Health news roundup: Malta sees biggest protest yet against COVID measures; Chinese cities on high COVID-19 alert as Lunar New Year travel season begins and more

Here is a summary of health news briefs.

Malta sees biggest protest yet against COVID measures

Malta saw its biggest protest yet against COVID rules on Sunday, with hundreds marching in the capital Valletta against new measures requiring the production of a COVID certificate for entry to most places, including including restaurants, gyms and bars. Malta has seen one of the highest uses of COVID vaccines in the European Union, and almost three-quarters of adults would have taken the additional booster shot by Sunday, according to Health Ministry data.

Chinese cities are on high alert for COVID-19 as the Lunar New Year travel season begins

Several Chinese cities went on high alert for COVID-19 as the Lunar New Year holiday season began on Monday, forcing travelers to report their trips days before arrival as the Omicron variant reached more regions, including including Beijing. Authorities have warned that the highly contagious Omicron is adding to the heightened risk of COVID-19 transmission as hundreds of millions of people travel across China for the Lunar New Year holiday starting later this month.

Irish hospitalizations see first weekly drop in Omicron wave

The number of coronavirus patients in Irish hospitals has fallen week-on-week for the first time since the Omicron variant drove cases to record highs last month, adding to confidence that restrictions will begin to be lifted shortly. Ministers said this week that they were increasingly confident that they could end restrictions introduced mainly on the hospitality and entertainment industry and that they would be guided by whether or not the pressure on hospitals.

French parliament approves vaccine pass

The French parliament gave final approval on Sunday to the government’s latest measures to tackle the COVID-19 virus, including a vaccine pass contested by anti-vaccine protesters. Lawmakers in the lower house of parliament voted 215 in favor to 58 against, paving the way for the law to come into effect in the coming days.

UK’s Johnson plans to scrap COVID-19 self-isolation law – The Telegraph

The UK is drawing up plans under which people will not be legally required to self-isolate after catching COVID-19, The Telegraph reported on Sunday. Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to permanently revoke emergency coronavirus laws as UK COVID-19 cases continue to fall, report says, adding official guidelines would remain but not result in fines or penalties legal if ignored.

Australian PM accuses Omicron of testing issues as COVID-19 cases trend downward

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday the shortage of home antigen tests was “not unique” to the country as authorities deal with a rampant outbreak of Omicron that has driven up hospitalization rates and deaths. strain testing systems.

Australia is facing a shortage of rapid home antigen test kits after asymptomatic close contacts were told to bypass government-funded testing centers where high volumes delayed results by days, and pass their own tests.

Far-right anti-vaccine rally draws hundreds to Hungary

More than a thousand people marched through Budapest to protest against COVID-19 inoculation in a rally organized by the far-right Our Homeland movement, which campaigned on a fierce anti-vaccine and anti-vaccine message. -immigration before the April 3 elections. “Vaccines shouldn’t be mandatory! We don’t tolerate blackmail,” read the slogan of the rally where people held up banners saying, “I’m not vaccinated, not a criminal” and “Enough of the COVID dictatorship.”

Demonstration in the Netherlands against coronavirus measures

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Amsterdam on Sunday to oppose government-imposed COVID-19 measures and the vaccination drive as virus infections hit a new record high. Authorities won stop-and-search powers at several locations across the city, and dozens of riot police vans patrolled neighborhoods where protesters marched with yellow banners and umbrellas.

Don’t discriminate against the unvaccinated, Amnesty International tells Italy

Human rights group Amnesty International has urged Italy to change tough anti-COVID restrictions to avoid discrimination against unvaccinated people. In a recent decree, the government of Mario Draghi made vaccination compulsory for everyone over 50 and for the use of public transport and a range of other services, one of the very few countries to take similar measures, with the aim of easing the pressure on Italian health. services and reduce the number of deaths.

India Gennova working on Omicron-specific COVID-19 vaccine – source

India’s Gennova Biopharmaceuticals is working on an Omicron-specific COVID-19 vaccine candidate that could be ready in a month or two, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The source, who did not want to be named as the information was private, said the product may need a small trial in India before it can be rolled out as a booster or a stand-alone vaccine.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)