Research shows that common cold T cells can prevent COVID Coronavirus pandemic news

A study conducted in the United Kingdom showed that T cells from common cold diseases can protect people from COVID-19, which may affect the development of vaccines against the pandemic in the future.

At the same time, India began to vaccinate frontline workers and the elderly with a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Omicron variant has caused the number of daily infections to increase nearly eight times since the beginning of this year.

In Europe, as medical staff in Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy and other regions find themselves in an increasingly desperate situation, the number of hospitalizations caused by COVID-19 has increased significantly.

With less than a month before the opening of the Winter Olympics near Beijing, Tianjin’s main port may face China’s first local outbreak of Omicron.

Here are the latest updates on January 10th:

Wipe your throat when using a rapid COVID test: Israeli officials

A senior Israeli health official said that people who self-test for COVID-19 should wipe their throats and noses when using rapid antigen kits to increase the chance of detecting Omicron variants.

This recommendation runs counter to the recommendations of the US Food and Drug Administration, which stated that the manufacturer’s instructions should still be followed, and any incorrect use of throat swabs may pose a safety risk.

On Israel’s Army Radio, Israel’s head of public health, Sharon Alroy-Preis, stated that antigen testing, which is widely used in the country, is not as sensitive as PCR testing for disease detection.

A passenger receives a nasal swab A passenger undergoes a nasal swab at the Tom Bradley International Terminal of Los Angeles International Airport [File: Bing Guan/Reuters]

T cells from the common cold can provide protection against COVID-19: research

A study by Imperial College London found that high levels of T cells from the common cold coronavirus can provide protection against COVID-19, which can inform the second-generation vaccine approach.

The study began in September 2020 and was published on Monday. It studied the levels of cross-reactive T cells produced by the common cold from 52 household contacts of COVID-19 positive cases shortly after exposure to see if they continue to develop Infect.

It was found that, compared with infected people, 26 uninfected people had significantly higher T cell levels. Imperial did not say how long the protective effect of T cells will last.

Research author Dr. Rhia Kundu said: “We have discovered that a large number of pre-existing T cells produced when the body is infected with other human coronaviruses (such as the common cold) can prevent COVID-19 infection.”

WHO: More evidence that Omicron causes milder symptoms

An official from the World Health Organization said that there is increasing evidence that the Omicron coronavirus variant is affecting the upper respiratory tract, causing symptoms to be lighter than the previous variants, and in some places causing a spike in the number of cases and a low mortality rate. “Decoupling”.

“We are seeing more and more studies that indicate that Omicron is infecting the upper body. Unlike other lungs, the lungs can cause severe pneumonia,” Abdi Mahamud, WHO event manager, told reporters in Geneva.

“This may be good news, but we do need more research to prove it.”

Nearly two years after COVID closure, schools in Uganda reopen

Uganda ended the longest school suspension period in the world. After nearly two years, millions of students returned to the classroom.

Since classrooms were closed in March 2020 due to COVID-19 sweeping the world, approximately 15 million students in Uganda have not attended school.

Education Minister John Muyingo said that all students will automatically resume classes one year after they leave.

read more here.

Seeing children in Uganda schoolChildren’s rights groups criticize Uganda’s decision to close schools in whole or in part for 83 weeks [File: Reuters]

Russia recorded 741 COVID deaths in 24 hours

With the continued surge in cases, Russia has reported 741 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

Authorities have reported 15,830 new cases in the past 24 hours, slightly higher than 16,246.

    A woman received an injection of the Russian Sputnik V vaccineA woman received the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against COVIDS-19 in Moscow [File: EPA]

Affected by the new crown pneumonia epidemic, Hong Kong’s first legislative meeting in 2022 may be held online

The Chairman of the Hong Kong Legislative Council said that Hong Kong’s first legislative meeting in 2022 may have to be held online, after more than 30 officials and members of Congress were quarantined for contracting the new crown virus at a birthday party for representatives of the Chinese legislature.

The president of the city’s Legislative Council, Andrew Liang, said that before Wednesday’s meeting, four lawmakers were still in quarantine, while the other 16 needed to be tested again.

“If we can’t hold physical meetings, then we will switch everything to zoom mode,” he said at a media conference.

Omicron’s sales in India increased nearly 8 times

Since the beginning of this year, the rapidly spreading variant of Omicron has caused the number of daily infections to increase nearly eightfold.

India reported 179,723 new cases on Monday, most of which occurred in the country’s largest cities-New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata-where Omicron has surpassed Delta as the most prevalent virus strain.

According to reports, since the pandemic first hit India in early 2020, 146 people have died, bringing the death toll to 483,936, ranking third in the world.

read more here.

A healthcare worker collects swabs for coronavirus disease tests in IndiaA healthcare worker collects swabs for coronavirus testing in New Delhi [File: Reuters]

European healthcare under Euromicron pressure

Due to the rapid spread of Omicron variants during the holidays, Europe’s healthcare system is again under pressure.

Although early research has shown that Omicron has a lower risk of serious illness or hospitalization than the previously dominant Delta strain, healthcare networks in Spain, the UK, Italy, and other regions find themselves in an increasingly desperate situation.

On Friday, the United Kingdom began deploying military personnel to support hospitals facing staff shortages and extreme pressure due to the country’s record COVID-19 cases.

“Omicron means more patients need treatment and fewer staff need treatment,” said Professor Stephen Bowis, medical director of the National Health Service (NHS), in a statement.

Number of infections among Dutch hospital staff increases

In the Netherlands, after a survey of eight major hospitals, the Dutch daily De Telegraaf reported that in the Netherlands, the infection rate of hospital staff is also rising sharply, especially nurses and nursing assistants.

In the worst case scenario, one in four people will test positive on Christmas Eve. At the Amsterdam University Medical Center, 25% of employees now test positive, up from 5% a week ago.

The hospital is considering changing their quarantine rules so that infected employees who are asymptomatic can go to work, because despite the strict lockdown in the Netherlands since December 19, the number of daily cases is still breaking records.

Spain is unprepared for the surge in Omicron

Rafael Bengoa, co-founder of the Bilbao Institute of Health and Strategic Studies and a former senior official of the World Health Organization, said Spain has failed to take enough measures to strengthen important services, and the pressure will continue to intensify in the next few weeks. .

“Spain has had a few weeks-basically the entire January-cases have increased… and then hope we can reach a platform that is declining just as fast,” he told Reuters.

Bengoa said that he believes that a more contagious and deadly variant than Omicron is unlikely, and is optimistic that the current wave may mark the beginning of the end of the pandemic.

“The pandemic will not end with a huge boom, but with a wavelet, because many people have been infected or vaccinated…After Omicron, we should not only care about wavelets.”

People line up in Spain for vaccinationsPeople line up in Madrid to get the COVID-19 vaccine [File: Sergio Perez/Reuters]

Partial blockade of Tianjin, China

Tianjin, a major port in China, may face the country’s first localized Omicron outbreak less than a month ago Winter Olympics Opened near Beijing.

CCTV stated that the government has divided Tianjin and its 14 million residents into three levels of restrictions. The first is a lockdown zone that prohibits people from leaving their homes.

After 20 children and adults tested positive for COVID-19, the city began mass testing on all its residents on Sunday, and at least two of them had Omicron variants. Another 20 people tested positive on Sunday.

Australia “passed”: PM

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia must “push” the fast-growing Omicron outbreak as the country’s total number of COVID-19 cases has exceeded 1 million-more than half have been recorded in the past week alone.

This situation is a turn for the better for Australia, which has suppressed previous pandemic waves through blockades and strict border controls and isolation.

Morrison said at a media conference in the capital Canberra: “Omicron is a way of shifting gears, and we must stick to it.” “You have two choices here: you can pass, or you can lock in. We are here to support it. past.”

read more here.