Seoul, South Korea – South Korea has broken its daily record for coronavirus infections for the second day in a row with more than 5,200 new cases.
The rapid delta-driven spread comes amid the emergence of the new Omicron variant. Much is unknown about Omicron, including whether it is more contagious, as some health officials suspect, whether it makes people more seriously ill, and whether it can cause vaccines to fail. Is.
South Korea on Wednesday night confirmed its first five Omicron cases arriving from Nigeria, prompting the government to tighten its border controls.
The country will require all travelers arriving from abroad in the next two weeks to quarantine for at least 10 days, regardless of their nationality or vaccination status.
Health experts have called on the government to reimpose strict social distancing rules eased in November to spur the economy, raising concerns that hospital systems could collapse.
Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic:
— Omicron and Delta Spell return of unpopular sanctions
— What is the status of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate in the US?
– Japan withdraws ban on new flight booking after the criticism
– Biden launches new winter COVID-19 booster, test drive
Visit https://APNews.com/coronavirus-pandemic For the day’s updates.
Here’s what else is happening today:
BUDAPEST, Hungary – The number of daily COVID-19 deaths in Hungary not seen since a devastating wave last spring, 218 were reported on Thursday.
Hungary now has the highest number of daily deaths per million inhabitants in the world, with the number of people under 10 in the country at 17.7 per million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Below the EU average of 66.2% of Hungary’s total population, is fully vaccinated.
Many neighbors in the central European country have instituted lockdowns, night-time curfews and other measures, with the Hungarian government opting to keep its economy open.
Despite a massive vaccination campaign launched last week, new cases continue to rise and the number of daily deaths has reached the highest level since April 16.
Milan – Italy’s pharmaceutical agency has approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5-11 years.
The decision on Thursday came less than a week after the European Union’s drug regulator said it was safe for children to use the jab.
Italian officials said children would be given a third of the authorized dosage for adults and adolescents, in two doses spaced three weeks apart, starting on December 15.
In Italy, 77% of the total population has been fully vaccinated and officials are urging eligible populations to get a booster shot.
LONDON – Britain has ordered 114 million more doses of coronavirus vaccines, ramping up the campaign to give all adults a booster shot.
Health officials hope that the increased protection will help keep the new and potentially more transmissible Omicron variant at bay, even if it proves more resistant to vaccines than other strains.
The government says 60 million Moderna doses and 54 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will be distributed in 2022 and 2023 – a sign officials think further booster shots may be needed.
The World Health Organization has criticized wealthy countries for stockpiling vaccines when many countries have received few or none.
Britain says it will deliver 100 million doses of the vaccine to developing countries by the middle of 2022, but most of them have yet to be delivered.
ATHENS, GREECE – Greek lawmakers have approved a law mandating vaccination for COVID-19 for all people over the age of 60 living in the country, at the pain of a monthly fine, due to a rise in infections and the Omicron variant. origin can be dealt with.
The draft law, backed on Wednesday by the centre-right government and centre-left opposition party – but rejected by all other opposition parties – targets the country’s age group most vulnerable to death or intubation from the coronavirus.
About 17% of Greeks over the age of 60 have not yet been vaccinated. They have until January 16 to get their first jobs, or be fined 100 euros ($113) every month without vaccination.
Parties opposing the measure said it was too harsh for low-income people who did not want to be vaccinated.
Des Moines, Iowa – Iowa hospitalizations from the coronavirus have hit a high this year with 721 people being treated in hospitals.
The last time the level of hospitalization was in mid-December 2020, when the state was falling below the historic peak of COVID-19 activity in November.
The number of hospitalizations reached over 1,500 patients in mid-November 2020. Figures released Wednesday from the Iowa Department of Public Health indicate that 10 children aged 11 or younger are in the hospital. Not everyone has been vaccinated.
An additional unvaccinated child between the ages of 12 and 17 is hospitalized. The state also confirmed 91 additional deaths in the past week, some of which occurred in mid-September. Iowa officials report a total of 7,445 COVID-19 deaths.
JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s new cases of COVID-19 nearly doubled in a day, officials said on Wednesday, indicating a dramatic jump in the country where scientists detected the Omicron variant last week.
New confirmed cases rose to 8,561 on Wednesday from 4,373 a day earlier, according to official figures.
Scientists in South Africa said they were prepared for a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases following the discovery of the new Omicron variant.
“There is a possibility that we are going to see a huge increase in the number of cases identified in South Africa,” said Dr. Nikki Gumede-Moeletti told The Associated Press.
The omicron variant has been detected in five of South Africa’s nine provinces and accounts for 74% of the virus genome sequenced in November, the country’s National Institute of Communicable Diseases announced on Wednesday.