Displaying items by tag: Covid19
Christian Aid says rich countries are not doing enough to fight the pandemic. They have ranked twenty rich countries' efforts to support rolling out Covid-19 vaccines globally. The worst nation is India; the UK is the second worst. Christian Aid said that the richest countries have a responsibility to improve global access to Covid vaccines, tests, and treatments, given their wealth and high vaccination rates. Governments financed research and development of these products and should not leave pharmaceutical companies to monopolise supply and price. But, amid a collision of international crises, the UK is turning its back on the world and undermining efforts to produce more vaccines, tests, and treatments in lower-income countries. By holding back the global pandemic response, the UK is haemorrhaging moral authority amongst international partners. Only one in three people in Africa - under one in four in low-income countries worldwide - have completed a course of vaccinations.
Chinese officials locked down a popular resort city after 450 Covid-19 cases emerged, causing over 2,000 tourists to be stranded as the city conducts mass testing. China’s ‘zero-Covid’ policy puts immense pressure on regional leaders to eliminate the virus. Wuhan also has a lockdown over a case of cholera. Bibles for China’s Kurt Rovenstine said it was a local official who restricted travel. That incited some panic. Rovenstine said that churches and schools suffer the worst from lockdowns. One parent said her son could only attend school six weeks out of the seventeen in the semester. Churches can’t meet to offer the Lord’s Supper, and people can’t go to church to receive a Bible. There are many requests for Bibles around China. Despite the challenges, Christians throughout China remain committed to growing in Jesus. They want to share His story with their neighbours.
Covid infections are up 43% across the UK, following the Jubilee weekend of partying and two new fast-spreading subvariants of Omicron, BA4 and BA5. People can catch them even if they have recently had other types of Covid. The Office for National Statistics (ONS), which compiles the data, says it is too early to say if this is the start of another wave. Millions celebrated the Queen's Platinum Jubilee between 2 and 5 June, giving Covid many opportunities to spread. It usually takes a few days for people to show symptoms or test positive after catching it, so the latest data covers some of that Jubilee mixing. There were 11,778 new confirmed positive test result on 17 June 2022, and 80,128 people in the last 7 days. An increase of 17,771 compared to the previous 7 days. Data is being monitored closely: see
Covid infections are increasing across the UK with about one in 25 people infected, according to the latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). In Scotland, 300,000 people - one in 18 - have coronavirus, the highest level recorded during the pandemic. A sub-variant of Omicron, called BA2, is now thought to be the most common strain in most of the UK. Recent easing of restrictions and waning immunity from the vaccines could all be factors in the increase. Health secretary Sajid Javid said Omicron had been the last variant to be a concern, and the country had ‘successfully navigated’ it, but the Government continued to monitor the situation ‘very carefully’. The ONS infection survey tests thousands of people randomly in households across the UK and estimated 2.6 million people tested positive in the week ending 5 March. It was 2.4 million the week before.
Covid restrictions are easing as scientists believe the surge of Omicron infections ‘has peaked nationally.’ Hospitals in northern England are still struggling with high caseloads, but elsewhere admissions and patients in ICU are stabilising or falling. Covid passes for events have been scrapped. People are no longer being advised to work from home. Some firms are wary about rushing back to offices at a time of high staff absences. However Havas, with 11,500 staff worldwide, will be fully reopening its London office from 24 January. ‘Many of our employees want to come back into the office, but some people are nervous and we don't have a one-size-fits-all approach. We'll be talking to those people individually and finding solutions that work for them.’ The Government wants civil servants back at their desks as an example to other employers. The Chamber of Commerce called for improved access to rapid testing so that firms could confidently bring staff back to workplaces. See also
In a paper published on 18 January, the Tony Blair Institute (TBI) said the Government should develop infrastructure to allow it to mobilise new vaccination campaigns within 48 hours. With the likelihood of more Covid variants emerging, a fourth vaccination may soon be needed. TBI says the ability to respond to future outbreaks would depend on a better approach to command and control through a strong, coherent public-health emergency operations centre. Currently governments react, rather than work to ‘stay ahead of the curve. A renewed effort to inoculate 6.2 million still unvaccinated is needed. The unvaccinated are 43% of hospital admissions. TBI suggests using anthropological research and behavioural science to understand why people are not adhering to public health guidance and getting their Covid shots. See
Tennis player Novak Djokovic wears a wooden cross and is known for praying during his matches. He received a visa to visit Australia on 18 November and arrived in Melbourne on 5 January with a Covid exemption approved by Tennis Australia's chief medical officer and a Victorian government independent expert panel. Novak belongs to the Serbian Orthodox church and on 7 January (the Orthodox Christmas Day) he was held in detention for an invalid visa while lawyers fought for his freedom. Three days later a judge ruled he could remain in Australia. Djokovic wants to play in the Australian Open, which begins on 17 January: if he won he would become the most successful men's player in history. However, Australia's immigration minister insists his recent Covid infection does not exempt him from vaccine requirements and could still deport him. He admitted that there were mistakes on his immigration forms and that he had met a journalist after testing positive for Covid.
Omicron will become the dominant Covid variant in France by January. Germany, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, and France have announced additional restrictions to stem the tide. Germany's health minister said they must prepare for a challenge never seen before. He has designated France, Norway and Denmark as ‘high risk’ and added tougher rules on UK arrivals. A third of Ireland’s new cases have been Omicron. They are expecting infections at a rate that far exceeds anything they have seen to date. Italy, Greece and Portugal announced that visitors from the EU, even those who have been vaccinated, must present a negative test result on arrival, to stem the tide of infections. The UK is hardest hit, but English people with Covid can end quarantine after seven days instead of ten if they test negative on days six and seven. England has new restrictions before Christmas, while Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have curbed social mixing.
The national primary health care agency (NPHCDA) destroyed 1,066,214 expired doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine that were donated to them in October but had to be used by November. The decision to destroy the vaccinations followed several testing processes showing it was necessary to destroy them to protect Nigerians from being harmed. NPHCDA’s director said they had an option to try and use these vaccines beyond the labelled expiry date, but decided to destroy them at the point they expired. The vaccines came with a short life span, some as short as two weeks. NPHCDA said while Nigeria appreciated the gesture of the donors, it was not in the interest of Nigeria that vaccines with a short lifespan were sent there. Only ten million Nigerians have been vaccinated to date: Nigeria’s target is 110 million people.
Many Covid patients admitted to hospital are unvaccinated and then ask for the vaccine on arrival, when it is too late. Hospitals are treating unprecedented numbers of sick people at the start of what could be the toughest winter in NHS history. One doctor said, ‘The recent volume of patients is higher than ever before. Everyone wants to give their best, but sometimes that is just not possible’. The treatment backlog caused by Covid has made things worse, and there are more mental health issues and alcohol abuse due to the current constraints. See There are currently no restrictions on the number of visitors allowed to care homes, but the government has confirmed it is considering restricting visits to homes to three named people over Christmas as a consequence of the uncertainty caused by the Omicron variant. Pray for the shadow of trauma, fear, and uncertainty caused by Covid to be lifted.