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Saturday 28 January 2023 Dublin: 4°C

# Coronavirus

This month
January 2023
# China
China reports almost 60,000 Covid-related deaths in a month
China has been widely accused of underreporting its number of coronavirus fatalities since the abandonment of its zero-Covid policy.
# XBB.1.5
We need to talk about the 'Kraken' variant: What is it, and do we know what impact it could have?
XBB.1.5 is uniquely good at breaking the ‘door’ to the human body, but it’s not clear how much of a surge in cases it could cause.
# China
China ends quarantine for overseas travellers
Beijing last month began a dramatic dismantling of a strategy that had enforced mandatory quarantines and lockdowns.
# winter surge
Immunologist says stronger advice on mask-wearing needed amid surge in respiratory viruses
Professor Christine Loscher told The Journal that the Government “missed a trick” in not issuing stronger advice sooner.
# China
China slams 'unacceptable' Covid curbs on travellers from its territory
China’s steep rise in infections comes after Beijing abruptly lifted years of hardline restrictions last month.
Last month
December 2022
# China
WHO holds 'high-level meeting' with Chinese officials to discuss Covid-19 surge
It comes after Britain joined France and Spain in requiring that travellers arriving from China show a negative Covid test.
# China
EU health agency says China traveller screening 'unjustified' in bloc
Hospitals across China have been overwhelmed by an explosion of infections following Beijing’s decision to abandon its zero-covid policy.
# Coronavirus
People aged 18 to 49 can now receive a second Covid-19 booster
Appointments can be made on the HSE website, with appointments available from today.
# Coronavirus
US to require negative Covid tests for travelers from China after country's sudden Covid pivot
The United States says China is not sharing enough information about the surge in coronavirus cases there.
# China
Explainer: What's happening with Covid-19 in China?
The country has abandoned its harsh zero-covid approach, but an explosion of cases has prompted concerns about the outbreak spreading to other countries.
Chinese city seeing half a million Covid cases a day, says official
A health official was quoted in a local news outlet said Qindao was seeing up to 530,000 new cased a day.
# Covid-19
Covid cases soar in China after sudden easing of harsh lockdowns
The United States has warned the outbreak is now of concern to the rest of the world.
# Winter Dose
HSE on 'higher state of alert' as Covid-19 and other illnesses cause concern
Covid-19 hospitalisations and outbreaks in nursing homes have increased in recent weeks.
# Beijing
China further relaxes Covid rules after protests
Several cities have begun loosening restrictions such as moving away from daily mass testing requirements.
Last year
2022
# China
China cities under heavy policing after protests as authorities accelerate push to vaccinate elderly
Several protests were planned for last night but did not materialise.
# China
Xinjiang loosens some restrictions after protests erupt over zero-Covid lockdown
China is the only major country in the world that still is fighting the pandemic through mass testing and lockdowns.
# factcheck
Debunk: No, it isn’t true that vaccines have little effect on COVID-19 transmission
Piers Morgan’s claim is contradicted by numerous studies
# Coronavirus
China launches Covid vaccine inhaled through the mouth
The vaccine is being offered free of charge as a booster dose for previously vaccinated individuals in Shanghai.
# Healthcare
Trade union asks Health Minister to extend Covid-19 payment to contracted frontline workers
The criteria does not currently include workers exployed by external companies.
# Africa
Conflict, climate change and pandemic led to boost in Irish foreign aid
Last year the Department of Foreign Affairs allotted €967m in overseas development aid.
# Coronavirus
Covid-19 hospitalisations are rising, so where are we with the virus heading into winter?
The Minister for Health has said there has been a “significant” increase in the number of people in hospital with Covid in recent weeks.
# the needle has landed
HSE launches winter vaccination programme with flu and Covid-19 jabs
The HSE is inviting eligible groups to get their flu jab and their Covid-19 booster.
# Coronavirus
Higher illness benefit for workers absent with Covid-19 ends today
The Enhanced Illness Benefit was introduced during the pandemic for who had to self isolate or restrict their movements due to the virus.
# vaccine rollout
New Omicron-specific vaccines to be rolled out as boosters from next month, Health Minister says
Anyone who is eligible for both a flu vaccine and a Covid booster vaccine can receive them at the same time from next month.
# EMA
EU medicines watchdog approves vaccine targeting Omicron sub-variants
European nations have been keen to rush through the new generation of jabs so they can start booster campaigns ahead of a feared Covid surge in the latter part of this year.
# Jabs
European Medicines Agency approves first Omicron-specific Covid vaccines
The so-called “bivalent” vaccines protect against the earlier BA.1 strain of Omicron, but do not target the latest strains.
# Second booster
People aged 12-49 with long-term conditions can now get another Covid vaccine booster dose
Healthcare workers are also now being invited to book their next booster.
# booster
People aged 50 and over can now get their Covid-19 booster vaccine
From today, this age group can book their booster appointment.
# Coronavirus
People with 'mild' Covid are likely to be infectious for five days, study suggests
The research is the first to reveal how long infectiousness lasts after coronavirus infection in the community.
# covid booster
People aged 55 and over can now get another Covid-19 booster dose
People who are more than 16 weeks pregnant are also now invited to book their next booster.
# Misinformation
HSE flagged over 3,000 Covid-19 social media posts due to misinformation
Most of the flagged posts were on Twitter.
# Booster Vaccines
Pregnant women and people over 60 can now book a second Covid booster
The HSE said appointments will be available from Monday.
THE MORNING LEAD
'Other crises are vying for our attention': Why people have stopped talking about Covid-19
A report by
Lauren Boland
Covid-19 is still spreading in Ireland but other major issues like Ukraine, inflation and climate change have taken prominence in people’s minds.
Although the pandemic is still a significant worry for some, its public prominence has largely faded away.
Behaviours aimed at avoiding infection like limiting contacts or travel declined even as cases rose quickly earlier in the summer.
Experts say other crises such as the war in Ukraine, inflation, and climate change have occupied the forefront of most minds, Lauren Boland reports.
# covid deaths
Most Covid-19 deaths in Ireland occurred in hospitals and nursing homes, analysis shows
People aged 65 and older accounted for 91% of Covid-19 deaths between March 2020 and February 2022.
# joevid
Joe Biden re-enters isolation after testing positive for Covid-19 again
The US president contracted the virus last week but came out of isolation on Wednesday after returning two negative antigens.
# testing regime
Covid-19 testing for general population set to end this autumn
The Government accepted the advice from Interim Chief Medical Officer Professor Breda Smyth.
# terror report
Europol: Terror groups used Covid-19 misinformation to 'advance their narrative'
The EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report found terror groups were targeting young isolated people during the Covid-19 restrictions.
# Coronavirus
Pair of new studies point to natural Covid origin in Wuhan animal market
Answering whether the disease transferred naturally from animals, or was due to a lab accident, is considered vital to averting the next pandemic.
# covid diagnosis
Biden likely has highly contagious Covid-19 strain but symptoms improving, doctors say
The US president completed his first full day of Paxlovid, the antiviral therapy treatment meant to reduce the severity of Covid.
# BAI COMPLAINTS
Broadcasting watchdog rejects 11 complaints about Covid-19 segment on The Pat Kenny Show
The Newstalk programme interviewed Health Minister Stephen Donnelly about Covid last October.