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White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday said Americans should avoid large New Year’s Eve parties as the highly transmissible omicron variant drives U.S. Covid cases to their highest levels of the pandemic.

However, Fauci said small gatherings with family and close friends are low risk if everyone at the gathering is vaccinated and boosted if they are eligible. Full article on CNBC




Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday predicted that the latest wave of the coronavirus pandemic may hit its peak in the U.S. by the end of January. Video

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The World Health Organization on Wednesday cautioned that omicron has not spread widely among the populations most at risk, making it difficult to determine whether or not the Covid variant is inherently less severe than previous strains of the virus.

Dr. Abdi Mahamud, the WHO’s incident manager for Covid, said data from South Africa suggesting omicron causes milder illness is encouraging, but the variant has mostly infected younger people so far who generally develop less severe disease from Covid. Full story: CNBC

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Chinese cities on COVID alert as New Year holiday looms

Reuters.pngCoronavirusDec 31, 2021 
Chinese cities on COVID alert as New Year holiday looms© Reuters. People wearing protective face masks walk on a street, following new cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Shanghai, China, December 30, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song

BEIJING (Reuters) - China is on high alert against COVID-19 as the New Year holiday looms, with the city of Xian under lockdown while several New Year's Eve events in other cities have been cancelled and some provinces urged restraint in travel during the festive season.

China reported 166 locally transmitted infections with confirmed symptoms for Thursday, according to the National Health Commission, with 161 from Xian, which is fighting the worst outbreak for a Chinese city this year.

The number of domestically transmitted infections in Xian have exceeded 1,200 during the Dec. 9-30 period. While the case load pales in comparison with many outbreaks overseas, China has insisted on stamping out infections quickly, especially ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics in February.

"With the arrival of the New Year and the Lunar New Year, the number of people returning home from abroad will increase and the movement of people within China will rise," He Qinghua, an official at the National Health Commission, said on Wednesday.

"Coupled with the emergence of new variants such as Omicron, these scenarios will increase the risk of the epidemic spreading," He said.

The popular Happy Valley amusement park in Beijing has cancelled an event to ring in the new year, while the Happy Valley park in the eastern city of Nanjing has dropped a drone show and fireworks from its line-up of celebrations for New Year's Eve.

In the financial hub Shanghai, the Great World amusement park said it will not organise special events such as stage performances, while no count-down will take place in core districts along Huangpu river.

The central city of Wuhan, where COVID-19 first emerged in late 2019, will not hold any large-scale gatherings during New Year's Eve at certain public venues, including at Guanggu, one of the world's longest pedestrian shopping streets.

Several Buddhist bell-ringing ceremonies in the eastern cities of Nanjing, Yangzhou and Zhenjiang to celebrate the new year have also been scrapped.

The northern province of Hebei, which will host some events for the Winter Olympics, said it urges residents not to travel unnecessarily during the New Year and Lunar New Year period.

Shanxi province, also in the north, advised residents not to head to other provinces for tourism, while the northwestern region of Ningxia said people have been encouraged not to leave the region unnecessarily.


As of Dec. 30, mainland China had 102,083 confirmed symptomatic cases, including both local and imported ones, with the death toll at 4,636.


Major China COVID-19 outbreaks in 2021 https://tmsnrt.rs/3mMVN46

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Gloomy New Year for many as COVID-19 crashes the party again

Reuters.pngCoronavirusDec 31, 2021 
Gloomy New Year for many as COVID-19 crashes the party again© Reuters. Workers add the number 2 to the numerals above Times Square ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 26, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly


SYDNEY/SEOUL (Reuters) - New Year celebrations around the world have been called off as the coronavirus casts gloom over festivities for a second year but Australia was determined to enjoy the night and there were even signs North Korea was preparing fireworks.

Global coronavirus infections hit a record high over the past seven-day period, with an average of just over one million cases detected a day worldwide between Dec. 24 and 30, some 100,000 up on the previous peak posted on Wednesday, according to Reuters data.

With numerous countries registering all-time highs, authorities in many places have called off celebrations to welcome in 2022, fearful that the all-conquering Omicron variant will take advantage of gatherings to spread even faster.

Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: open https://tmsnrt.rs/2FThSv7 in an external browser.

But Australia is determined to ring in the New Year with a bang despite surges in infections to record levels in some places.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison wished people to "enjoy the evening", while Dominic Perrottet, premier of New South Wales state, urged everyone to "head out and enjoy New Year" even as daily infections in the state nearly doubled to a record 21,151.

Perrottet said he took heart from higher levels of vaccination and the fact that hospitals were coping with the Omicron wave.

"Our position remains incredibly strong," he told reporters.

Social distancing rules are in place and masks are required indoors in Sydney but thousands of people are expected to flock to its harbourside to watch New Year fireworks, with queues forming at many vantage points from early in the morning.

Secretive North Korea also appeared to be preparing to buck the trend and celebrate the New Year with midnight fireworks at Kim Il Sung Square (NYSE:SQ) in its capital, Pyongyang.

Commercial satellite imagery showed preparations were under way with a stage being installed in the square, according to NK News, a Seoul-based website that monitors North Korea.

The Rodong Sinmun state-run newspaper ran photographs of flower shops in Pyongyang crowded with mask-wearing customers buying blooms for the celebrations.

North Korea sealed it borders after the pandemic began and has not reported a single case of COVID-19.


Over the border in South Korea, the mood was not so festive.

A traditional midnight bell-ringing ceremony has been cancelled for the second year and authorities announced an extension of stricter distancing rules for two weeks to tackle a persistent surge in Infections.

China, where the coronavirus first emerged in late 2019, was on high alert against the virus, with the city of Xian under lockdown and New Year events in other cities cancelled and authorities urging restraint.

Authorities in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, will close 11 roads that usually draw big crowds for New Year, police said, while Malaysia has banned big gatherings nationwide and cancelled a spectacular fireworks display at the Petronas Twin Towers in the capital, Kula Lumpur.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida took to his official YouTube channel to urge people to wear masks at parties and limit the number of people attending, while Tokyo's famous Shibuya entertainment district has banned year-end parties.

New Zealand, famous for its success in keeping the virus at bay, will see some celebrations. Its biggest city, Auckland, eased restrictions this week to let people enjoy some song and dance.

Indian authorities started to impose stringent rules on Thursday to prevent big gatherings with night curfews in all major cities and restaurants ordered to limit customers.


Despite the curbs, domestic tourists have been flocking to the famous beaches, pubs and nightclubs of Goa on the western coast to see in the New Year


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UK reports record 189,213 COVID cases, 332 deaths

Reuters.pngCoronavirusDec 30, 2021 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A sign is seen outside St James's University Hospital, where a temporary Coronavirus © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A sign is seen outside St James's University Hospital, where a temporary Coronavirus

LONDON (Reuters) -The United Kingdom recorded 189,213 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, a daily record, and 332 deaths, government data showed.

Case numbers were up from the previous record of 183,037 on Wednesday, with infections being driven by the new Omicron variant.

While the government has said Omicron may be more mild it is also more transmissible and surging infections have caused widespread disruption, with train companies cancelling services due to a lack of staff and Premier League soccer matches being called off.


Separate data also showed that the number of hospital beds occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients in English hospitals rose to 11,452. It has risen by more than 4,000 in the last week.

The data providers said the daily death figures, which at 332 were up strongly from the 57 reported on Wednesday, included a backlog of deaths from the Dec. 24-29 period that had not been recorded properly during the festive period.

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COVID-19 casts bleak shadow over New Year celebrations, again

Reuters.pngCoronavirusDec 30, 2021 
COVID-19 casts bleak shadow over New Year celebrations, again© Reuters. Healthcare workers wait for the next vehicle at a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing clinic as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in Sydney, Australia, December 30, 2021. REUTERS/Nikki Short NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

By Rupam Jain and Crispian Balmer

MUMBAI/ROME (Reuters) - COVID-19 will stifle New Year celebrations around the world for the second year running on Friday, with governments in many countries hurriedly scaling back festivities in an effort to contain rampant contagion.

Global coronavirus infections hit a record high over the past seven-day period, with almost one million cases detected on average each day worldwide between Dec. 23 and 29, some 100,000 up on the previous peak posted on Wednesday, according to Reuters data.

Numerous nations registered all-time highs during the previous 24 hours, including Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, the United States, France and Italy, as the all-conquering Omicron variant spread like wildfire.

Although studies have suggested it is less deadly than some previous variants, many health authorities were taking no chances, telling people the best way to see in 2022 was at home with very few guests - preferably all vaccinated.

In Europe, where almost one million people have died of coronavirus over the past 12 months, traditional concerts and firework displays that typically draw thousands of people on to the streets were cancelled in most major cities, including London, Paris, Zurich, Brussels, Warsaw and Rome.

Indian authorities started to impose stringent rules on Thursday to prevent mass gatherings, with night curfews imposed in all major cities and restaurants ordered to limit customers.

"It is being seen that social gatherings are going on in an unrestricted manner with people flouting all social distancing norms," said Rajesh Tope, the health minister of the western state of Maharashtra of which Mumbai is the capital.


Earlier this week, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged people to rethink their party plans. "It's better to cancel now and celebrate later, than to celebrate now and grieve later," he said.

However, despite spiking cases, some places are ploughing ahead with events regardless, including Sydney, the first major city to usher in the New Year, which is hosting its annual fireworks spectacular over the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Last year, the state banned crowds from attending the fireworks, when case numbers were in the low 100s, compared with more than 12,000 new infections reported on Thursday.

Likewise, New York said it would hold its Times Square (NYSE:SQ) party, albeit in a scaled-back version, with far fewer people allowed to watch as the iconic, giant ball drops down a pole to mark the arrival of 2022.

U.S. infectious disease official Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Wednesday that family gatherings where everyone was vaccinated should be all right, but cautioned that large-scale parties were still too dangerous.

"If your plans are to go to a 40-to-50-person New Year's Eve party with all the bells and whistles, and everybody hugging and kissing and wishing each other a happy new year, I would strongly recommend that this year we do not do that," he said.

Many people have taken the warnings to heart, leaving restaurants and hotels to count the cost of mass cancellations.

Cancelled bookings in Spain's capital would cost the hospitality industry some 350 million euros, 3% of annual revenues, said Jose Antonio Aparicio, the president of Hosteleria Madrid, an industry association.


In Italy, restaurant and club owners called for urgent government support, saying 25%-30% of New Year's Eve dinner bookings had been pulled.

"December ... which alone accounts for 10% of restaurant revenues, is largely compromised," said business group Fipe-Confcommercio.

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Omicron-related disruptions cause over 4,000 flight cancellations to kick off 2022

Reuters.png  Stock MarketsJan 03, 2022 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A plane is seen shortly after take-off at sunset, from Heathrow Airport, London, Britain, December 11, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A plane is seen shortly after take-off at sunset, from Heathrow Airport, London, Britain, December 11, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

By Kanishka Singh

(Reuters) - Over 4,000 flights were cancelled around the world on Sunday, more than half of them U.S. flights, adding to the toll of holiday week travel disruptions due to adverse weather and the surge in coronavirus cases caused by the Omicron variant.

The flights cancelled by 8 pm GMT on Sunday included over 2,400 entering, departing from or within the United States, according to tracking website FlightAware.com. Globally, more than 11,200 flights were delayed.

Among the airlines with most cancellations were SkyWest and SouthWest, with 510 and 419 cancellations respectively, FlightAware showed.

The Christmas and New Year holidays are typically a peak time for air travel, but the rapid spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant has led to a sharp increase in COVID-19 infections, forcing airlines to cancel flights as pilots and cabin crew quarantine.

Transportation agencies across the United States were also suspending or reducing services due to coronavirus-related staff shortages.

Omicron has brought record case counts and dampened New Year festivities around much of the world.

The rise in U.S. COVID cases had caused some companies to change plans to increase the number of employees working from their offices from Monday.

U.S. authorities registered at least 346,869 new coronavirus on Saturday, according to a Reuters tally. The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 rose by at least 377 to 828,562.


U.S. airline cabin crew, pilots and support staff were reluctant to work overtime during the holidays, despite offers of hefty financial incentives. Many feared contracting COVID-19 and did not welcome the prospect of dealing with unruly passengers, some airline unions said.

In the months preceding the holidays, airlines were wooing employees to ensure solid staffing, after furloughing or laying off thousands over the last 18 months as the pandemic hobbled the industry.


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Australia to push ahead with reopening amid record COVID-19 cases

Reuters.png  CoronavirusJan 03, 2022 
Australia to push ahead with reopening amid record COVID-19 cases© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A person wearing a face mask walks along the harbour waterfront across from the Sydney Opera House during a lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Sydney, Australia, October 6, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's government said the milder impact of the Omicron strain of COVID-19 meant the country could push ahead with plans to reopen the economy even as new infections hit a record of more than 37,000 and the number of people hospitalised rose.

Record daily case numbers were reported on Monday in the states of Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania, as well as the Australian Capital Territory.

In New South Wales, there were 20,794 cases, higher than Sunday's figure but below the daily record of 22,577 set on Saturday, with testing numbers lower over the New Year's holiday weekend.

The national daily total hit a record of more than 37,150 cases, exceeding Saturday's 35,327 cases, with Western Australia and the Northern Territory still to report.

"We have to stop thinking about case numbers and think about serious illness, living with the virus, managing our own health and ensuring that we're monitoring those symptoms and we keep our economy going," Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Channel Seven.

Hospitalisations rose to 1,204 in New South Wales, up more than 10% from Sunday and more than three times the level on Christmas Day.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the advice to the government was that the Omicron strain was more transmissible but also milder than other variants, which reduced the risk to both individuals and the health system.

Michael Bonning, chairman of the Australian Medical Association's New South Wales Council, said the significant increase in hospitalisations combined with the peak holiday period and the number of health workers exposed to COVID were putting pressure on capacity.

"With both the Christmas period and with hospital workers being furloughed due to their close contact status.... we're finding that it is becoming quite difficult to staff, especially critical areas of hospitals," he told ABC Television.

In late December, the government changed its advice on when people should get a free PCR test for COIVD-19, and is calling for greater use of rapid antigen tests, in part to relieve pressure on testing capacity.

But the rapid antigen tests are in short supply, and Morrison said the government would not cover the cost for people to test themselves, which he put at A$15 ($10.90).


"We're at another stage of this pandemic now, where we just can't go round and make everything free," he said.

Eight deaths from COVID had been reported on Monday, taking the national toll through the pandemic to more than 2,260.

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2022 will be the ‘year of vaccination,’ says vaccine institute expert

Weizhen Tan, CNBC
  • 2022 will be “the year of vaccination,” if last year had marked the year of the vaccine development, according to a leading expert.
  • Hopefully, 2022 will also mark the year when anti-Covid drugs will come to the fore, and make treatment more effective, Jerome Kim, director general of the International Vaccine Institute, told CNBC on Monday.
  • Kim also highlighted a “diagnostics gap” that countries need to be “much better at addressing.”

A Covid-19 vaccination card holder is handed out at a pop-up Covid-19 vaccination clinic at Larry Flynt's Hustler Club on December 21, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

A COVID-19 vaccination card holder is handed out at a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club on December 21, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller | Getty Images

If 2021 was the year of vaccine development, 2022 will be a year marked by vaccinations and booster shots, according to a leading expert.

“2022 will be the year of vaccination — either primary for people who haven’t been vaccinated, or booster vaccinations for those of us who have,” said Jerome Kim, director general of the International Vaccine Institute, an independent non-profit devoted to research on vaccines for poor countries.


Hopefully, it will also mark the year when anti-Covid drugs will come to the fore, and make treatment more effective, Kim told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Monday.

In late December, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized two antiviral pills to treat Covid-19 for emergency use, marking a milestone in the battle against the coronavirus that has killed more than 5.4 million people worldwide since emerging in late 2019.

Pfizer’s Covid oral treatment pill, called Paxlovid, was the first oral antiviral drug to be cleared for emergency use in the U.S. Another was Merck’s antiviral pill — known as molnupiravir — which was approved for use in adults with mild to moderate Covid at risk of severe disease.

As 2021 drew to a close, the more-transmissible omicron variant emerged, and cases around the world have surged in recent weeks.

Last week, the caseload in the U.S. hit a record high. Nationwide daily new cases were at a record seven-day average of more than 265,000 as of Tuesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. It surpassed the previous high mark of about 252,000 average daily cases set on Jan. 11 last year, the data showed.


In Asia, South Korea said Friday that it will extend restrictions after a surge in serious Covid infections.

Getting vaccines to those who need it

The key priority in 2022 is getting vaccines to people who need it — especially those in poorer countries who have limited access to them, Kim said.

“A really critical point to make — omicron is not the omega and we are going to see additional mutants and variants of concern, and hopefully we become more equitable in the use of vaccines,” he said.

“Increasingly, supply [of vaccines] will not be the issue. The issue will be: Who can get that vaccine into the arms of people who need the vaccination. That’s going to be the key for 2022, it’s getting people vaccinated,” Kim said, adding there’s a “significant number of people” in low income countries, who have not received a single vaccine dose.

About 58.3% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, but only 8.5% of people in low income countries have been inoculated with at least one dose, according to Our World in Data.

World must tackle ‘diagnostics gap’

Kim also highlighted a so-called “diagnostics gap” at the diagnosis stage of Covid-19.

“That implies that in lower income countries, they don’t do as many tests and they definitely don’t do as many sequences,” he said. Such genomic sequencing efforts of coronavirus case samples help track new variants.

He added that countries need to get “much better at addressing” such a divide.

“It’s the sequencing of variants from all over the world that allow scientists to know if a new worrisome variant is emerging,” Kim said. “Getting on top of it as quickly as possible is key if we want to open up, because we know that air travel does fairly efficiently spread the coronavirus.”

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Hong Kong to expand 'vaccine bubble' from February 24 to combat COVID-19 spread

Reuters.pngCoronavirusJan 04, 2022 
Hong Kong to expand 'vaccine bubble' from February 24 to combat COVID-19 spread© Reuters. People wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), walk on a street in Hong Kong, China November 29, 2021. REUTERS/Lam Yik

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday the government will expand a "vaccine bubble" from Feb. 24 to include venues such as gyms, cinemas and libraries as the city steps up its fight against the spread of coronavirus.


Only vaccinated people would be allowed into those venues.

Lam was speaking at a weekly press conference a day after health authorities confirmed a fifth case of Omicron in the local community from a cluster at a restaurant that was spread by an infected pilot.

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Australia COVID-19 cases surge, overloading testing system

Reuters.pngCoronavirusJan 04, 2022 
Australia COVID-19 cases surge, overloading testing system© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Patrons dine-in at a bar by the harbour in the wake of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) regulations easing, following an extended lockdown to curb an outbreak, in Sydney, Australia, October 22, 2021. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

By Renju Jose and Byron Kaye

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian COVID-19 cases soared to a pandemic record on Tuesday as the Omicron variant ripped through most of the country, driving up hospitalisation rates as the once-formidable testing regime buckled under lengthy wait times and stock shortages.

The country which for a year and half used a system of constant testing, contact tracing and lockdowns to squash most outbreaks, clocked 47,799 new infections, up nearly a third on Monday's number which was also a record.

Political leaders have pointed to a largely successful, if slow, vaccination rollout and few deaths, relative to new case numbers - four on Tuesday. But hospitalisations, another closely watched measure, are higher than at any other time in the pandemic: 1,344 in the most populous state New South Wales.

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WHO sees more evidence that Omicron causes milder symptoms

Reuters.pngStock MarketsJan 04, 2022 
WHO sees more evidence that Omicron causes milder symptoms© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting on update on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, April 6, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

GENEVA (Reuters) - More evidence is emerging that the Omicron coronavirus variant is affecting the upper respiratory tract, causing milder symptoms than previous variants, a World Health Organization official said on Tuesday.

"We are seeing more and more studies pointing out that Omicron is infecting the upper part of the body. Unlike the other ones, that could cause severe pneumonia," WHO Incident Manager Abdi Mahamud told Geneva-based journalists, saying it could be "good news".

However, he added that Omicron's high transmissibility means it will become dominant within weeks in many places, posing a threat in countries where a high portion of the population remains unvaccinated.

His remarks on the reduced risks of severe disease chime with other data including a study from South Africa https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/safrica-study-suggests-lower-risk-hospitalisation-with-omicron-versus-delta-2021-12-22 which was one of the first countries where Omicron was detected.


However, Mahamud also sounded a note of caution, calling South Africa an "outlier" since it has a young population among other factors.

Asked about whether an Omicron-specific vaccine was needed, Mahamud said it was too early to say but stressed that the decision required global coordination and should not be left to the commercial sector to decide alone.

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MyHealthChecked inks supply deal with Lloyds Pharmacy for COVID tests

investing-new.pngCoronavirusJan 05, 2022 
MyHealthChecked inks supply deal with Lloyds Pharmacy for COVID tests© Reuters

By Samuel Indyk

Investing.com – MyHealthChecked (LON:MHCM) has announced it has signed a contract with AAH Pharmaceuticals Limited (Lloyds Pharmacy) for the supply of its Fit to Fly/Pre-departure rapid antigen test.

The test, which can be taken at home prior to travel or overseas prior to returning to the UK, has results verified by a trained within two hours of completing the test and provides the passenger with a certificate suitable for outbound or return travel.

The AIM-listed company said the rapid antigen tests and accompanying verification service provided by MyHealthChecked will be the only COVID rapid antigen test sold through Lloyds (LON:LLOY) Pharmacy. The product will accompany the portfolio of PCR kits that Lloyds began selling in August last year.

“I am pleased to build on our existing relationship with Lloyds Pharmacy with our new COVID-19 antigen test service for travel,” said MyHealthChecked Chief Executive Officer Penny McCormick.

“Lloyds Pharmacy is already well established with a PCR testing portfolio that includes inbound PCR testing for fully vaccinated and non-vaccinated customers.

“We are delighted to be supporting Lloyds Pharmacy further with their growing COVID testing portfolio and working with them as testing protocols for travel continue to evolve.”

The announcement comes as travel industry groups push for the COVID restrictions on travellers to be removed in the next government review. Trade body Airlines UK previously argued that continuing the current measures would be financially disastrous for the industry, the BBC reported.

Currently, all passengers travelling to the UK aged over 12 must show proof of a negative test (PCR or lateral flow) which must be taken up to two days before departure to the UK. Arrivals then must take another PCR test within the first two days of their arrival in the UK.

The Fit to Fly rapid tests will launch at Lloyds pharmacy this month.

At 08:06GMT, MyHealthChecked shares were trading higher by 12.8% at 2.794 pence per share.

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French President Emmanuel Macron has sparked new criticism from his political opponents after saying he will make life difficult for those citizens who refuse a Covid-19 vaccine.

“I am not for bothering the French. I rant all day at the administration when it blocks them. Well, there, the unvaccinated, I really want to hassle them. And so, we will continue to do it, until the end,” the French leader said in an interview with Le Parisien, published Tuesday night, according to a CNBC translation.

Macron used the French word “emmerder” in his interview with Le Parisien, which can be roughly translated as “hassle” or “annoy,” or would be close to the phrase “piss off.”

His comments coincided with parliamentary discussions over Covid passes — documents that state whether someone has been vaccinated — which are used to attend certain events. A bill preventing the unvaccinated from entering most public spaces and transport was meant to be approved this week, but has been postponed after death threats on some lawmakers.

Macron’s words led different political leaders to criticize the incumbent president, with elections due in the spring.

Marine Le Pen, head of the anti-immigration Rassemblement National, said via Twitter: “This vulgarity and this violence of the President of the Republic prove that he never considered himself the president of all French people.”

Fabien Roussel, the leader of the French Communist Party, called Macron’s remarks “unworthy and irresponsible.”

Stephan Troussel, a member of the Socialist Party, said that Macron is playing with fire.

In the same interview with Le Parisien, Macron also said that he would not vaccinate people by force. However, he added that he would encourage people to get their Covid shots by restricting the access that unvaccinated people have to social activities by as much as possible.

Around 73% of the French population is fully vaccinated, according to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. 34.3% of the population has received a third dose.

The latest discussion over vaccine mandates comes just months before a key presidential election in France. Voters will be heading to the polls in late April. Macron has not yet said whether he will be seeking a second mandate, but the expectation is that he will be running again. CNBC

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COVID is masking hit to finance from Brexit, says City of London

Reuters.pngEconomyJan 05, 2022 
COVID is masking hit to finance from Brexit, says City of London© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People walk through the City of London financial district in London, Britain, September 13, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) - The City of London's policy chief said on Wednesday that Britain's attempt to get on the front foot in global finance after Brexit needs sustained impetus from the government.

Britain's financial sector lost most of its access to the European Union, which had been its single biggest export customer, after it completed its departure from the bloc a year ago.

While the sector has adapted smoothly to Brexit, the full implications were still working their way through, said Catherine McGuinness, whose five-year term as policy chief for the "Square (NYSE:SQ) Mile" financial district ends in May.

Some 7,400 finance jobs, far fewer than initially predicted, have moved from London to new EU banking hubs, but COVID-19 "may be masking what's really going on", McGuinness said.

"We are certainly not at a new normal," McGuinness told Reuters.

"We need to put Brexit behind us. What really matters now is maintaining our competitive edge in future," McGuinness said.

"It's not a given that people will want to come to London."

Amsterdam overtook London to became Europe's biggest share trading centre last January, and some derivatives business left for New York.

But the European Central Bank has resumed pressure on banks in London to adequately staff their new EU hubs after delays due to pandemic restrictions.

McGuinness said banks in London are voicing frustration at the cost and time of running duplicate UK and EU hubs, though they are still committed to having operations in the capital, McGuinness said.

She welcomed the finance ministry's promise of a "new chapter" in financial services and its proposals to make the financial sector more globally attractive, with some changes such as flexible listing rules already in place.

More needs to be done to get on the "front foot" in global finance and make the most of Britain's "new place in the world", she said.

"We had a lot of consultations and we need to see action and movement," McGuinness said.

The finance ministry had no immediate comment.

Relations with the EU also need to be put on a "new footing" though a proposed cooperation forum for UK and EU financial watchdogs has yet to be signed off by the bloc.

Brussels has said it wants the spat between the EU and Britain over the Northern Ireland protocol sorted out first before it can begin rebuilding trust in cross-Channel finance.


McGuinness has had to grapple with damage from Brexit to the City at a time when COVID-19 restrictions, recently renewed due to the Omicron variant, have emptied its streets, putting at risk sandwich shops, bars and other services used by office workers.

"I am really hopeful we can get people back to their offices soon because for some of these businesses that have really struggled to survive over the last couple of years, this may be the final straw for some," she said.

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LONDON — New Covid-19 variants are likely to keep on emerging until the whole world is vaccinated against the virus, experts warn, saying that the sharing of vaccines is not just an altruistic act but a pragmatic one.

“Until the whole world is vaccinated, not just rich Western countries, I think we are going to remain in danger of new variants coming along and some of those could be more virulent than omicron,” Dr. Andrew Freedman, a reader in infectious diseases at Cardiff University Medical School, told CNBC on Thursday.


Viruses “tend to become milder” as they evolve, Freedman noted, but he cautioned that this “isn’t always the case.”

“It may well be with future variants that they are even more contagious, they may be milder, but we can’t say that with certainty.”

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UK PM Johnson says COVID-19 shots will stay voluntary, attacks anti-vax movement

Reuters.pngCoronavirusJan 06, 2022 
UK PM Johnson says COVID-19 shots will stay voluntary, attacks anti-vax movement© Reuters. Soccer Football - Premier League - Leeds United v Burnley - Elland Road, Leeds, Britain - January 2, 2022 Fans get their coronavirus disease (COVID-19) passes checked outside the stadium before the match Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday COVID-19 vaccines would not be made mandatory even though anti-vax campaigners were dissuading people from taking up the shots.

Johnson said he wanted to persuade those people hesitating about the vaccines to get them, but the task was made harder by people spreading misinformation.


"I want a voluntary approach in this country, and we're going to keep a voluntary approach ... Other European countries are going for coercion," Johnson told reporters.

"But what a tragedy that we've got all this pressure on the NHS (National Health Service) ... and you've got people out there spouting complete nonsense about a vaccination ... And I think it's time that I, (and the) government, call them out on what they're doing. It is absolutely wrong. It's totally counterproductive."

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Omicron dents euro zone's economic rebound; inflation at record high

Reuters.pngEconomyJan 07, 2022 
Omicron dents euro zone's economic rebound; inflation at record high© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A traditional figure made from dried plums wears a face mask and holds a syringe at the Christmas market as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic continues in Frankfurt, Germany, November 29, 2021. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

By Balazs Koranyi and Francesco Canepa

FRANKFURT (Reuters) -Euro zone economic sentiment dropped more than expected last month while inflation hit another record high, indicating the economy is under renewed stress as surging coronavirus infections force governments to tighten restrictions.

With infections breaking records almost daily as the Omicron variant sweeps across Europe, growth is likely to take a hit around the turn of the year even though governments have largely avoided the debilitating measures that brought their economies to a standstill a year ago.

Foreshadowing the pain, the European Commission's Economic Sentiment Indicator, a key gauge of the bloc's economic health, fell more sharply than forecast in December to a level last seen in May. The outlook for services worsened significantly and employment expectations also fell.

In Germany, the euro zone's biggest economy, the slowdown is already evident in hard data.

Supply chain bottlenecks have held back Germany's vast factory sector for most of the last quarter and industry, thought to be on the rebound, unexpectedly stumbled in November.

Output fell 0.2% on the month, despite expectations for a 1% rise, reinforcing views that Europe's biggest economy came to a halt in the fourth quarter of 2021, with no relief in sight for months.

"Unfortunately, this is where the rebound of German industry stops for the time being. The fourth wave of the pandemic and Omicron should send industrial activity back into hibernation," ING economist Carsten Brzeski said.

"It will take until spring before German industry is back on a fully sustainable recovery path."

In a rare bright spot for the bloc, retail trade unexpectedly rose in November, indicating that at least consumers remained optimistic going into the Christmas shopping season.

The problem is that heavy spending by households, who were forced to save up cash for the past year amid restrictions, is pushing consumer prices to new records.

Inflation unexpectedly hit 5% last month, a record high for the 19-country currency bloc and uncomfortable reading at the European Central Bank, which has consistently underestimated price pressures.

When the economy rebounded from its initial pandemic shock last year price growth took off, primarily as oil and gas prices jumped.

Adding to the upward pressure, supply-chain bottlenecks curtailed the availability of consumer products, while households, digging into the cash they had piled up, started spending on everything from new cars to restaurant meals.

While most of these inflation drivers are temporary, many, including some influential policymakers, doubt the ECB's benign narrative that price growth will be back under its 2% target by the end of the year.

Part of their concern is that rises in underlying prices - or inflation excluding volatile food and fuel prices - are also above target, suggesting that sectors prone to weak inflation over the past decade are now adjusting.


Still, with stimulus extended only a few weeks ago, the ECB is unlikely to revisit its policy stance until March, especially as Omicron clouds the outlook.

There was a glimmer of good news for the central bank in the Commission's sentiment survey with euro zone entrepreneurs paring back their expectations for price rises for the first time in more than a year last month.

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Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel on Thursday said the efficacy of boosters against Covid-19 will likely decline over time, and people may need a fourth shot in the fall to increase their protection.

Bancel said people who received their boosters last fall will likely have enough protection to get them through the winter, when new infections surge as people gather indoors to escape the cold.


However, Bancel said the efficacy of boosters will probably decline over the course of several months, similar to what happened with the first two doses. The Moderna chief was interviewed by Goldman Sachs during the investment bank’s health-care CEO conference.

“I will be surprised when we get that data in the coming weeks that it’s holding nicely over time — I would expect that it’s not going to hold great,” Bancel said, referring to the strength of the booster shots.

An unprecedented surge of infections from the highly contagious omicron variant is currently spreading worldwide. In the U.S., the seven-day average is now more than 574,000 new cases daily, according to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

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Australia vows to 'push through' Omicron wave as infections cross 1 million

Reuters.pngStock MarketsJan 10, 2022 
Australia vows to 'push through' Omicron wave as infections cross 1 million© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A person wearing a face mask walks along the harbour waterfront across from the Sydney Opera House during a lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Sydney, Australia, October 6, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

By Renju Jose

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia must "push through" the fast-moving Omicron outbreak, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday, as infections surpassed 1 million, more than half in the past week alone, throwing a strain on hospitals and supply chains.

Although aggressive lockdowns and tough border controls kept a lid on infections earlier in the pandemic, Australia is now battling record infections in its effort to live with the virus after higher vaccination rates.

Growing hospital admissions have forced officials to restore curbs in some states, as businesses grapple with shortages of staff because of sickness or isolation requirements.

Morrison, facing pressure at the start of an election year, plans changes to isolation rules to allow work in food production and distribution by those who have been in close contact with asymptomatic infections.

"Omicron is a gear change and we have to push through," the prime minister told a media briefing in the capital, Canberra. "You've got two choices here: you can push through or you can lock down. We are for pushing through."

Morrison, who will submit his proposals to state leaders at a meeting of the national cabinet this week, plans to eventually widen the changes to transport and other key sectors.

Even though Australia was dealing with serious volumes of cases, health systems were coping, Morrison added. More than 3,500 people are in hospital, up from about 2,000 a week ago.

Data from a Reuters tally showed Australia's infections crossed 1 million on Monday, with more than half in the last week alone.

Supply issues could persist for another three weeks, said supermarket chain Woolworths, where one in five employees is in quarantine.

"At this stage, there is enough product in our supply chain to meet the needs of customers," Chief Executive Brad Banducci told ABC Radio. "It might not always be their favourite brand, unfortunately."

Australia's strict border rules are again in the public eye after it cancelled an entry visa for star tennis player Novak Djokovic because of questions about his vaccine exemption.

The judge hearing Djokovic's legal challenge to the decision to revoke his visa aired concerns about the Serbian's treatment by border officials on his arrival.


Health officials warned Monday's figure of just over 67,000 infections could be an "underestimate", as reports from some states do not include those who tested positive in at-home rapid antigen tests. Sunday's tally was just under 100,000.

Total COVID-19 infections in Australia touched 1.04 million since its first case nearly two years ago.


The death toll stands at 2,387, though the Omicron wave has caused fewer deaths than previous outbreaks, with 92% of those over 16 having received two vaccine doses.

As its booster programme gathers pace, Australia began rolling out from Monday inoculations with Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)'s vaccines for children aged five to 11.

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An omicron-specific Covid vaccine will be ready by March but some experts warn it could be “too late” due to the variant’s highly transmissible nature.

On Monday, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC that its vaccine with BioNTech that targets omicron — and other variants that are currently circulating — will be ready for distribution by spring and that the company has already started manufacturing doses.


But an omicron-targeted vaccine was needed in December, says Dr. William Moss, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “It still could be valuable but I do think in many ways, it’s too late” for the current omicron wave, Moss says. CNBC

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U.S. reports 1.35 million COVID-19 cases in a day, shattering global record

Reuters.pngCoronavirusJan 11, 2022 
U.S. reports 1.35 million COVID-19 cases in a day, shattering global record© Reuters. People wait outside a community center as long lines continue for individuals trying to be tested for COVID-19 during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in San Diego, California, U.S., January 10, 2022. REUTERS/Mike Blake

By Lisa Shumaker

(Reuters) - The United States reported 1.35 million new coronavirus infections on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, the highest daily total for any country in the world as the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant showed no signs of slowing.

The previous record was 1.03 million cases on Jan. 3. A large number of cases are reported each Monday due to many states not reporting over the weekend. The seven-day average for new cases has tripled in two weeks to over 700,000 new infections a day.

The record in new cases came the same day as the nation saw the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients also hit an all-time high, having doubled in three weeks, according to a Reuters tally.

There were more than 136,604 people hospitalized with COVID-19, surpassing the record of 132,051 set in January last year.

While the Omicron variant is potentially less severe, health officials have warned that the sheer number of infections could strain hospital systems, some of which have already suspended elective procedures as they struggle to handle the increase in patients and staff shortages.

The surge in cases has disrupted schools, which are struggling with absences of staff, teachers and bus drivers.

Chicago canceled classes for a fourth day as the district and teachers failed to agree on how to deal with increased infections.

New York City suspended service on three subway lines as a large number of workers were out sick, according to its Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) account. Companies' plans for workers to return to office have also been derailed.


Deaths are averaging 1,700 per day, up from about 1,400 in recent days but within levels seen earlier this winter.

A redesigned COVID-19 vaccine that specifically targets the Omicron variant is likely needed, Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE)'s CEO said on Monday, adding his company could have one ready to launch by March.

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Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on Monday said two doses of the company’s vaccine may not provide strong protection against infection from the omicron Covid variant, and the original shots have also lost some of their efficacy at preventing hospitalization.

Bourla, in an interview at J.P. Morgan’s healthcare conference, emphasized the importance of a third shot to boost people’s protection against omicron.


“The two doses, they’re not enough for omicron,” Bourla said. “The third dose of the current vaccine is providing quite good protection against deaths, and decent protection against hospitalizations.”

Bourla said omicron is a more difficult target than previous variants. Omicron, which has dozens of mutations, can evade some of the protection provided by Pfizer’s original two shots. CNBC

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Australia swamped by Omicron surge as pressure grows on hospitals

Reuters.pngCoronavirusJan 11, 2022 
Australia swamped by Omicron surge as pressure grows on hospitals© Reuters. A pharmacy displays a sign to inform customers that Rapid Antigen Test kits are sold out in wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Sydney, Australia, January 5, 2022. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's COVID-19 infections hovered near record levels on Tuesday as a surge of infections caused by the Omicron variant put a strain on hospitals already stretched by staff isolating after being exposed to the virus.

After successfully containing the coronavirus for most of the pandemic, Australia has been swamped by the rapid spread of the Omicron variant after authorities eased mitigation measures as high vaccination rates were reached.

Australia has reported about 1.1 million cases since the pandemic began, with more than half of those in the last two weeks, including nearly 86,000 cases on Tuesday, with two states due to report later.

"There is significant pressure in our health system," the premier of Victoria state, Daniel Andrews, told a media briefing, adding about 4,000 hospital and 400 ambulance staff in the state were isolating due to virus protocols.

Ambulance services in Victoria were forced to declare a code red - when there are more call requests than ambulances available - for several hours on Monday night, ambulance union official Olga Bartasek told broadcaster ABC.

There are more people in hospital in Victoria and New South Wales, home to more than half Australia's 25 million people and the worst-affected states by the virus, than at any time during the pandemic.

In all, about 4,000 people are in hospital with COVID-19 as of Tuesday, nearly double from a week ago. More than 92% of the population over the age of 16 have had a double dose of vaccine and a booster programme is picking up pace.


The number of patients in intensive care and the number of deaths are creeping up, with 25 new fatalities registered on Tuesday, with data from some states still not in.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, facing pressure for his handling of the Omicron wave in an election year, has vowed to "push through" the outbreak and plans to ease isolation rules for asymptomatic workers in key sectors amid reports of bare supermarket.

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UK PM Johnson under fire over 'bring your own booze' lockdown party

Reuters.pngCoronavirusJan 11, 2022 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts as he delivers a speech during the annual Conservative Party Conference, in Manchester, Britain, October 6, 2021. REUTERS/Phil Noble© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts as he delivers a speech during the annual Conservative Party Conference, in Manchester, Britain, October 6, 2021. REUTERS/Phil Noble

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was under fire on Tuesday after it emerged his private secretary had invited over 100 people to a "bring your own booze" party in the garden of Downing Street during the first coronavirus lockdown.

Johnson, who won a landslide victory in a 2019 election, has faced intense scrutiny over the past month after a video emerged showing his staff laughing and joking about a Downing Street party during a 2020 Christmas lockdown.

Revelations about a series of parties in Downing Street have garnered popular derision, prompting quips from comedians and criticism by opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer who said Johnson lacked the moral authority to lead the country.

Johnson and his partner Carrie were among those who gathered with about 40 staff in the garden of Downing Street on May 20, 2020, after the PM's Principal Private Secretary Martin Reynolds sent an invite by email, ITV (LON:ITV) reported.

"After what has been an incredibly busy period we thought it would be nice to make the most of the lovely weather and have some socially distanced drinks in the No10 garden this evening," Reynolds said in the email, ITV reported.

"Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!"

At the time of the gathering, schools were shut to most pupils, and pubs and restaurants were closed, with strict controls on social mixing.

So strict were the rules at the time, that police prosecuted people for having parties, erected random checkpoints in some areas and in Derbyshire, central England, used drones to monitor beauty spots.

Johnson's office declined to comment on the ITV report. A senior government official Sue Gray is currently investigating the allegations of at least five parties held in government departments last year during lockdown restrictions.

Edward Argar, a junior health minister, said he understood the hurt that media reports about Downing Street parties would give.

"I can understand the hurt that these reports, these allegations, will have caused, particularly for those who've lost loved ones," Argar told Sky News.


"It wouldn't be appropriate... for me to comment on those ongoing conversations or her ongoing investigation. We've got to give a space to conclude that investigation."

Over recent months, Johnson, 57, has faced criticism over his handling of a sleaze scandal, the awarding of lucrative COVID contracts, the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat and a claim he intervened to ensure pets were evacuated from Kabul during the chaotic Western withdrawal in August.

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Corona virus saga & missed fundamentals

     It is said that china is where corona virus was being developed for germ warfare, and that a year before the start of the pandemic an antidote of some sort was made in production for themselves just in case. No government has had the courage to take up this issue and the w.h.o has ignored it. several pandemics in recent decades have come from china, e.g sars and bird flue. The cost to the world has been huge as a result. Perhaps a reason for this could be that western countries and some others have been engaged in creating germs for warfare for a long time. But this world pandemic has shown the futility or madness of men's inhumanity to men can lead to extreme dangers for survival as the human race.

     Since the start of this pandemic it has been said it is spread by mouth & nose. If we stand 2m or more from another person than the virus cannot be caught.

     Corona virus vaccines was promoted heavily by pharma and health professionals in that the new vaccines will do the trick in 2 doses, an idea sold to all governments and the general public. Now the story unfolds differently, way beyond the initial sales pitch.

     The flu has a similar history and traits as this corona virus & its mutations. The current virus in play becomes “experienced” and adapts ( or someone could potentially create a new one in the lab and spread as germ warfare).

     The only key points of significance are that corona virus was new type and once spread ,it caught many people. if peoples immune system was not strong enough, for any number of reasons, they would be a victim to it.

     Today governments, health professionals, individuals and the media argue to and from the need for vaccines, rules and other conflicting biases. similar to the headlines put into highlight in this blog to show the current situation and arguments that is making headlines around us.

     What is missed, ignored or fundamentally the key fundamentals that have not been used are that the immune system of the body needs to be strengthened with natural foods. medical doctors are not trained in the full range of nutrition technology, nor its uses. Our health system in western countries is biased towards drug based training and medical solutions where patented drug solutions make an extremely hansom profitable business of making money. Nutritional science is a totally understood workable subject that is fully neglected by the health system which is fully tied in with the biased pharma companies..

     Also, no one was enforced as mandatory to wear a mask when this was most crucial. in addition no proof of no-need-for-mask if exempt was made mandatory to show as evidence, from the start. these effective solutions  simple to put in implement was never adviced.

     Even now there is no government health advice on how to improve your immune system from good appropriate foods, vitamins, minerals and amino acids which people could take themselves, in addition to the vaccines to help in the fight against this virus, or any other types that could even occur in the future. Very little is said if anything on these foods. Focus is mesmerised else where.

     As peoples immune system get use to the new corona virus it will be like the flu. It may come periodically as a new variant or strain. so health professionals will suggest a new vaccine for it and then take your choice to have it or not. But never will they advice in addition the nutritional data . Something wrong in this biased system.

     The big noise that so & so broke the rules, a professional tennis player had the virus and not want the vaccine, , that the new variant is fast spreading, and other headlines that argue to & from have all missed the fact that they all did not know the key fundamentals i have outlined above, briefly and so worry about the rights and wrongs with fear what could lie ahead.

     The key fundamentals outlined were not implemented fully nor individuals understand the importance of their use, nor apparently the government as they promote it. this is an irony considering that we live in an age of enlightened knowledge of various subjects, but still have very poor skills to evaluate all the true useful data out the miss mess of very confusing ideas portrayed as solutions with some built in biases. it does not benefit anyone, prolongs the pandemic, causes a rift among people and a huge cost to industry, government and people..

     At the end of the day there are only a few professionals who would be brave enough to admit errors and then to push for better solutions, with the kind of fundamentals i have outlined here, in brief. chances are that too many vested interests would like to promote their “answers” as they have been doing for so long .

     History has shown us that human nature is such that it generally fights itself in various ways towards genuine advancements and that biases or vested interests groups push it in a different way or direction. end result is not good.

“The measure of a man is what he does with power.”

“Ignorance, the root and stem of every evil.”

“Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge. ”

“In politics we presume that everyone who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state. when we are ill... we do not ask for the handsomest physician, or the most eloquent one.”
― plato


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2 hours ago, skyreach said:


     It is said that China is where corona virus was being developed for germ warfare, and that a year before the start of the pandemic an antidote of some sort was made in production for themselves just in case. No government has had the courage to take up this issue and the W.H.O has ignored it. Several pandemics in recent decades have come from China, e.g SARS and Bird Flue. The cost to the world has been HUGE AS A RESULT. Perhaps a reason for this could be that western countries and some others have been engaged in creating germs for warfare FOR A LONG TIME. But this world pandemic has SHOWN THE FUTILITY OR MADNESS OF MEN'S INHUMANITY TO MEN CAN LEAD TO EXTREME DANGERS FOR SURVIVAL AS THE HUMAN RACE.

     Since the start of this pandemic it has been said it is spread by mouth & nose. If we stand 2m or more from another person than the virus cannot be caught.

     Corona virus vaccines was promoted heavily by Pharma and health professionals in that the new vaccines will do the trick in 2 doses, an idea sold to all governments and the general public. Now the story unfolds differently, way beyond the initial sales pitch.

     The flu has a similar history and traits as this corona virus & its mutations. The current virus in play becomes “experienced” and adapts ( or someone could potentially create a new one in the lab and spread as germ warfare).

     The only key points of significance are that corona virus was new type and once spread ,it caught many people. If peoples immune system was not strong enough, for any number of reasons, they would be a victim to it.

     Today governments, health professionals, individuals and the media argue to and fro the need for vaccines, rules and other conflicting biases. Similar to the headlines put into highlight in this blog to show the current situation and arguments that is making headlines around us.




     As peoples immune system get use to the new corona virus it will be like the flu. It may come periodically as a new variant or strain. So health professionals will suggest a new vaccine for it and then take your choice to have it or not. BUT NEVER Will they advice in addition THE NUTRITIONAL DATA . SOMETHING WRONG IN THIS BIASED SYSTEM.





“The measure of a man is what he does with power.”

“Ignorance, the root and stem of every evil.”

“Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge. ”

“In politics we presume that everyone who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state. When we are ill... we do not ask for the handsomest physician, or the most eloquent one.”
― Plato



Hi @skyreach

Thanks for sharing.

Covid vaccine ‘waning immunity’: How worried should I be?

By James Gallagher, Health and science correspondent. BBC


There have been warnings from doctors and the UK's Health Security Agency that waning immunity is leading to deaths even of people who have had two doses of a Covid vaccine. So how much protection are we left with?

Let's nail some basics. The immune system has two big roles - to stop us getting infected, and if that fails, to clear our bodies of an infection.

I want you to stretch your imagination and picture your immune system as a medieval castle.

Surrounding the castle is a hostile and ruthless army of coronaviruses desperate to break in.

Your first defence is an outer wall patrolled by a legion of archers. These are your body's neutralising antibodies. If they can hold the viral army off, then you won't get infected.

But if the walls crumble and the antibody-archers wander off, then the virus is in. It has stormed the castle and you now have an infection.


Yet all is not lost. There are still troops inside the fortified keep at the heart of the castle. These are your memory B and memory T cells. Like knights on horseback they can rally the troops, lead the immunological charge and send the hostile invaders packing.

The Covid vaccines have been training your body's troops - this includes both antibodies and those memory cells that react to an infection - to take on coronavirus.

At least one of those defenders is waning and this is not a surprise. This happens after every vaccine or infection.

"There is good evidence that antibodies are waning with time, and that has left us with obvious defects," says Prof Eleanor Riley, an immunologist from the University of Edinburgh.

The desertion of these antibody-archers from their posts, has been made worse by the emergence of the Delta variant. It is just better at spreading and getting into our body - it's like a new army rocking up outside the walls, but this one's brought a cave troll and siege weapons.


You may have noticed the consequences of this yourself - people you know who have been double vaccinated, but have still caught Covid. Research, which has not been formally published, estimates that the AstraZeneca vaccine reduced any form of Covid symptom by 66% shortly afer the second dose. Five months later that figure had fallen to 47%. For Pfizer, the numbers fell from 90% to 70%.

This is obviously an issue for governments trying to contain the spread of the virus. Whether the viral invasion will cause severe damage as it tries to burn and pillage its way through your body now depends on your second line of defence. However, the vaccines are now keeping fewer people out of hospital.

Graph: How much do vaccines cut hospitalisations? - showing effectiveness of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines in stopping hospitalisations in those ages 16+, by weeks after 2nd dose

Prof Adam Finn, from the University of Bristol and a government vaccine adviser, says: "We are seeing significant numbers of unvaccinated and vaccinated people coming into hospital.

"The protection you have against relatively mild infection wanes more quickly, but protection from getting into hospital or killing you wanes more slowly."

The greater risk of needing hospital care or even of dying is concentrated in the elderly. The overwhelming majority of deaths in people who have been double vaccinated have been among those over 70. People in that age group are still far better off than someone who they share a birthday with, but turned down the jab. And as you can see, the risks in younger age groups who have been double vaccinated are small.

Graph - Unvaccinated more likely to die with Covid. Showing deaths per 100,000 vaccinated and unvaccinated people within 28 days of a positive test in England, 14 Oct - 4 Nov

The constant onslaught of time ages every cell in our body - including those that make up the immune system. Getting older makes it harder to train the immune system with vaccines, and it is slower to respond when an infection arrives. It may be that now antibodies have waned far enough, this frailty in the immune system is being exposed.

"It's possible older people initially had protection, but now those antibodies have weakened, they may not have the second line of defence," says Prof Eleanor Riley.

"That may be why we're seeing elderly, fragile people dying despite two doses."

All of this is layered on top of the fact that with age tends to come ill health. Since the start of the pandemic, age has been one of the biggest factors in how likely you are to die of it. The oldest people were also the first to be vaccinated, so their immunity has had more time to wane.

People who start with a weakened immune system, including cancer and organ transplant patients, have a subtly different problem as their bodies do not respond as well to vaccines.

"Their antibodies are waning at a similar rate to healthy people, but they obviously start off at a lower point," says Dr Helen Parry, from the University of Birmingham

It is worth noting there are important differences between the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines that have done most of the work protecting people in the UK.

"They seem to be good at different parts of the immune system," says Dr Parry.

"The mRNA vaccines (Pfizer) are really potent at antibody formation, the AstraZeneca vaccine is really good at generating T-cell responses."

To go back to the castle, Pfizer may be better at manning the outer walls with archers to keep Covid out, while AstraZeneca is good for the inner keep.

The good news is that even with waning, these are still exceptionally good vaccines. At the start of the pandemic, people were dreaming of a vaccine that could cut deaths by 50%. Even with waning and in the most at-risk age groups, that protection is still in the region of 80-90%.

"Even the worst cases, six months later, are better than what we hoped for when we designed these vaccines," says Prof Finn. "They're still really good."

The even better news is that there is already evidence that the booster campaign - which has reached more than 11 million people in the UK - is making a difference. Data from the Office for National Statistics shows antibody levels - those first defenders against infection - have gone up again in the oldest age groups.

"Giving a booster to the most elderly is a slam dunk," says Prof Finn.

Everyone is now closely monitoring the figures to see if this brings down the number of cases and deaths.

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WHO says more research needed on vaccine efficacy against Omicron

Reuters.pngStock MarketsJan 11, 2022 
WHO says more research needed on vaccine efficacy against Omicron© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Vials labelled "Moderna, AstraZeneca, Pfizer - Biontech, Johnson&Johnson, Sputnik V coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine" are seen in this illustration picture taken May 2, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

By Mrinalika Roy and Emma Farge

(Reuters) - The World Health Organization said on Tuesday more research is needed to find out if existing COVID-19 vaccines provide adequate protection against the highly contagious Omicron variant, even as manufacturers develop next generation shots.

The global health agency's latest technical brief aims to answer some of the big outstanding questions about the heavily mutated variant which first emerged in November, such as on severity, transmissibility and ability to evade vaccines. It also fixes priorities for its member states.

But on one of the key questions of whether a new Omicron-specific vaccine was needed now, the U.N. agency did not have an immediate answer.

"Further research is needed to better understand Omicron's immune escape potential against vaccine- and infection-induced immunity, and Omicron-specific responses to vaccines," it said.

A WHO official had previously said this issue required "global coordination" and should not be left to manufacturers to decide alone.

Some vaccine makers are already developing next generation vaccines targeting the highly contagious variant first detected in Southern Africa and Hong Kong.

On Monday, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) Chief Executive Albert Bourla said a redesigned COVID-19 vaccine that specifically targets the Omicron coronavirus variant would likely be needed and his company could have one ready to launch by March.

Rival Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) Inc is also working on a vaccine candidate tailored to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, but it is unlikely to be available in the next two months.

A WHO technical group has been meeting on vaccine composition in recent weeks and is expected to come up with a further statement later on Tuesday, a WHO spokesperson said.

Additional data on vaccine effectiveness against Omicron and the need for shots tailored towards the variant will be available in coming weeks, WHO said in the statement.

It urged countries and partners to study vaccine effectiveness and impact.


The agency said early data suggests that homologous and heterologous booster doses increase vaccine effectiveness against Omicron infection and symptomatic disease compared to Delta, but one study has shown declining effectiveness of booster doses against symptomatic disease caused by Omicron.

Analysis by the UK Health Security Agency has shown that booster jabs are providing high levels of protection for older people against severe disease from the Omicron coronavirus variant, but the duration of protection against mild symptomatic infection is more short-lived and drops to around 30% by about three months.

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    • Sainsburys full year earnings and Unilever’s first quarter trading update both say the same thing, UK consumers are in for higher prices. The war in Ukraine, supply chain issues and the effects of ongoing Covid all to blame.      
    • US Dollar (DXY) Daily Price and Analysis US Q1 GDP may stall the greenback’s advance. A 20-year high nears for the US dollar. The multi-month US dollar rally continues with the greenback printing a fresh high today ahead of the first look at US Q1 GDP at 12.30 GMT. The US dollar basket (DXY) has been boosted by renewed weakness in the Euro and the Japanese Yen, as investors move from lower-yielding to higher-yielding currencies, while safe-haven flows continue to benefit the greenback. The US growth release later in the session is expected to show a sharp slowdown from the robust Q4 figure of 6.9%. The markets are currently pricing in growth of just 1% for the first three months of this year, with the slowdown mainly due to a reduction in inventory accrual over the quarter. This release is unlikely to move the greenback, unless there is a large miss or beat, as the Fed believe that 2022 US growth will be robust enough to let them tighten monetary policy sharply without damaging the economy. The latest US Core PCE data – the Fed’s preferred inflation reading – is released on Friday and this may have more effect on the US dollar than today’s GDP data. For all market moving economic data and events, see the DailyFX Calendar. The ongoing US dollar rally has been aided by weakness across a range of G7 currencies including the Euro, the Japanese Yen, and the British Pound. The Euro continues to battle with lowly growth expectations, exacerbated by energy concerns, the British Pound is mired by weak economic data, while the Japanese Yen is in freefall as the BoJ continues with its ultra-loose monetary policy.   The US dollar continues to press higher and looks set to break above 103.96, the March 2020 high. Above here the US dollar would be back at levels last seen nearly two decades ago. The March resistance will likely hold in the short-term, especially with month-end portfolio rebalancing at the end of the week, but US dollar strength is set to continue in the months ahead. USDOLLAR (DXY) WEEKLY PRICE CHART – APRIL 28, 2022 {{THE_FUNDAMENTALS_OF_BREAKOUT_TRADING}} What is your view on the US Dollar – bullish or bearish?   Apr 28, 2022 | DailyFX Nick Cawley, Strategist
    • While Tesla has nothing directly to do with Elon Musk buying Twitter - TSLA stock closed down 12% on news that Musk may have to sell stock and use other holdings to stand against the loan to finalise the purchase of the social media giant.        
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