Friday, January 28, 2022

Live: Daily Coronavirus News Updates, November 27: What You Need To Know Today About COVID-19 In The Seattle Area, Washington State And Around The World

The World Health Organization is warning of a new variant of COVID-19, which they dubbed “omicron.” While the actual risks are not yet understood, health officials say people who recover from COVID-19 and recover could get sick again, and it is not known if current omicron vaccines are less effective.

In an effort to contain the potential proliferation of the new variant as its risks are assessed, the Biden administration announced that it will restrict travel from South Africa and several other countries from Monday. Travel restrictions do not apply to US citizens or lawful permanent residents.

Doctors in Poland continue to criticize government officials who refuse to impose additional COVID-19 restrictions on unvaccinated citizens, despite the recent spike in cases. The rise in infections has pushed authorities to open temporary hospitals, and thousands of children have been quarantined and school-aged children have begun distance learning as COVID-19 outbreaks continue in the country.

We are updating this page with the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on Seattle, the United States and the world. Click here to see real-time updates from previous days and all other news on the coronavirus, and here to see how we track the daily spread of the virus in Washington DC.


9:50 am

German minister hopes patient transfer will be “wake-up call”

A COVID-19 patient is loaded onto a German Air Force Luftwaffe plane at Memmingen Airport, Germany on Friday, November 26, 2021. The German Air Force Luftwaffe will begin assisting in the transport of intensive care patients from hospitals in Bavaria to the northern German states.  (Peter Kneffel / dpa via AP)

BERLIN. On Saturday, Germany’s health minister said he hoped the sight of the Air Force planes carrying patients around the country would send a “wake-up call” to the millions who still don’t want to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Health Minister Jens Spahn said the number of people receiving their first vaccinations has increased significantly over the past week, with 450,000 registered. He attributed this to pressure from the worsening situation with the coronavirus in Germany and tightening requirements for people to provide proof of vaccination or recent recovery so that they can take part in many events.

But this is still not enough, and “this figure of almost 12 million unvaccinated adults is still too high,” Spahn said at an online event at the town hall. Currently, 68.4% of the population of 83 million people are fully vaccinated, which is below the minimum threshold of 75% set by the government. There are significant regional differences.

Read the full story here.

– Associated Press

9:00 am

Biden blames COVID as the culprit for the country’s woes

WASHINGTON. Inflation is skyrocketing, businesses are struggling to find employees, and President Joe Biden’s polls are plummeting. The White House sees a common culprit for everything: COVID-19.

Biden’s team views the pandemic as the root cause of both national malaise and his own political woes. The White House believes that final control over COVID-19 is the main key to rejuvenating the country and reviving Biden’s own credibility.

But the coronavirus problem has proven unpleasant for the White House, as premature claims of victory last summer were flooded with the more infectious delta variant, the stubborn millions of unvaccinated Americans and the lingering economic fallout from the pandemic’s darkest days.

All this is like another variant of the virus – omicron – appeared abroad. This worries public health officials, leading to new travel bans and panic in the markets as scientists rush to understand how dangerous it can be.

Read the full story here.

—Zeke Miller, Associated Press

8:28 am

World in dismay: UK reports omicron COVID cases

LONDON – The UK was the latest country on Saturday to report cases of the new, potentially more infectious variant of the omicron coronavirus, as governments around the world have sought to bolster their defenses by imposing travel restrictions from southern Africa.

Amid fears that a newly identified new variant could potentially be more resistant to the protection offered by vaccines, fears are mounting that the pandemic and associated isolation restrictions will persist much longer than anticipated.

UK Health Minister Sajid Javid has confirmed that two people have tested positive for the omicron variant and that the cases are and are linked to travel from southern Africa. One is in the southeastern English town of Brentwood and the other is in the central town of Nottingham. The government had previously stated that one of these locations was Chelmsford and did not provide a reason for the change.

Read the full story here.

—Pan Pilas, Associated Press

8:19 am

UK Health Secretary Says 2 Cases Of New Variant Omicron Coronavirus In UK And They Are Related

LONDON. The UK Minister of Health said that two cases of the new variant of the omicron coronavirus have been identified in the UK, which are related.

This is an evolving story.

– Associated Press

8:12 am

Countries suspend flights to South Africa amid news of dangerous new coronavirus

LONDON – Amid worries about a new, possibly more contagious variant of the coronavirus spreading around the world, France, the United Kingdom, Japan and Israel have begun banning or quarantining air passengers arriving from the South African region.

Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser to the UK Health and Safety Agency, warned that the new variant, found in southern Africa, is “the most disturbing we’ve seen.”

The European Union is also expected to propose a ban on flights from southern Africa. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the proposal Friday morning on Twitter and said she was coordinating with the bloc’s 27 member countries.

Read the full story here.

—William Booth and Perry Stein, The Washington Post

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