April 11: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic

According to John Hopkins University, the confirmed number of cases of COVID-19 has passed 141.43 million globally. The total number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 3million and Our World in Data ascertained that more than 890.31 million vaccination doses have been administered globally.

Data from Britain’s Office for National Statistics dated April 1 showed that the rates of COVID-19 among people in England rose to their highest since the pandemic began.

For incoming international travellers, Brazil has reduced restrictions and vaccinated Brazilians and foreigners are now exempted from providing evidence of a COVID-19 test with a negative result or non-detectable result.

As of April 1, Italy has begun to phase out all  COVID-19 restrictions by putting an end to a state of emergency declared more than two years ago.

South Korea has lowered its social distancing rules this week and could discard most pandemic-related restrictions later in April.

Germany intends to put an end to mandatory quarantine as proposed by the health ministry proposed last week for most people who have contracted COVID-19. Under prevailing rules, people with COVID-19 need to quarantine for at least seven days. This would shift to a voluntary five-day duration.

According to a new study, children between the ages of 5 and 11 who received the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine were 68% less likely to be hospitalised during the Omicron wave in the United States than unvaccinated children.

Switzerland has lifted the last of its COVID-19 restrictions from the first day of April, including the requirement to self-isolate for five days after getting a positive test.

According to two studies  which were published on the 31st of March in The Lancet Infectious Diseases,

Even though people who recoup from COVID-19 usually get some immune defences that deter reinfection, they would still get supplementary protection from vaccines, especially against any form of severe disease.

Researchers reported on 31 March that more than a third of high-school students surveyed in the United States experienced stress, anxiety or depression during the pandemic, and nearly a fifth said they seriously contemplated suicide.

On the 30th of March, The World Health Organisation (WHO) has delineated an updated plan for COVID-19. It laid out fundamental strategies that, if implemented,

would enable the world to end the emergency phase of the pandemic this year. WHO has also called on countries to boost or proceed with their virus surveillance capabilities which would help enhance the detection of long COVID.

It also continues to improve the goal of vaccinating 70% of the world against COVID-19 – among other strategies.

Some WHO plans include three possible scenarios for how the virus might evolve in the coming year. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General said “Based on what we know now, the most likely scenario is that the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, but the severity of the disease it causes reduces over time as immunity increases due to vaccination and infection.”

In conclusion, stakeholders and decision-makers in countries have been urged to prepare and be ready, detect, protect, and treat anyone infected, reduce transmission, and innovate and learn.

The WHO advice to activate and scale up emergency response mechanisms remains prevalent. The need to communicate with people about the risks and how they can protect themselves is now everybody’s business.

WHO further urges governments to find, isolate, test (carry out rapid testing London, 15-minute covid test or same-day covid test London and treat every case and trace every contact, ready their hospitals in case there is a new variant looming, and protect and train their health workers.

As individuals, we all need to look out for each other because we need each other. Stay safe!

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