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Nepal battles its biggest COVID outbreak

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* UK designates Omicron sub-lineage BA.2 as ‘VUI’
* Vaccine passport protests in Europe
* Vaccines show high efficacy against severe Omicron: Data
World
Nepalese people queue up to get vaccinated after the Government made vaccination cards mandatory for people to access public services in Kathmandu, Nepal on Friday.

NEPAL,UK,FINLAND,US: Nepal’s capital shut schools, ordered citizens to carry vaccination cards in public, banned religious festivals and instructed hotel guests to be tested every three days as it battles its biggest COVID outbreak.

The Chief Government Administrator of Kathmandu issued a notice on Saturday saying all people must carry their vaccination cards when they are in public areas or shop in stores.

Nepal, however, has only fully vaccinated 41% of its population. The notice did not say how unvaccinated people will be able to pay utility bills or shop for groceries. The health ministry reported a record 12,338 new cases on Thursday and 11,352 on Wednesday, compared to a few hundred daily cases last month.

Meanwhile, The UK health authorities on Friday said they will be conducting further analysis into a sub-lineage of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 after designating it a Variant Under Investigation (VUI).

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), which monitors data related to the pandemic, said the sub-lineage known as BA.2 shows a low number of cases in the country, with the original Omicron lineage BA.1 still dominant.

A VUI designation is the initial step of investigation before being designated a variant of concern (VOC), which the original Omicron BA.1 currently is.

Meanwhile, thousands of people gathered in European capitals Saturday to protest vaccine passports and other requirements Governments have imposed in hopes of ending the coronavirus pandemic.

Demonstrations took place in Athens, Helsinki, London, Paris and Stockholm.

Marches in Paris drew hundreds of demonstrators protesting the introduction from Monday of a new COVID-19 pass. It will severely restrict the lives of those who refuse to get vaccinated by banning them from domestic flights, sports events, bars, cinemas and other leisure venues. French media reported that demonstrators also marched by the hundreds in other cities.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 vaccines and boosters continued to have very high efficacy against severe outcomes during the Omicron wave of the virus, a large real-world study from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed Friday.

The paper evaluated data from more than 300,000 visits to emergency departments, urgent care clinics, and hospitalizations across 10 states from August 26, 2021 to January 5, 2022.

During the period when the Delta variant was dominant, vaccine efficacy against Covid-19 hospitalization was 90 percent between 14-179 days after dose two of a vaccine, fell to 81 percent more than 180 days after the second dose, and rose to 94 percent 14 days or more after dose three.

After Omicron became dominant, the vaccine efficacy estimate against hospitalization between 14-179 days after dose two was 81 percent, 57 percent after more than 180 days from dose two, and 90 percent 14 or more days after dose three.

– THE HINDUSTAN TIMES,JAPAN TODAY, NDTV

Monday, January 24, 2022 – 01:00











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