Hi everyone, it’s Samantha Lock here, ready to take you through all the new Covid developments this Tuesday.
It’s been a busy past few days on the Covid front with nations racing to close borders and reimpose restrictions after a new Covid variant was detected last week.
The head of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the threat posed by the “highly mutated” Omicron variant shows what a “perilous and precarious” situation the world is in, as he warned that the pandemic would not end until every country has access to vaccines.
Let’s dive right back in with a quick recap of all the key developments you may have missed from the past few hours.
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) said the Omicron variant is likely to spread internationally, posing a “very high” global risk where Covid-19 surges could have “severe consequences” in some areas.
- UK to ramp up booster vaccinations and will halve the minimum gap in between jabs to three months aims with an aim to administer 500,000 jabs a day.
- The UK also announced that all adults would be eligible for a booster jab as part of the country’s response to the Omicron variant.
- UK records 42,583 new cases and further 35 deaths.
- France records a big jump in Covid cases after the health minister said the country had entered the fifth wave of the pandemic last week.
- Omicron has been detected in at least a dozen countries including Britain, Germany, France, Denmark, Israel, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia and South Africa.
- Sweden, Canada, Spain and Portugal reported their first cases linked to the omicron variant.
- US president Joe Biden has said the Omicron variant “is a cause for concern, not a cause for panic”. The CDC is also urging all US adults 18 and over to get booster shots.
- President Xi Jinping said China would offer another 1 billion doses of Covid vaccines to African countries and would encourage Chinese companies to invest $10 billion in Africa over the next three years, Reuters reports.
- Poland, Ghana and Norway announced new restrictions on travel and socialising.
- The US says it doesn’t plan to introduce further travel restrictions.