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Omicron poses a “very serious risk” of hospitalizations and deaths 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 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 expected, ”warns European Center for Disease Prevention and Controls (ECDC), in the data updated this Wednesday for the new strain 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.”

In several European countries, infections are recorded daily.

“Even if the severity of the disease caused by VdP micron is equal to or less than the severity of the 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 85 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 for 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 bordersespecially in African countries, which led the UN Secretary General to speak of “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 that you plan 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, an English abbreviation), which has brought together a network of WHO reference laboratories for the study of Covid-19, is intensively investigating a 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 healthcare 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 give 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. …

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

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Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.



Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia



A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization



“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

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At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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