Indonesia reported 1,054 new cases of COVID-19 – the highest daily increase in three months – in the same week that the government launched its vaccine booster program for the general public.
A new UK study has said that around a third of people infected with the coronavirus may still be contagious after a five-day quarantine.
Researchers from the University of Exeter Medical School in England also found that one in 10 people could still be contagious after a 10-day quarantine. Some people maintained these levels for up to 68 days, the scientists said.
Elsewhere, the United States has revised its guidelines for Americans on wearing masks to protect themselves from the coronavirus, recommending wearing “the most protective mask possible” while pausing before advocating nationwide use of N95 respirators.
Here are the latest updates on Saturday:
24 minutes ago (14:48 GMT)
Turkey revokes the PCR requirement for unvaccinated people in some areas
Turkey will no longer require unvaccinated people to have a PCR test for COVID-19 before using planes, buses, or other means of transportation, or before attending events such as concerts, plays or films, the state agency said. Anadolu.
Citing the Interior Ministry, Anadolu said even unvaccinated civil servants, private sector employees and school staff will not have to take a PCR test.
Turkish Airlines CEO Bilal Eksi separately stated on Twitter that the carrier will not require PCR testing on domestic flights.
In line with the decision made by our competent authorities, the PCR TEST requirement has been removed from all our passengers on DOMESTIC flights.
It will be sufficient to send the HES code.
– Bilal Ekşi (@BilalExiTHY) January 15, 2022
Translation: In line with the decision made by our competent authorities, the PCR TEST requirement has been removed from all our passengers on domestic flights. Sending the HES code [contact tracing system] it will be enough.
53 minutes ago (14:19 GMT)
The city of Beijing reports the first local case of Omicron
The Chinese capital Beijing reported its first locally transmitted infection of the highly transmissible variant of the coronavirus Omicron, according to state media, just weeks before its staging of the Olympic Winter Games.
The lab tests detected “specific mutations of the Omicron variant” in the person, Pang Xinghuo, an official from the city’s disease control authority, said at a news conference.
Officials sealed off the infected person’s residential complex and workplace and collected 2,430 test samples from people connected to the two locations, a Haidian District official said.
1 hour ago (13:44 GMT)
Indonesia reports the largest number of daily COVID-19 cases in 3 months
Indonesia has reported 1,054 new cases of COVID-19, the highest daily increase in three months, as the government prepares for a new wave of coronavirus infections led by the spread of the Omicron variant.
The fourth most populous country in the world faced a devastating second wave of infections in July, led by the spread of the Delta variant.
The number of daily cases dropped to around 200 by December, before increasing this month among reports of local transmission of the Omicron variant.
“A local transmission was found and Jakarta has become an infection cluster,” Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said Saturday. “We must coordinate with the regional government to strengthen mobility and strengthen health protocols, (give) booster vaccinations and strengthen health facilities.”
4 hours ago (11:37 GMT)
Palermo nurse arrested for alleged vaccinations
A nurse was arrested in Palermo on charges of pretending to vaccinate a married couple and receiving a fake vaccination from a colleague, according to Italian police.
The woman, who worked at the “Fiera del Mediterraneo” vaccination center in the Sicilian city, was placed under house arrest, accused of issuing false certificates and wasting public goods.
An investigation followed which in December led to the detention of another nurse from the same vaccination center. The investigation into whether other nurses have issued fake vaccines continues.
Saturday’s arrest came just days after the arrest of a nurse in the Italian city of Ancona, accused of pretending to inject vaccines to at least 50 people in exchange for a bribe.
5 hours ago (09:52 GMT)
The Philippines confirms the community broadcast of Omicron
The Philippine health ministry has confirmed the local spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant around Manila, as infections hit a record for the third consecutive day.
“We are seeing the community broadcast of the Omicron variant in the capital region,” Undersecretary of Health Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a public briefing.
The ministry reported 39,004 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, while active cases also hit a record 280,813.
6 hours ago (09:05 GMT)
COVID contagiousness can persist beyond five days: Study
After a five-day quarantine, around a third of people infected with the coronavirus may still be infected, according to new data.
PCR tests detect virus particles but cannot tell if they are infectious residues or simply inactive.
“After five days, 30% of people were still showing clinically relevant levels of the potentially active virus,” said study leader Lorna Harries of the University of Exeter Medical School in England.
After a 10-day quarantine, one in 10 people may still be contagious. Some people maintained these levels for up to 68 days, the researchers said.
6 hours ago (09:03 GMT)
E-cigarette users risk more COVID symptoms
Coronavirus-infected e-cigarette users may be more likely than infected non-vapers to experience symptoms of COVID-19, according to a new study.
The researchers compared 289 vapers to 1,445 people of similar age and sex who had neither vaped nor smoked tobacco, all of which tested positive for coronavirus on PCR tests.
Compared to infected non-vapers and after taking into account the participants’ other risk factors, infected vapers experienced higher rates of chest pain or tightness, chills, muscle aches, headaches, problems with smell and taste, nausea, diarrhea and lightheadedness, said the study published in the Journal of Primary Care & Community Health.
7 hours ago (07:59 GMT)
Djokovic returns to detention as he fights expulsion from Australia
Novak Djokovic returned to detention in Australia after authorities withdrew his visa for the second time and said the unvaccinated tennis player posed a threat to the public.
The world’s top player surrendered to officials in Melbourne for an interview around 8:00 am local time on Saturday (21:00 GMT on Friday), following a court order issued on Friday night.
Read more here.
9 hours ago (06:20 GMT)
Vaccination protesters gather in central Sydney
Hundreds of protesters marched through central Sydney as part of a demonstration against COVID-19 vaccinations for children.
Protesters waved flags and carried banners as they walked the streets of the city.
Some have decked out in Serbian flags ostensibly in support of conflicted tennis star Novak Djokovic, who is threatened with expulsion from the country as he tries to compete at the Melbourne Australian Open.
11 hours ago (04:16 GMT)
Mexico sees fake versions of the COVID-19 drug
Mexico is seeing black market or fake versions of molnupiravir circulating for sale, just a week after authorities approved the drug to treat people at risk of severe COVID, according to the Associated Press news agency. 19.
The news comes as the country posted a new daily record of 44,293 new cases.
According to official health data, 301,107 people have died of COVID-19 in Mexico.
12 hours ago (03:15 GMT)
Omicron spreads to the southern Chinese city bordering Macau
The city of Zhuhai, southern China, has suspended public bus lines after announcing that it has detected at least seven cases of the highly transmissible variant of the coronavirus Omicron there and warned residents not to leave the city.
The coastal city, which borders Macau gambling center, said on Friday that Omicron was detected in one mildly ill and six asymptomatic patients after starting mass testing due to a case in a nearby city.
China is battling a wave of coronavirus outbreaks, including many of the Omicron variant, forcing millions of people into a strict lockdown as the country intensifies vigilance against the virus ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics next month.
13 hours ago (02:00 GMT)
The Omicron wave causes the shortage of health workers in Brazil
Health centers in Brazil are facing a substantial staff shortage due to the latest wave of coronavirus cases driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant.
In Sao Joao de Meriti, outside Rio de Janeiro, authorities have to adapt with as many as 40% of medical staff on leave due to COVID-19.
On Friday, Brazil reported 112,286 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours and 251 deaths from COVID-19, the Ministry of Health said, bringing the total number of cases to nearly 23 million and the death toll to at least 620,796 since. beginning of the pandemic.
You can read all the updates from January 14th here.