Science & Tech

Covid-19 news: Denmark is first country to pause vaccinations

A person receives their covid-19 vaccine in Frederikshavn in Jutland, Denmark, on 12 April 2021

An individual receives their covid-19 vaccine in Frederikshavn in Jutland, Denmark, on 12 April 2021


Latest coronavirus information as of noon 27 April

Denmark has briefly suspended covid-19 vaccinations amid excessive ranges of immunisation, a drop in instances and stabilising hospitalisation charges

The Danish authorities will now not ship out covid-19 vaccination invites after 15 May, nevertheless, an immunisation programme is anticipated to renew within the autumn.

More than 4 in 5 (82 per cent) folks in Denmark’s 5.8-million-strong inhabitants are totally vaccinated, outlined as having two jabs.

The nation reported 1549 covid-19 instances on 26 April, a median calculated from the final seven days. Fewer than 1000 folks have been in hospital with covid-19 since early April.

On 1 February, Denmark was the primary nation within the European Union to scrap all of its covid-19 restrictions, saying SARS-CoV-2 virus was now not a vital menace.

Other coronavirus information

Reduced testing throughout many international locations means the world is “increasingly blind to patterns of transmission and evolution” of covid-19, in response to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“As many countries reduce testing, WHO is receiving less and less information about transmission and sequencing,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director-general, stated in a press convention on 26 April.

Covid-19 was the sixth main reason behind dying in England in March, accounting for 4.3 per cent of all fatalities, in response to the Office for National Statistics. In February, covid-19 was the third main reason behind dying in England, accounting for five.6 per cent of all fatalities.

Pfizer and its companion BioNTech have utilized for authorisation of their booster shot for five to 11 12 months olds within the US. Just 28 per cent of this age group are totally vaccinated, in response to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, after two doses had been made accessible to five to 11 12 months olds final October.

This follows a small research of 30 individuals that exposed the booster shot elevated neutralising antibodies in opposition to omicron 36-fold.

Essential details about coronavirus

Where did coronavirus come from? And different covid-19 questions answered

What is covid-19?

Covid-19 vaccines: Everything you have to know in regards to the main photographs

Long covid: Do I’ve it, how lengthy will it final and might we deal with it?

What’s the fairest technique to share covid-19 vaccines all over the world?

Covid-19: The story of a pandemic

What to learn, watch and take heed to about coronavirus

New Scientist Weekly options updates and evaluation on the newest developments within the covid-19 pandemic. Our podcast sees professional journalists from the journal focus on the largest science tales to hit the headlines every week – from know-how and house, to well being and the setting.

The Jump is a BBC Radio 4 sequence exploring how viruses can cross from animals into people to trigger pandemics. The first episode examines the origins of the covid-19 pandemic.

Why Is Covid Killing People of Colour? is a BBC documentary, which investigates what the excessive covid-19 dying charges in ethnic minority sufferers reveal about well being inequality within the UK.

Panorama: The Race for a Vaccine is a BBC documentary in regards to the inside story of the event of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in opposition to covid-19.

Race Against the Virus: Hunt for a Vaccine is a Channel 4 documentary which tells the story of the coronavirus pandemic by means of the eyes of the scientists on the frontline.

The New York Times is assessing the progress in improvement of potential drug remedies for covid-19, and rating them for effectiveness and security.

Humans of COVID-19 is a mission highlighting the experiences of key staff on the frontline within the struggle in opposition to coronavirus within the UK, by means of social media.

Belly Mujinga: Searching for the Truth is a BBC Panorama investigation of the dying of transport employee Belly Mujinga from covid-19, following stories she had been coughed and spat on by a buyer at London’s Victoria Station.

Coronavirus, Explained on Netflix is a brief documentary sequence inspecting the coronavirus pandemic, the efforts to struggle it and methods to handle its psychological well being toll.

Stopping the Next Pandemic: How Covid-19 Can Help Us Save Humanity by Debora Mackenzie is about how the pandemic occurred and why it is going to occur once more if we don’t do issues otherwise in future.

The Rules of Contagion is in regards to the new science of contagion and the stunning methods it shapes our lives and behavior. The creator, Adam Kucharski, is an epidemiologist on the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, and within the guide he examines how ailments unfold and why they cease.

Previous updates

A lab technician cares for someone in the emergency department at Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley, California, in the US on 11 March

A lab technician cares for somebody within the emergency division at Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley, California, within the US on 11 March

Mario Tama/Getty Images

26 April

People hospitalised with the supposedly milder omicron variant require comparable ranges of respiratory assist and intensive care as these contaminated with delta 

Heba Mostafa at John Hopkins University within the US and her colleagues studied greater than 2000 individuals who examined constructive for covid-19 between November and December 2021. The workforce recorded which variant the individuals had been contaminated with and their scientific outcomes.

Results reveal 73 per cent of the individuals who had been hospitalised with delta wanted further oxygen, whereas 25 per cent required intensive care.

Similarly, 67 per cent of those that had been hospitalised with omicron required further oxygen and 17 per cent wanted intensive care.

Nevertheless, the individuals who had been contaminated with omicron had been much less prone to be hospitalised within the first place, no matter their vaccine standing. Only 3 per cent of the individuals contaminated with omicron had been admitted to hospital, in contrast with 13 per cent of these with delta.

“It’s true that patients with omicron were significantly less likely to be admitted to the hospital than patients with delta,” Mostafa stated in a press release. “But omicron sufferers who did want hospitalisation confronted a threat of extreme illness corresponding to these hospitalised with delta.

“For many people, it is not a mild infection at all.”

Other coronavirus information

Singapore eliminated almost all of its remaining covid-19 restrictions at the moment. Mask carrying indoors and on public transport are a few of the solely remaining curbs, with officers dropping limits on group sizes, social distancing tips and restrictions on the quantity of people that can work in an workplace at anyone time.

Nearly two-thirds of people that had been restricted from visiting relations whereas they had been hospitalised with covid-19 might have developed a stress-related dysfunction.

Researchers on the University of Colorado Denver surveyed 330 relations three months after a member of the family was admitted to intensive care with covid-19 between February and July 2020.

Just below two-fifths (64 per cent) of the relations scored excessive on exams that measure signs of post-traumatic stress dysfunction. This is greater than double pre-pandemic ranges, when relations had been equally surveyed after a liked one was admitted to intensive take care of non-covid-19 causes.

“Our findings suggest that visitation restrictions may have inadvertently contributed to a secondary public health crisis, an epidemic of stress-related disorders mong family members of ICU patients,” Timothy Amass stated in a press release.

People arrive at the Royal London Hospital on 12 April

People arrive on the Royal London Hospital on 12 April

Photo by Mark Thomas/Shutterstock

25 April

Only 29 per cent of people that had been hospitalised with covid-19 within the UK really feel totally recovered one 12 months later

Rachael Evans on the University of Leicester, UK, and her colleagues checked out 2320 folks within the UK who had been discharged from hospital, after being admitted with covid-19, between March 2020 and April 2021. All the individuals had been assessed 5 months later, whereas a 3rd (33 per cent) had been additionally assessed one 12 months post-discharge.

Symptoms – mostly fatigue, muscle ache, poor sleep and breathlessness – persevered in 74 per cent of the individuals 5 months later, lowering barely to 71 per cent at one 12 months.

“The limited recovery from five months to one year after hospitalisation in our study across symptoms, mental health, exercise capacity, organ impairment, and quality-of-life is striking,” Evans stated in a press release.

While extreme covid-19 is extra widespread amongst males, the feminine individuals had been 32 per cent much less prone to really feel totally recovered one 12 months on. Obesity and having had mechanical air flow had been linked to the individuals being 50 and 58 per cent much less prone to really feel totally recovered, respectively.

“Given that more than 750,000 people have been hospitalised in the UK with covid-19 over the past two years, it is clear from our research that the legacy of this disease is going to be huge,” stated Evans.

Other coronavirus information

Unvaccinated folks might increase the covid-19 threat amongst vaccinated folks, even when immunisation charges are excessive. David Fisman on the University of Toronto and his colleagues simulated how completely different ranges of inhabitants mixing have an effect on the unfold of SARS-CoV-2 virus.

New infections had been excessive when the simulated teams of vaccinated and unvaccinated folks combined. “We found that the choices made by people who forgo vaccination contribute disproportionately to risk among those who do get vaccinated,” Fisman stated in a press release.

Shanghai in China reported a document 51 covid-19 deaths and greater than 19,000 new instances at the moment, its highest day by day whole because the pandemic started. Shanghai’s over 25-million-strong inhabitants stays locked down as authorities attempt to keep their zero covid coverage.

Cases are additionally surging throughout the remainder of China, with almost 22,000 new reported instances on 24 April, in response to its nationwide well being ministry. Mass testing is being rolled out in Beijing after 26 new instances had been recognized.

Nurses wait to administer covid-19 vaccines in Fontana, California, in the UK on 22 March

Nurses wait to manage covid-19 vaccines in Fontana, California, within the US on 22 March

Will Lester/MediaNews Group/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin through Getty Images

21 April

About 5 million new covid-19 instances had been reported worldwide between 11 and 17 April, a 24 per cent discount on the earlier week 

The variety of official covid-19 instances is continuous to say no throughout the globe, in response to a report by the World Health Organization.

This discount occurred throughout the entire six areas monitored by the WHO, however is most pronounced within the Western Pacific, the place reported instances declined by 28 per cent week-on-week.

This is adopted by Eastern Mediterranean (26 per cent), Europe (25 per cent), South East Asia (16 per cent), Africa (7 per cent) and the Americas (2 per cent).

Reported deaths equally declined globally by 12 per cent week-on-week.

The WHO has harassed these figures ought to be interpreted with warning. Changes in how international locations are testing for SARS-CoV-2 virus might imply fewer swabs are being carried out, resulting in a decrease variety of instances being detected.

For instance, England has scrapped free common testing, whereas guidelines round free exams are additionally tightening in Wales and Scotland. Covid-19 exams are extra broadly accessible in Northern Ireland.

Other coronavirus information

Exposure to air air pollution might enhance your threat of catching SARS-CoV-2 virus. Zhebin Yu on the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and his colleagues checked out 425 folks, common age 25, who examined constructive between May 2020 and March 2021.

Levels of airborne particulate matter and black carbon, often known as soot, across the individuals’ houses had been increased within the days main as much as their constructive check, in contrast with later management days.

A single dose of AstraZeneca’s dual-antibody therapy Evusheld might scale back the chance of symptomatic covid-19 by 83 per cent over six months, in contrast with a placebo.

The research was made up of greater than 5000 adults, all of whom had been much less seemingly to reply to a covid-19 vaccine or confronted better SARS-CoV-2 virus publicity.

No extreme covid-19 instances or covid-19-related deaths occurred within the Evusheld group. In the placebo group, 5 instances of extreme or vital illness, seven hospitalisations and two covid-19-related deaths had occurred by the six-month follow-up.

People disinfect a residential area under lockdown in Shanghai, China, on 15 April

People disinfect a residential space below lockdown in Shanghai, China, on 15 April

Aly Song/REUTERS/Alamy

19 April

China’s largest metropolis has reported seven covid-19 deaths, the primary official fatalities amid its ongoing omicron outbreak 

Shanghai is the epicentre of the most important covid-19 outbreak in China because the SARS-CoV-2 virus emerged on the finish of 2019, with its surge in instances pushed by the extra transmissible omicron variant.

Despite comparatively excessive case numbers, solely seven persons are identified to have died with the an infection amid the continued outbreak as of at the moment, in response to China’s well being officers.

China’s largest metropolis has been in a widespread lockdown since 6 April. The restrictions had been initially meant to happen in two phases, affecting Shanghai’s jap districts for 5 days, adopted by an extra 5 days of lockdown in its western districts. Lockdown was later prolonged to cowl town’s complete 26-million-strong inhabitants.

Case numbers seem like falling, prompting Shanghai officers to report they’re making ready to ease the lockdown.

On 18 April, 19,831 new asymptomatic infections had been reported, down from 21,592 on 16 April. New symptomatic infections stood at 2417 on 18 April, down from 3238 the day prior to this.

Other coronavirus information

Babies born through the covid-19 pandemic could also be slower to talk than these born earlier than the outbreak emerged, in response to analysis revealed by Brown University and LENA, a US non-profit organisation.

Data taken from LENA’s “talk pedometer”, a wearable gadget that tracks what a baby hears all through the day and the toddler’s personal vocalisations, present a big drop in so-called verbal perform in youngsters aged between 12 and 16 months who had been born after July 2020, in contrast with these born earlier than 2019.

These outcomes reinforce earlier research that recommend the pandemic has negatively impacted youngsters’s mind improvement.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has eliminated all remaining international locations from its highest coronavirus journey threat class. The CDC’s “Level 4: Special Circumstances/Do Not Travel” designation beforehand urged folks to keep away from all non-essential journey to those locations.

In a press release, the CDC stated Level 4 would now be reserved for international locations with particular circumstances, together with quickly escalating case numbers or the emergence of a brand new variant of concern. The UK, France and Germany are amongst international locations that stay on the CDC’s “Level 3 Covid-19: High” warning.

A biologist at Valneva works on its covid-19 vaccine

A biologist at Valneva works on its covid-19 vaccine


14 April

The UK has accredited a sixth covid-19 vaccine, which incorporates a complete inactivated type of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and will be saved in a fridge

A vaccine that incorporates a complete inactivated type of SARS-CoV-2 virus is the sixth covid-19 vaccine to be accredited by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

In March, Bahrain was the primary nation on this planet to approve the vaccine for emergency use. Now, the UK is the primary in Europe to log out on the jab, which will be saved for as much as a 12 months in a normal fridge.

The mRNA vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech should be saved at not more than -20°C, for a most of six months. Once thawed, the Moderna jab lasts as much as 30 days in a normal fridge, whereas the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will be stored for simply 5 days.

The MHRA approval follows promising outcomes from a research accomplished in October final 12 months. Two doses of the Valneva jab, administered 28 days aside, led to about 40 per cent increased neutralising antibody ranges than the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, which may equally be saved at increased temperatures.

The research solely in contrast the 2 vaccines in opposition to one another, not in opposition to individuals who didn’t obtain any jab.

The price of covid-19 infections was “similar” between the 2 teams, with no extreme illness occurring amongst any of the research’s 4012 individuals.

“The independent Commission on Human Medicines [CHM] and its COVID-19 Expert Working Group has carefully considered the available evidence [and] are pleased to say that we have advised that the benefit risk balance is positive,” Munir Piromohamed at CHM stated in a press release.

“The vaccine is approved for use in people aged 18 to 50 years, with the first and second doses to be taken at least 28 days apart.”

This comes as Pfizer’s chief government stated the agency might develop a covid-19 vaccine that protects in opposition to all identified variants by the tip of the 12 months.

Other coronavirus information

People with an elevated threat of coronary heart illness are as much as six instances extra prone to die from covid-19.

The research, which will likely be offered on the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious ailments later this month, discovered folks with a greater than 10 per cent probability of getting a stroke or coronary heart assault within the subsequent 10 years are almost thrice extra prone to be admitted to intensive care with covid-19 and 6 instances extra prone to die of its problems.

This is in contrast with folks with a lower than 10 per cent threat of growing coronary heart illness, calculated in response to components like their physique mass index, smoking standing and blood strain.

The US has prolonged its covid-19 public well being emergency standing, which was initially declared in January 2020 and has been renewed each quarter since. It was resulting from expire on 16 April.

The renewal permits folks within the US entry to free covid-19 exams, vaccines and coverings for a minimum of one other three months.

People at a covid-19 testing site in San Diego, US, on 29 March

People at a covid-19 testing website in San Diego, US, on 29 March

Daniel Knighton/Getty Images

13 April

More than 500 million covid-19 instances have been recorded globally because the outbreak emerged, however the true quantity might be far increased 

According to Johns Hopkins University’s case tracker, greater than 500,900,000 covid-19 instances have been reported worldwide. The World Health Organisation (WHO) tracker, which updates day by day, is simply shy of this grim milestone, reporting 497,960,492 instances as of 12 April.

Experts have warned a scarcity of testing infrastructure worldwide means the worldwide case quantity might be a lot increased than is being reported, notably in poorer international locations. A WHO evaluation estimates Africa’s true case quantity is 100 instances increased than that which is being reported.

And unaccounted instances are anticipated to turn out to be extra widespread as international locations reduce their check capability, for instance within the UK.

The variety of new worldwide instances seems to have been falling in latest weeks, with the day by day case price 41 per cent decrease than it was two weeks in the past, in response to Johns Hopkins University. Reduced testing and a subsequent underreporting of instances in all probability contributed to this obvious fall in instances.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on the WHO has warned we’re nonetheless in an “acute phase of the pandemic”, because the extra transmissible omicron variant and its sublineages unfold internationally.

Other coronavirus information

An evaluation of Israel’s vaccine booster marketing campaign has revealed the timing of booster roll-outs is essential to stopping a surge in instances, notably when infections are rising exponentially.

The researchers, from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, additionally discovered vaccinating youthful age teams, who’re much less prone to turn out to be critically unwell with covid-19, is vital to stopping transmission.

If Israel hadn’t initiated its booster marketing campaign, officers would have “needed to apply extensive non-pharmaceutical interventions to prevent a destructive epidemic wave”, the evaluation concluded.

The variety of reported instances in England has fallen 26 per cent week-on-week, dropping from 51,253 on 6 April to 37,819 on 12 April. These figures are anticipated to be significantly much less helpful for monitoring the pandemic’s progress since England scrapped free common testing on 1 April.

Doctors are investigating what could possibly be inflicting a surge in liver irritation, or hepatitis, in youngsters within the UK, after 74 instances have been reported to date this 12 months.

Hepatitis will be attributable to a spread of pathogens, together with viruses. Officials are whether or not the rise in instances could also be a uncommon delayed response to covid-19. Graham Cooke at Imperial College London has stated publicity to a circulating virus after the lifting of restrictions could possibly be behind the surge.

Covid-19 booster vaccine

A well being employee administers a covid-19 booster vaccine in Jakarta, Indonesia

Anadolu Agency through Getty Images

12 April

Heart irritation could also be no extra seemingly after a covid-19 vaccine than another jab

In uncommon instances, the mRNA-based Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna covid-19 vaccines specifically have been linked to coronary heart irritation. The threat is increased amongst youthful folks, which contributed to the UK’s delayed determination to roll-out covid-19 vaccines to 5-to-11 12 months olds.

Now, an evaluation of twenty-two research with lots of of hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses administered between them reveals coronary heart irritation isn’t any extra widespread after a covid-19 jab than it’s after vaccines that shield in opposition to another infections, equivalent to smallpox or influenza – and in some instances the chance could also be decrease.

The research, revealed in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, discovered 18 instances of coronary heart irritation happen per 1 million covid-19 vaccine doses, in contrast with 56 instances per 1 million doses of non-covid vaccinations. The price of coronary heart irritation was even discovered to be “significantly higher” after a smallpox jab than a covid-19 vaccine.

Aligning with previous analysis, the research discovered males and folks below 30 had been extra prone to develop coronary heart irritation. The threat was additionally increased in those that had an mRNA vaccine versus a jab based mostly on completely different know-how, such because the Oxford/AstraZeneca or Janssen vaccines, and after a second dose of any covid-19 jab.

“Our research suggests that the overall risk of myopericarditis [heart inflammation] appears to be no different for this newly approved group of vaccines against COVID- 19, compared to vaccines against other diseases,” research creator Dr. Kollengode Ramanathan at National University Hospital, Singapore, stated in a press release.

“The risk of such rare events should be balanced against the risk of myopericarditis from infection and these findings should bolster public confidence in the safety of COVID-19 vaccinations.”

Other coronavirus information

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is monitoring two new sublineages of the omicron variant to find out if they’re extra transmissible, virulent or higher capable of evade previous immunity.

Dubbed BA.4 and BA.5, just a few dozen instances of the sublineages have been reported globally, nevertheless the WHO is monitoring them resulting from their “additional mutations that need to be further studied to understand their impact on immune escape potential”.

BA.4 has been recognized in South Africa, Denmark, Botswana, Scotland and England, the UK’s Health Security Agency stated final week. BA.5 had solely been present in South Africa, nevertheless, Botswana’s well being ministry reported instances of each BA.4 and BA.5 yesterday.

People within the UK are extra nervous about their funds than catching covid-19, regardless of an estimated one in 13 folks being contaminated throughout England, Wales and Scotland, whereas one in 16 are thought to have covid-19 in Northern Ireland.

A workforce from University College London surveyed 28,495 folks between 21 March and 27 March. One third (33 per cent) of the individuals stated they’re involved about catching covid-19, down from 40 per cent in January.

In the sunshine of the UK’s value of residing disaster, 38 per cent stated they’re nervous about their funds, up from 32 per cent in January.

The survey additionally discovered that 49 per cent of individuals really feel in command of their psychological well being, down from 54 per cent six months in the past, and the variety of folks reporting anxiousness or melancholy signs is at its highest degree in 11 months.

“These findings could suggest that our return to more ‘normal’ living has not had all the mental health benefits that people necessarily expected.” Daisy Fancourt at UCL instructed Sky News.

A walk-in covid-19 vaccination centre in Manchester

A walk-in covid-19 vaccination centre in Manchester

Daniel Harvey Gonzalez/In Pictures/Getty Images

11 April

An estimated one in 13 folks in England, Wales and Scotland had been contaminated at the beginning of April

Covid-19 infections stay excessive, with an estimated one in 16 folks having the an infection in Northern Ireland and one in 13 folks in the remainder of the UK over the primary weekend of April, in response to an Office for National Statistics (ONS) survey.

This equates to only below 4.9 million folks being contaminated throughout the UK – 25,000 fewer instances than the earlier week’s document excessive.

“While infections remain high, there are early signs in our latest data that they may no longer be increasing in some parts of the UK,” Sarah Crofts at ONS stated in a press release.

“Across English areas, there’s a combined image in traits and now we have seen a welcome lower in Scotland. However, charges in Wales proceed to rise and the pattern in Northern Ireland is unsure.

“It is too early to say if infections have peaked in England and Scotland.”

The ONS survey swabs 1000’s of random folks for SARS-CoV-2 virus, no matter whether or not they have signs, and is unaffected by the tip of free common testing in England.

Other coronavirus information

The rise in covid-19 instances within the US is regarding however not sudden, in response to the nation’s chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci. The US recorded 35,243 new instances on 9 April.

The extra transmissible omicron BA.2 sublineage is considered driving the rise in infections, together with the easing of restrictions.

Shanghai will begin loosening lockdown restrictions in some areas from at the moment, in response to metropolis officers. This is regardless of town reporting greater than 26,000 new instances up to now 24 hours, a brand new document.

China’s largest metropolis was initially positioned in a two-stage 10-day lockdown, affecting its jap districts for 5 days, adopted by an extra 5 days of restrictions in its western districts. This was then prolonged to cowl all of Shanghai’s 25-million-strong inhabitants.

Officials now plan to carry some restrictions in areas that haven’t had any constructive instances for 2 consecutive weeks.

A stock image of an unwell person lying on a sofa

A inventory picture of an unwell individual mendacity on a settee

Meeko Media/Getty Images

8 April

Omicron’s symptom period is shorter than delta’s amongst individuals who have had a booster vaccine

Cristina Menni at King’s College London and her colleagues analysed greater than 63,000 individuals who examined constructive for SARS-CoV-2 virus between June 2021 and January 2022. The individuals, who had all acquired a minimum of two doses of any covid-19 vaccine, self-reported their constructive check consequence and signs through the Zoe COVID app.

From June to November 2021, when delta was the dominant variant within the UK, covid-19 signs lasted on common 7.7 days among the many individuals who had been triple jabbed. This is in contrast with a median 4.4-day symptom period when omicron was dominant, outlined as the tip of December 2021 to mid-January 2022, when the research accomplished.

Omicron has lengthy been identified to be much less virulent than previous covid-19 variants. Its delicate signs may differ from delta’s.

Fewer than one in 5 (17 per cent) of the individuals who caught covid-19 when omicron was dominant reported a lack of odor, in contrast with over half (53 per cent) of those that in all probability had delta.

Those who in all probability caught omicron had been extra prone to report a sore throat and hoarse voice than these with delta, nevertheless, the latter variant was extra strongly linked to mind fog, headache and fever.

“It is a lesson that we need to be far more flexible in thinking what the virus is and how it is going to present than we have been, certainly in the UK,” Tim Spector at King’s College London instructed The Guardian.

Other coronavirus information

More than two-thirds of individuals residing in Africa have been contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 virus because the pandemic started – 97 instances greater than the continent’s formally reported instances, in response to a World Health Organization (WHO) research.

WHO researchers analysed 151 earlier research on the proportion of individuals in Africa with covid-19 antibodies. They estimate about 800 million folks had been contaminated by September 2021, however simply 8.2 million instances had been reported.

Shanghai reported a document 21,000 covid-19 instances at the moment. The metropolis’s lockdown was not too long ago prolonged to cowl all of its 25-million-strong inhabitants. Officials haven’t indicated when the lockdown might finish.

A coloured 3D CT scan of a pulmonary embolism

A colored 3D CT scan of a pulmonary embolism


7 April

The threat of a probably life-threatening lung clot will increase 33-fold inside a month of being contaminated

Ioannis Katsoularis and his colleagues at Umeå University in Sweden tracked greater than 1 million folks in Sweden who examined constructive for SARS-CoV-2 virus between February 2020 and May 2021. They in contrast the well being outcomes of this group with 4 million folks, additionally residing in Sweden, who had not had a constructive covid-19 check.

Regardless of the severity of an individual’s covid-19 signs, the chance of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) inside 30 days of an infection elevated five-fold, persisting at this degree for 3 months. DVT is a blood clot in a vein, normally within the leg, which may break off and journey to the lungs. This could cause a pulmonary embolism, which blocks blood movement to the lungs.

For pulmonary embolism particularly, a constructive covid-19 check was discovered to boost the chance of the situation 33-fold, persisting at this degree for six months, in contrast with the individuals who by no means examined constructive for SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The clot threat was highest amongst individuals with extreme covid-19, nevertheless, even these with delicate covid-19 signs had been thrice extra susceptible to DVT and 7 instances extra susceptible to a pulmonary embolism.

Being contaminated through the pandemic’s first wave, in early 2020, was additionally linked to a raised threat of clots. The roll-out of vaccines and improved covid-19 remedies later within the pandemic in all probability protected in opposition to clots, in response to the researchers.

“Despite the potential for new variants of concern, most governments are removing restrictions and shifting their focus to determining how best to live with covid,” Frederick Ho on the University of Glasgow, instructed The Guardian. “This study reminds us of the need to remain vigilant to the complications associated with even mild Sars-CoV-2 infection”.

Other coronavirus information

An estimated 1.7 million folks within the UK, about 2.7 per cent of the inhabitants, have lengthy covid, in response to an Office for National Statistics (ONS) survey. The survey individuals self-reported any lengthy covid signs, outlined as people who persist for greater than 4 weeks after a suspected SARS-CoV-2 virus an infection and can’t be defined by one thing else.

Of these, 1.1 million stated their lengthy covid signs adversely have an effect on their day-to-day actions, with 322,000 saying their skill to carry out day by day actions has been “limited by a lot”.

Males within the Bangladeshi ethnic group have the very best covid-19 mortality price in England, in response to ONS information. These males are 2.7 instances extra prone to die from covid-19 than their white British counterparts. Among females, folks within the Pakistani ethnic group are 2.5 instances extra prone to die from covid-19 than their white British counterparts. Disparities in mortality charges between completely different ethnic teams could also be right down to various vaccine uptake.

New Scientist Default Image

Commuters exit a practice in London

TOLGA AKMEN/AFP through Getty Images

6 April

Cases are declining amongst youthful age teams however stay excessive total

One in 16 folks in England is assumed to have covid-19, the very best prevalence recorded by Imperial College London’s surveillance research React because it began in May 2020.

According to the Office for National Statistics, which makes use of a unique technique for estimating SARS-CoV-2 an infection charges, one in 16 folks in England had covid-19 on the week ending 19 March, rising to 1 in 13 seven days later.

In the newest React research, swabs collected from a random pattern of virtually 110,000 folks recommend 6.37 per cent of England’s inhabitants examined constructive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus between 8 and 31 March – greater than double the one in 35 individuals who had been thought to have the an infection the earlier month.

The more-transmissible omicron BA.2 sublineage made up an estimated 94.7 per cent of the March instances, up from simply 0.8 per cent in January. A really small variety of the infections had been recombinants of the sublineages BA.1 and BA.2, together with 5 incidences of the recombinant XE. Early exams recommend XE could also be round 10 per cent extra transmissible than BA.2, in response to the World Health Organization.

Despite infections rising throughout all age teams, incidences seem like declining in folks aged 5 to 17 and plateauing amongst these aged 18 to 54.

This will not be the case for folks aged 55 and over, nevertheless, the place infections are rising. On 31 March, an estimated 8.31 per cent of individuals on this age group would have examined constructive – almost 20 instances the typical prevalence because the React programme started.

“These trends are concerning since when a very high number of people are infected, this may lead to more people becoming seriously ill and needing to go to hospital.” Professor Paul Elliott, director of the REACT programme, stated in a press release.

Other coronavirus information

Shanghai’s lockdown has been prolonged to cowl the entire metropolis’s 25-million-strong inhabitants. China’s largest metropolis was initially positioned in a two-stage 10-day lockdown, affecting its jap districts for 5 days, adopted by an extra 5 days of restrictions in its western districts.

On 4 April, town reported 13,086 new asymptomatic instances, after testing 25 million folks in 24 hours. This is a comparatively low variety of infections in contrast with different nations, nevertheless, China is imposing strict restrictions because it pursues a “zero covid” coverage.

A second booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine offers some safety in opposition to extreme sickness amongst folks over 60 who’re contaminated with omicron BA.1, in response to a research of greater than 1 million folks in Israel. Severe sickness apart, safety in opposition to an infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus itself waned after 4 weeks.

A staff member at a testing centre in Halifax, England, takes a covid-19 lateral flow test on 4 January

A workers member at a testing centre in Halifax, England, takes a covid-19 lateral movement check on 4 January

OLI SCARFF/AFP through Getty Images

4 April

The symptom checklist has been expanded days after officers ended free common testing in England

For many of the pandemic, the NHS in England has solely recognised three covid-19 signs: fever, a brand new and steady cough, or a lack of style or odor – which many specialists thought of too restricted.

Now, as 4.9 million folks had been estimated to be contaminated within the UK within the week ending 26 March, the NHS has expanded its symptom checklist to incorporate:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • Body aches
  • A headache
  • A sore throat
  • A blocked or runny nostril
  • Loss of urge for food
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea or vomiting

This checklist extra carefully matches that of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recognised many of those signs early within the pandemic.

The NHS’ checklist stops in need of a few of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) signs, nevertheless, which additionally considers pores and skin rashes, pink or irritated eyes, or discolouration of the fingers or toes to be much less widespread indicators of an infection. Chest ache, confusion, or a lack of speech or mobility can happen in extreme instances, in response to WHO.

Writing on Twitter, Tim Spector, lead scientist of the Zoe covid-19 symptom tracker app, stated: “NHS official Main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) have finally changed after 2 years of lobbying and Zoe app user input – hurrah!”

Last month, Spector stated the UK’s slender symptom checklist was in all probability contributing to its an infection surge.

“Many people are no longer isolating when they have symptoms, either because they feel they don’t have to anymore or because they or their employers still don’t recognise symptoms like runny nose or sore throat as covid,” he stated.

Other coronavirus information

Covid-19 vaccines are being rolled out for 5- to 11-year-olds in England. In February, the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation stated two low-dose vaccines, administered 12 weeks aside, would stop “a very small number of children from serious illness and hospitalisation” in any future covid-19 wave. Vaccination programmes had been already underway for this age group in the remainder of the UK.

Shanghai’s recorded covid-19 instances are rising. The locked-down metropolis in China not too long ago prolonged its restrictions, regardless of preliminary indicators that infections could also be declining. On April 3, Shanghai reported 8581 new asymptomatic covid-19 instances and 425 symptomatic instances, in contrast with 7788 new asymptomatic instances and 438 symptomatic instances the day earlier than.

Bizarre lockdown goals might have mirrored our claustrophobia and sense of being uncontrolled. University College London researchers analysed greater than 850 goals submitted on-line to the Lockdown Dreams mission between March 2020 and March 2021. From 23 March to fifteen June 2020, which corresponds with the UK’s first lockdown, simply over seven in 10 (71 per cent) of the individuals reported having extra vivid goals, in contrast with pre-pandemic. These included being locked indoors or unable to get to family members standing exterior.

An aerial view of empty roads in the Pudong district of Shanghai, China, on 31 March

An aerial view of empty roads within the Pudong district of Shanghai, China, on 31 March

Xiang Xinrong/VCG through Getty Images

1 April

People residing within the metropolis’s jap districts had been resulting from come out of a five-day lockdown at the moment

On 28 March, China’s largest metropolis launched a two-stage, 10-day lockdown in a bid to manage its omicron outbreak. Initially, the lockdown was deliberate to have an effect on jap Shanghai for 5 days, adopted by an extra 5 days of restrictions within the metropolis’s western districts.

China’s well being officers introduced on 31 March they may as an alternative carry restrictions on the east facet in phases. With western Shanghai beginning its five-day restrictions at the moment, these prolonged measures plunge town’s 26-million-strong inhabitants into lockdown.

People are instructed to not depart their houses, even to eliminate garbage or stroll their canines, Reuters reported. Most of town’s public transport has additionally been suspended and all non-essential companies are closed.

Despite the lockdown extension, Shanghai’s reported case numbers are falling. On 31 March, town reported 4144 new asymptomatic instances and 358 new symptomatic instances, in contrast with 5298 asymptomatic instances and 355 symptomatic instances the day earlier than.

Other coronavirus information

Nearly all secondary faculty college students in England have antibodies in opposition to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, in response to the Office for National Statistics’ Covid-19 Schools Infection Survey. More than 7000 major and secondary college students from 150 faculties had been examined for antibodies in January and February. Extrapolating the outcomes out throughout England, an estimated 96.6 per cent of secondary faculty college students and 62.4 per cent of major faculty pupils had SARS-Cov-2 antibodies at first of the 12 months. England is because of roll out a low-dose Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for five- to 11-year-olds this month, which can embody most major pupils. The pre-existing antibodies amongst youthful youngsters subsequently took place through a pure an infection.

Pregnant people who find themselves vaccinated in opposition to SARS-CoV-2 virus are virtually twice as prone to get covid-19 in contrast with people who find themselves vaccinated however not pregnant, in response to an evaluation of about 14 million hospital sufferers within the US. Pregnancy is the best threat issue for breakthrough covid-19 infections, above being an organ transplant recipient or having an immune system deficiency, the research discovered. This could also be as a result of sure points of the immune system are suppressed throughout being pregnant.

Covid-19 vaccines present considerably extra safety amongst individuals who have beforehand been contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 virus, in response to two research revealed within the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases. A Brazilian research linked the CoronaVac, Oxford/Astrazeneca, Janssen and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines to elevated safety in opposition to a moderate-to-severe reinfection, whereas a Swedish research discovered covid-19 vaccination offers a minimum of 9 months’ of extra safety for individuals who have had the virus earlier than. The research didn’t take a look at the extent of safety amongst individuals who fought off covid-19 after catching it post-vaccination.


See earlier updates from March 2022, February 2022, January 2022, November to December 2021, September to October 2021, July to September 2021, June to July 2021May 2021, April-March 2021, February 2021, January 2021, November/December 2020, and March to November 2020.

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