the authorities still don’t know who’s to blamesince the letters will be placed in regular mailboxes.

The first evidence of the investigation is related to only one of the six packages was able to be deactivated without damage🇧🇷 These are homemade devices with powder charges. The police managed to carry out controlled explosions in four devices.

In the period from November 24 to December 2, parcels with pyrotechnic materials arrived at the diplomatic missions of Ukraine and the United States, the Ministry of Defense and in the office of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

Meanwhile, the security of public buildings, government and embassies strengthens🇧🇷 Despite the written bombs sent out, the authorities decided that it was not worth raising the level of terrorist threat.

On Friday, Spain’s interior minister recommended to the European Commission and partner countries take action if they received such trap letters with the recognition of their possible attitude towards the war in Ukraine.

The advice was accepted by Portuguese diplomacy, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent Portuguese embassies to increase caution when receiving mail.

The MNE of Portugal acknowledged that a circular with recommendations was sent to the Portuguese missions and embassies, but chose not to give further details about the proceduresciting security concerns.

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Qatar treats Santos Silva better than Marcelo

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Joao Sena

In Doha, Augusto Santos Silva guaranteed that there would be no problems between Portugal and Qatar. “The two countries have tense diplomatic relations. Qatar is one of the Gulf states where we have a permanent ambassador and it is a strategic region for us,” said the second representative of the Portuguese state. And he also mentioned that there are several points that “should not be forgotten” in order to maintain good bilateral relations. Referring to his experience as Minister of Foreign Affairs, he recalled two facts: “First, it is that, unfortunately, the former Portuguese Ambassador to Qatar, Ricardo Prachana, died in office and the support provided by the Qatari authorities was unsurpassed. (…) Second fact [foi] when we had to remove dozens of people from Afghanistan, namely Afghans who collaborated with the Portuguese armed forces, in a very difficult operation. We did this because we had Pakistan’s support on the ground route and Qatar’s support on the air route.” Santos Silva’s agreement with the Qatari authorities goes even further when he praises “the very clear position that Qatar has taken in the United Nations General Assembly condemning the war against Ukraine and the importance of the geopolitical and geo-economic perspective that this region has in the world today.”

moderate speech pleases

Santos Silva’s statements clearly show more cordiality compared to the speeches of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and António Costa (the so-called “hostile”), as well as the subsequent human rights narrative that has rattled the Qatari government to, as reported by Nascer do SOL in its latest issue, admitting that he blacklisted the country as soon as the World Cup is over, the same is happening with Germany, Denmark and France, which have followed the same type of discourse.

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Diplomatic efforts by Santos Silva appear to have helped mitigate the damage caused by the statements of Marcelo Rebelo de Souza, who at the Doha conference refocused on human rights violations, knowing that previous statements were considered “hostile”. ‘ by the Government of Qatar. The diplomatic corps immediately took action at the Palacio das Necessidades and in Doha to prevent the situation from escalating. A Portuguese delegation was sent to Qatar to ensure that Santos Silva’s trip would not bring more problems to Portugal and that the diplomatic calculation would have no repercussions.

In addition to his presence at the stadium to watch Portugal play, the President of the Assembly of the Republic met with the Qatari authorities, where “all matters of interest to both Portugal and Qatar” were considered. Homework was done well and Santos Silva was awarded state awards. He was met at the airport by Deputy Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and stayed at a hotel reserved exclusively for heads of state (instead of the Banyan Tree Hotel reserved for vice presidents and chairmen of parliaments). an attitude very different from that given to the President of the Republic during his visit to Qatar, as he was received by the daughter of the Sheikh of the Emirate, who was at the stadium in her private box without receiving the Portuguese head. The Qataris seem to know how to forgive but not forget.

Western hypocrisy

On the subject of human rights in Qatar, Angelo Correia, a former interior minister (de Cavaco Silva), believes this is “hypocrisy and a Western superiority complex.” Speaking to Nascer do SOL, the analyst and political commentator added that the West is “punishing itself for its past mistakes regarding the barbaric colonization of some countries in this region, while at the same time assuming the supremacy of the present as if nothing had happened in the past. In Europe there is a contradiction between sinning excess in this matter and showing superiority over those who are not yet on their way. This is an ambiguous, pompous and contradictory attitude.” But the political class is also responsible: “Portugal’s position towards Qatar left much to be desired in some circumstances, and some people and some parties showed a certain opportunism. There are currently two problems that elude the Portuguese democratic reality: the lack of memory and then the strong agitation for political correctness.”

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Relations between Portugal and Qatar have entered a less tense phase and the presence of Ana Catarina Méndez, Deputy Minister for Parliamentary Affairs who replaced the Prime Minister, who canceled her trip for health reasons, in yesterday’s game in which Portugal lost to South Korea (1-2) an example of this. “This is the day we should all unite with the colors of Portugal, the colors of an open, modern and inclusive society that I am proud to represent,” he told Lusa.

António Costa is expected to go to the Round of 16 game on Tuesday and if the national team continues to compete, with Santos Silva reaching the quarter-finals and Marcelo Rebelo de Souza reaching the semi-finals, then… But one thing is for sure: an agreement is needed. official discourse so that the country is not blacklisted by the emirate.



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“Insidious wave” killed a passenger and injured four people during a cruise

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UOne person died and four were injured after a giant wave hit a cruise ship in Antarctica on Wednesday during a storm.

The cruise was bound for Ushuaia, Argentina – the main starting point for expeditions to Antarctica – when the “killer wave incident” occurred, according to a report by cruise line Viking Polaris quoted by CBS News this Friday.

“It is with great sadness that we confirm that a passenger has died as a result of the incident,” Viking Polaris said, noting that he had notified the victim’s family and expressed his “deepest condolences.”

Four other tourists “suffered non-life-threatening injuries” and were treated on board, the company said.

Speaking to WRAL-TV, Susie Gooding, a passenger on the cruise, said the wave’s impact was so “shocking” that passengers wondered if they had hit an “iceberg”.

“Everything was fine until a killer wave hit us and it happened all of a sudden,” Gooding said, adding that no one knew if “equipment needed to be prepared in order to leave the ship.”

Viking Polaris said it was “investigating facts related to this incident.”

Read also: Madeira is recognized as the “Best Cruise Destination in Europe”.

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