Editor’s note: Get the latest COVID-19 news as well as instructions in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.
The Netherlands began a 4-week nationwide lockdown on Sunday, in order to stop the increase in COVID-19-related cases caused by the Omicron variant.
Bars, stores, and restaurants will be closed until January. 14, and schools and universities will be closed until January. 9, according to The Associated Press.
The lockdown could also disrupt holiday gatherings. The lockdown will limit residents to two visitors with the exception of New Year’s Day and Christmas where they can host up to four visitors.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte stated Saturday that “I can hear the whole of the Netherlands crying.”
“All this, exactly 1 week before Christmas. He said that another Christmas is completely different from what we’d like. “Very terrible news for all those businesses and cultural institutions that count on the holiday season.”
Rutte said the decision was “unavoidable” because of the “fifth wave” caused by the Omicron variant.
As the pandemic continues to spread, other countries are implementing new rules. Certain countries have reported their highest number of daily cases since the start of the pandemic, according to the AP.
The UK, France, and Austria have tightened travel regulations and mask mandates. Denmark has shut down theaters, concert halls, museums, and other venues. Ireland has instituted a curfew in pubs and a limited number of patrons at indoor and outdoor events.
In a new technical note that was released, the World Health Organization reported that the Omicron variant has been identified in 89 countries, and cases are increasing every 1 1/2 to 3 days in places that have transmission in the community.
Scientists are trying to answer questions regarding Omicron and whether it causes serious illnesses and how effective COVID-19 vaccines are. Omicron’s transmissibility is high, which implies that it is likely to outcompete the Delta variant in countries in which its spread is limited, according to the WHO.
For instance, Omicron is now the most prevalent coronavirus variant in London the AP reported. It will likely become the predominant form of coronavirus in the U.S. this winter as well.
“It’s going over,” Anthony Fauci MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced on Sunday’s CNN’s State of the Union.
“It will be a rough few weeks and months as we get deeper into winter,” he continued.
The number of new cases reported in the U.S. each day is at present close to 130,000, an increase from the average of around 70,000 cases in the month prior. According to the most recent figures from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 68,000 people are being hospitalized with COVID-19 in the U.S.
Fauci urged people to get vaccines, receive booster shots and wear masks when indoors and traveling. He said the protection from the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines is “quite good, especially against severe diseases.”
According to the most recent CDC data around 65% of eligible U.S. citizens are considered fully vaccination-free. A booster was given to 32% of eligible adults.
“A major message to be heard today is, if you’ve had vaccines and a booster, you’re very well-protected against Omicron which can cause severe illness,” Francis Collins, MD, the director of the National Institutes of Health, on CBS’s “Hyperlink”Face the Nation on Sunday.
“So anyone who is in that 60% of Americans who are eligible for a booster but haven’t yet received one This is the week to take action,” he said. “Do not wait.”
The Associated Press: “Netherlands ‘going into lockdown’ again to stop omicron.”
World Health Organization: “Enhancing the readiness of Omicron (B.1.1.529) Technical Brief and Priority Actions for Member States.”
CNN Transcripts: “State of the Union,” Dec. 19, 2021.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Hospital Utilization.”
CDC: “COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States.”
CBS News: “Transcript by Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the NIH, on Face the Nation, December 19 2021.”
Content Source: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/965202?src=rss