Coronavirus worldwide: Thailand opens to vaccinated people from some countries, Latvia declares health emergency

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More than 238 million people have tested positive for the virus worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 4.8 million infected people have died. About 6.5 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.

Thailand will open its borders to fully vaccinated people from at least ten countries – including Germany – starting Nov. 1. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha made the announcement on Tuesday (Oct. 12). Other countries on the list include Singapore, China and the United States. Travelers would only have to take one PCR test before departure and one on arrival in Thailand, Prayut said. More countries are to be added to the list starting Dec. 1, and it is expected that serving alcohol in restaurants, which has been banned for months, will be allowed again. The tourism sector, which is extremely important for the country, has been almost completely down for more than a year and a half. Many people have had no income since then. After Thailand was initially considered a model country in the fight against the pandemic, the country has experienced its worst wave to date since April. However, infection figures are slowly falling.

Latvia has declared a public health emergency due to high case numbers and a low vaccination rate. For the next three months, public buildings may only be entered with a protective mask. Anyone who has not been vaccinated will no longer be allowed to enter a supermarket. Only stores for daily needs are allowed to open on weekends. All Latvians are called upon to work in the home office. Head of government Karins appealed to his compatriots not to gather and limit contacts. At last count, more than 1000 new infections were registered daily among the 1.9 million inhabitants of the Baltic republic. Only 48 percent of Latvians are fully vaccinated. This is one of the lowest vaccination rates in Europe.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends giving immunocompromised people an extra dose of vaccine. The WHO’s Expert Group on Immunization said Monday (Oct. 11) that the extra dose should be offered to these individuals because they are likely to be insufficiently vaccinated by the standard vaccine and are at high risk of severe disease.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is reviewing the approval of the Roche drug for the treatment of corona patients. The Swiss pharmaceutical company has submitted a corresponding application for its antibody therapy Ronapreve, the EMA announced Monday (Oct. 11). The drug, which consists of two active ingredients (casirivimab and imdevimab) and was co-produced by U.S.-based Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, is intended to treat infected individuals 12 years of age and older who are at high risk for a severe course. In addition, according to the manufacturers, the drug can also be used in people who have an acute risk of infection, for example because they live in a household with an infected person. So far, only the drug Remdesivir has been approved in the EU as a special Corona drug. At present, approval procedures are underway for a total of five preparations.
According to the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, it has achieved good results with an antibody preparation in the treatment of Corona sufferers. The company said Monday (Oct. 11) that the drug halved the risk of serious illness and death when administered within seven days of the onset of symptoms. The drug can be used as prophylaxis as well as therapy, it said.

The island nation of Fiji in the South Pacific will open its borders to fully vaccinated tourists on Dec. 1. The country had closed its borders 20 months ago because of the pandemic. The country began an intensive vaccination campaign. By November, all adults there should be fully vaccinated. Tourists must present proof of vaccination and a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours before boarding a flight to Fiji. Upon arrival at the airport or hotel, they must also undergo a rapid test.

  • source: nzz.ch/picture:pixabay.com
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