America News

First U.S. omicron patient was fully vaccinated and has mild Covid symptoms, officials say

The individual has mild symptoms, has not been hospitalized and is improving, Gov. Gavin Newsom said.

U.S. confirms nation's first case of omicron Covid variant in California

The patient, who was fully vaccinated, returned from traveling in South Africa to the San Francisco area on Nov. 22 and tested positive for omicron on Nov. 29.

WHO says South Africa Covid hospitalizations are rising but it's too soon to know severity of omicron

The WHO said Wednesday that some patients infected with omicron are showing mild symptoms, but there are also reports of severe cases.

WHO says omicron has been found in 23 countries across the world

The World Health Organization said 23 countries across the world have reported cases of the highly mutated omicron Covid-19 variant. 

Supreme Court conservatives look ready to gut Roe v. Wade during arguments in Mississippi abortion case

The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, marks the most significant challenge to abortion rights in decades.

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Europe News

Unvaccinated 'three times more contagious' than vaccinated in Switzerland

Switzerland’s Covid task force has released a range of statistical findings about the transmission of the virus, including the fact that those who have not been vaccinated against Covid are three times more likely to infect others.

Where to find traditional British Christmas food in Spain

Here's where Britons can find all their favourite British Christmas treats if they're staying in Spain for the holidays this year or find that they can't bring them back due to the customs rules that now apply after Brexit.

EXPLAINED: How do Italy's new Covid rules affect tourists?

Following Italy's introduction of the new 'super green pass' aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus, many readers have contacted The Local to ask how it will affect tourists. Here's what we know so far about how visitors can navigate the system.

'No more ICU beds' in Zurich as Switzerland hits all-time Covid case record

Switzerland recorded almost 10,500 new Covid cases on Wednesday, while there are no more ICU beds left in Zurich, the country's largest canton.

Guernsey issues post-Brexit fishing licences to French boats

Guernsey on Wednesday issued fishing licences to 40 French boats, in the latest move over post-Brexit access rights that has seen Paris and London at loggerheads and blockades threatened.

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BBC World News

Supreme Court: Top US judges signal support for abortion limits

The court's eventual ruling may cut off abortion access for tens of millions of American women.

WTA suspends China tournaments over Peng Shuai

The WTA announces the immediate suspension of all tournaments in China amid concern for Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai.

Covid Omicron: Time to consider mandatory jabs, EU chief says

EU countries should discuss forced vaccinations to combat the Omicron variant, says Ursula von der Leyen.

Austria: Doctor fined for amputating wrong leg of patient

The patient's right leg was removed instead of his left, with the mistake discovered two days later.

Ethiopia's Tigray conflict: Lalibela retaken - government

Tigray rebels took control of Lalibela, famous for its 13th Century rock-hewn churches, in August.

Michigan school shooting: Student kills four and wounds seven

Police allege the suspect, a 15-year-old student, used a gun his father had bought days earlier.

Arizona officer fired after fatally shooting man in wheelchair

Tucson police officer Ryan Remington fired nine shots at the 61-year old suspected shoplifter.

Rust: US Police to search arms supplier over fatal film shooting

A fourth search warrant is issued to find out how the ammo that killed Halyna Hutchins got on set.

WHO: ‘Omicron is a variant of concern, not panic’

The world needs to be alert but not overreact, the World Health Organization’s spokesperson says.

EU launches €300bn bid to challenge Chinese influence

The Global Gateway infrastructure plan is described as a true alternative to Chinese influence.

BBC World News is brought to you by BBC

Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Case Tracker

Provided by Johns Hopkins University this COVID-19 Global Case Tracker Dashboard shows you the most up-to-date information about the global spread of the new corona virus.

About the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern regarding COVID-19 on 30 January 2020, and later declared a pandemic on 11 March 2020. As of 2 June 2021, more than 171 million cases have been confirmed, with more than 3.56 million confirmed deaths attributed to COVID-19, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in history.

Symptoms of COVID-19 are highly variable, ranging from none to life-threateningly severe. COVID-19 transmits when people breathe in air contaminated by droplets and small airborne particles. The risk of breathing these in is highest when people are in close proximity, but they can be inhaled over longer distances, particularly indoors. Transmission can also occur if splashed or sprayed with contaminated fluids, in the eyes nose or mouth, and rarely via contaminated surfaces. People remain contagious for up to 20 days, and can spread the virus even if they do not develop any symptoms.

Recommended preventive measures include social distancing, wearing face masks in public, ventilation and air-filtering, hand washing, covering one's mouth when sneezing or coughing, disinfecting surfaces, and monitoring and self-isolation for people exposed or symptomatic. Several vaccines have been developed and widely distributed since December 2020. Current treatments focus on addressing symptoms, but work is underway to develop medications that inhibit the virus. Authorities worldwide have responded by implementing travel restrictions, lockdowns and quarantines, workplace hazard controls, and business closures. Numerous jurisdictions have also worked to increase testing capacity and trace contacts of the infected.

The pandemic has resulted in significant global social and economic disruption, including the largest global recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It has led to widespread supply shortages exacerbated by panic buying, agricultural disruption, and food shortages. However, there have also been decreased emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases. Numerous educational institutions and public areas have been partially or fully closed, and many events have been cancelled or postponed. Misinformation has circulated through social media and mass media, and political tensions have been exacerbated. The pandemic has raised issues of racial and geographic discrimination, health equity, and the balance between public health imperatives and individual rights.

Source: Wikipedia (June 2, 2021)

Please find below further updates from The World Health Organization (WHO).

WHO issues its first emergency use validation for a COVID-19 vaccine and emphasizes need for equitable global access

The World Health Organization (WHO) today listed the Comirnaty, COVID-19 mRNA vaccine for emergency use, making the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine the first to receive emergency validation from WHO since the outbreak began a year ago.

COVID-19: One year later – WHO Director-General’s new year message

In his end of year message for 2020, WHO Director-General says there is light at the end of the tunnel in the fight against COVID-19. But going into 2021, he urges countries and communities to work together, in solidarity, to overcome this and future health challenges.