London (dpa) – British health experts are concerned about the coming autumn and winter given the still high number of infections in Britain.
The British government reported nearly 34,000 new corona cases and 111 new deaths on Wednesday. “This is very worrying,” immunologist Peter Openshaw told Times Radio, especially as the weather is relatively good at the moment and schools are still in the summer holidays.
“We’re going into winter with a very high infection rate and we really don’t know what’s going to happen,” Openshaw said. The seven-day incidence has been stagnant at just under 300 in the UK for some time, after falling for a while in mid-July. The number of Covid-19 patients admitted to hospital has increased slightly recently.
Most corona restrictions have been lifted in England, Scotland and Wales. In England, even wearing masks in most public areas is now a private choice.
Britain is one of the hardest hit countries in Europe by Corona. More than 154,800 people have died there with Covid-19 on their death certificates since the start of the pandemic.
The corona figures are also high in Israel. Given the sharp increase in new infections, the Israeli army says it is sending another 200 reservists to dozens of hospitals.
The reservists would help with logistical tasks such as moving patients or transporting medical equipment, a military representative said. It’s about unburdening the medical staff so that they can better care for the patients.
According to the Ministry of Health, the number of seriously ill corona patients rose to 603 on Wednesday, the highest value since March. The number of new corona infections reported within one day was more than 8,500 cases at the start of the week – the highest value in more than six months. The ministry reported 7,856 new infections for the day before on Thursday. Four people with corona infections died.
Numbers in Israel have skyrocketed since June, with more than 58 percent of the roughly 9.4 million Israelis vaccinated twice. In addition, more than a million people aged 50 and older have already received a third booster vaccination.
According to the army, at times more than 600 reservists were on duty in hospitals during the pandemic. According to the Defense Ministry, 6,000 reservists are also currently supporting municipalities in an antibody mass test of some 1.6 million students before the start of the school year on September 1.
New Zealand has approved vaccinations for 12 to 15-year-olds with Pfizer/Biontech money following a local corona outbreak. Vaccinations will be possible from September 1, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. Children and adolescents of this age group could also be vaccinated immediately if they accompanied their parents to their appointments.
According to a report in the New Zealand Herald newspaper, some children and young people were vaccinated shortly after Ardern’s statement. Until now, corona vaccinations were allowed in the country for people aged 16 and older.
Meanwhile, the number of reported corona cases in New Zealand rose by at least 11 to 21 within one day. According to the authorities, the first local corona case since the end of February was discovered on Tuesday. Until then, infections had only been detected at the border.
In response to the outbreak, New Zealand has imposed a strict nationwide lockdown and mask requirement. Citizens are only allowed to leave the house under certain conditions until at least Saturday. Schools and many shops are closed.
The island nation in the South Pacific had largely isolated itself from the outside world by March 2020. In April, the government opened a travel corridor with neighboring Australia, but it was closed again at the end of July due to a corona wave down under.
According to a survey, the number of opponents of anti-corona vaccination is decreasing in Austria. Where 30 percent of citizens refused an injection at the beginning of the year, it is now around 20 percent, according to polling station Gallup. At the same time, approval of a general vaccination requirement from July to August rose from 24 to 29 percent.
A clear majority now favors that tests should be chargeable, it said. “The vaccinated majority do not want to have restrictions, they want to use the benefits of their vaccination status, that is, to find their way back to normalcy,” said Andrea Fronaschütz, head of Gallup Austria. According to the institute, the survey of 1,000 people from 11 to 13 August is representative of the web-active Austrian population aged 16 and over.