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Ómicron: ECDC warns of “very serious risk” of hospitalizations and death in Europe



A Omicron represents “a very serious risk“spread in the European Economic Area (EEA) region, which includes the European Union and some partner countries, and may be strong threat European health systems, warns the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, STella KyriakidesWith.

The latter option, of concern to the World Health Organization (WHO), is likely to emerge. cause more hospitalizations and deaths in addition to those already anticipated, ”warns the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in an update Wednesday on a new option of concern.

“A vaccine effectiveness of the severe illness caused by the Delta variant remains high and therefore vaccination remains a key factor in reducing micron exposure and slowing Delta circulation. ” adds ECDCestimating that “vaccines have already saved half a million lives.”

“Infection of the population has already become a reality at ESA.” VdP “Delta remains dominant” but “according to predictive models, it is likely that Ómicron will become dominant ‘in the European region’ in the first two months of 2022.”

“Even if the severity of the disease caused by VdP micron is equal to or less than the severity of Delta, the increased transmissibility and subsequent increase in the number of cases quickly outweigh the benefits of the potentially lower severity. Therefore, it is considered highly likely that Ómicron will cause more hospitalizations and deaths than previously estimated, ”warns the ECDC.

A general public health risk associated with the emergence and further spread of Omicron “very high“The ECDC urges ESA countries to act now to control the infection by taking additional containment measures and increasing immunization through vaccination.”

Already, there is only one death related to Ómicron. One person died in the UK from the latest VAR.

This was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday, December 13, just over two weeks after the first cases of this latter disease were diagnosed in England.

Details about the victim were not disclosed. It is not known how old she was, whether she had any concomitant illnesses and whether she was vaccinated against Covid-19. It is only known that he was in a hospital, but even the cause of death was not disclosed. It may not even be the first murder with Omicron, but it was the first on record.

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“I think the idea that this is a less dangerous version of the virus is something that we now have to put aside and just acknowledge the speed with which it is spreading among the population,” warned Boris Johnson during a visit to a vaccination center in London.

A last VdP continues to spread rapidly around the world and is already the cause of Covid-19 in at least 80 countries, including China, where SARS-CoV-2 exactly two years ago. More than 10,000 cases have now been confirmed.

V ECDC indicates that the last DP was diagnosed in at least 27 ESA countries. Portugal is one such country.

According to the latest ECDC bulletin, Norway (1498), Denmark (310) and France (170) are the ESA countries with the highest number of cases diagnosed with Omicron. There are 69 cases in Portugal.

The WHO Director-General warns people not to discount this VdP, highlighting the rapid spread and the risk that it can quickly overwhelm health services that are not prepared for the rapid demand for beds.

Omicron currently has over 5,300 cases and it is estimated that this VdP will soon become dominant in London, where it already accounts for almost 50% of reported cases.

In about three weeks, the new VdP has already spread to the four corners of the world, it seems to be provoking mild symptoms, but even in this assessment it is still too early to draw final conclusions.

V WHO Director-General is calling in response to the need highlighted by the emergence of Ómicron, “to balance the access of different countries to vaccines, treatments and tests against COVID”.

In an attempt to contain the threat of an option whose severity is not yet known, in addition to the apparent increase in transmission, many governments have decided to tighten social restrictions and close borders, especially to African countries, which led the UN Secretary General to talk about “tourist apartheid”.

Many of those infected with this new variant find themselves asymptomatic, these main symptoms generated by Ómicron to consider:

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A small proportion of patients diagnosed with Omicron in South Africa have a high fever, intermittent cough, and loss of taste or smell. The most severe symptoms are recorded mainly in unvaccinated people against Covid-19.

Experts recommend planning your planned trips very well so that they are not interrupted by restrictions in each country, such as possible quarantine or confinement that can be imposed suddenly.

Every traveler should ask himself two questions:

  • this trip can be carried over?
  • which the flexibility because of some setbacks?
  • V travel budget Is this enough for a possible increase in costs?


Option titled B.1.1.529 was discovered by the investigator Rachel Viana November 19 from a sample taken ten days earlier reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) November 24.

Two days later, it was designated as “Option of concern(VdP) mainly due to the confirmed rapid spread and the many mutations found. This list has been renamed to Omicron

Group Technical advice on the evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus WHO (TAG-VE, abbreviation in English), which brings together the network of WHO reference laboratories for the study of Covid-19, is intensively investigating the new variant, finding a series of mutations, including in the S-protein. or “Thorn“(Spicula), responsible for cell infection.

Researchers from all over the world are also studying Omicronin terms of transmission, severity of infections and confirmed symptoms, response to vaccines, diagnostic tests, and ongoing treatment.

Conclusions are still few, I guess great ability to re-infection who already had Covid-19 than previous options, but according to WHO, do not justify blocking travel.

UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, he even mentioned that “travel apartheid“against some African countries, primarily against the one that determined Omicron and who shared the data with the rest of the world.

WHO encourages countries to share data on their hospitalized “coronavirus patients” to accelerate the study of Omicron, and encourages citizens basic infection control measures:

  • social distance of at least one meter;

  • use of permitted masks;

  • regular ventilation of enclosed spaces;

  • avoid crowded places;

  • wash your hands regularly;

  • coughing or sneezing, hiding behind an elbow or handkerchief;

  • get yourself vaccinated as soon as possible.

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Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of re-infection compared to VdP previous events, but there is still no unequivocal conclusion about this threat. Vaccines are still considered effective and Omicron is detected by PCR tests.

It is unclear if the new variant causes more serious illness than the previous ones, including Delta. Preliminary data only show an increase in hospital admissions, especially in South Africa.

Two years SARS-CoV-2

For about two years, we have been living around the world with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is the cause of Covid-19. During this time, this last member of the family coronavirus it has infected more than 263 million people worldwide from at least five VdPs.

In each infected organism, copies are made and multiplied, allowing the virus to adapt and evolve from the original that caused the pandemic.

Since at least September 2020, there are options that worry health professionals because they may be more resistant or cause a more severe form of Covid-19.

But what exactly are the variants of the Covid-19 virus?

Viruses, as a rule, start by infecting the host and then replicate, that is, make copies of themselves.

Most viruses consist of RNAGenetic material, for example, is more unstable than DNA. This characteristic increases the likelihood that it will undergo changes over time, slightly altering the corresponding genetic sequence.

Sequence changes are known as genetic mutations. Viruses with mutations are called strains or variants

Some mutations may not alter the properties of the virus, others may even be harmful to the viruses themselves, but some may ultimately confer a “selective advantage” and even make the virus more “friendly” to the host and render it benign. …

In the case of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, WHO has classified as Variants of Concern (VdP) those viruses that have the potential to cause serious infections or spread more easily. Under close supervision. …

Find out what the current SARs-CoV-2 “options of concern” are:

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Russia expels five Portuguese diplomats | War in Ukraine



“This morning, the Portuguese Ambassador in Moscow was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, who was informed of the expulsion of five embassy employees who will have to leave Russia within 14 days,” the Portuguese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the report said.

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“Ukraine is in for a very unpleasant surprise” — Obozrevatel



You have free access to all Observer articles as a subscriber.

It was a quick change. On Monday, Mikhail Kodaryonok, a retired colonel and television commentator, criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military strategy. This Wednesday afternoon, also on Russian state television, the army has completely changed speech, anticipating a “very unpleasant surprise” for Ukraine.

Mikhail Kodarenok mentioned Russian attacks on American howitzers in Ukraine, suggesting that they would remain a target for Russian forces “in the near future.” “They will be searched for, discovered and hit,” the colonel in the reserve assured, adding that soon only “memories” would remain of them.

Assuring that this goal would be “achieved,” the colonel turned to the news of the victories that Ukraine would win over Russian troops.“There are only rumors Indeed, there are even rumors that [a Ucrânia] allegedly has great success in counterattacks, ”said Mikhail Khodarenok, describing these rumors as “inaccurate.”


To demonstrate the failure of the Ukrainian forces, a retired colonel recalled the Snake Islands plan. Mikhail Khodarenok noted that Ukraine needed to achieve “air supremacy”, and that “in the coming months” it would be “impossible” for the Ukrainian armed forces to accomplish such a feat.

In addition, in the naval sphere, the official also devalued Ukraine: “They need to achieve superiority at sea,” especially in the Black Sea, which “is out of the question.” “At best, it will take years, if not decades.”

“And therefore, when they talk about the ability of Ukraine to counterattack, this is a big exaggeration,” Mikhail Khodarenok hinted, believing in the success of the Russian offensive. He predicted that “a very unpleasant surprise” awaits Ukraine in the near future.

“As much as we hate to admit it, the whole world is against us.” Retired colonel denounces Putin’s strategy on state television

These statements contrast with those that Mikhail Kodarenok made on Monday: “They [os ucranianos] determined to fight to the last man. Ultimately, victory on the battlefield is determined by the high morale of the personnel.who sheds blood for ideas for which he is ready to fight.

Also on Monday, the retired colonel acknowledged that “the main drawback of the Russian military-political position is that we are, in a sense, in complete geopolitical isolation and that, as much as we hate to admit it, practically the whole world is against us.” . “The situation will frankly worsen,” spoke on Monday, anticipating a scenario with “a million armed Ukrainian soldiers.”

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Madrid rejects Russia’s unjustified expulsion of 27 diplomats – columnist



The Spanish government has rejected Russia’s decision to expel 27 employees of the Spanish embassy in Moscow, arguing that reciprocity in this case is not justifiedbecause they did not violate the Vienna Convention.

Spain rejects the decision taken today by the Russian Federation to expel a total of 27 employees of the Spanish Embassy in Russia,” the Spanish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Madrid then explains that Russian authorities justify this decision with the principle of “reciprocity” after the expulsion of 27 employees of the Russian embassy in Madrid, notified last April, adding, however, that “the expulsion then accepted by the Spanish authorities was based on duly substantiated security reasons, which do not exist in this case.”

The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs guarantees that the employees of the embassy in Moscow “always” fully complied with the obligations set forth Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.


Russia announced this Wednesday that it was expelling 27 Spanish and 24 Italian diplomats in response to similar measures taken by those countries after invading Ukraine.

The announcement of the expulsion of Italians and Spaniards was made by the Russian Foreign Ministry a few minutes after the announcement of the expulsion of 34 French diplomats and a day after the decision to expel two Finnish diplomats was made.

The number of Spanish and Italian diplomats now considered persona non grata it is identical to the Russian diplomats whom the governments of two European countries decided to expel from their countries in April.

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According to Spanish Ambassador to Moscow Marcos Gomez Martinez, who was summoned to the Russian ministry on Wednesday morning, diplomats from the embassy in Moscow and the consulate general in St. Petersburg were sent to Moscow. will have to leave Russia within seven days.

On April 5, the Spanish government decided to expel 27 diplomats and officials from the Russian embassy in Spain as a sign of rejection of the “horrible actions” of the Russian troops, the “escalation of war crimes” and in “protection of security interests.” » Spain.

The Spanish performer did not directly mention the massacre organized by Russian soldiers in the Ukrainian city of Bucha, Kyiv region.

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