Violent protests in Belgium, Russia reports first Omicron case -

28 January, Friday

Violent protests in Belgium, Russia reports first Omicron case

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· Around 8,000 people marched through Brussels on Sunday to protest against compulsory restrictions. Protesters were blocked from reaching the European Union's headquarters and the crowd was dispersed by Belgian police firing water cannons and using tear gas against demonstrators.
· The next pandemic could be more contagious, more lethal, or both, warned UK scientist Sarah Gilbert, lead developer of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine. She urged governments to be prepared for the health emergencies to come and added that "this pandemic is not done with us."
· Italy is tightening restrictions on the unvaccinated, with the new measures announced last month coming into force today. Under the new rules, unvaccinated people in Italy won't be able to sit indoors at bars or restaurants, visit museums, go to cinemas and clubs and attend sporting events.
On Monday, an unvaccinated man received the first fine for traveling on a bus without a valid health pass. The man, who was traveling on a bus in Rome, now faces a fine of more than $450.
· Denmark's authorities expressed concern over a jump in infections of the Omicron variant in the country, which have surged to 183 confirmed cases on Sunday. That means Omicron cases tripled in 48 hours.
· As of Tuesday, all travelers arriving in the UK will have to show proof of a negative test before departure, as decided by the UK government in response to the spread of Omicron. The mandate will apply to all travelers aged over 12 from any country, who will have to take a lateral flow or PCR test within 48 hours before boarding a flight to the UK as well as self isolating until they can show results of a negative test two days after arrival.
· Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced on Monday his government will present a new package of restrictions to counter the spread of Omicron.
· Russia has reported its first confirmed case of Omicron on Monday, Russian news agencies confirmed. The new variant was detected in two travelers arriving from South Africa, among 10 who tested positive for the virus.
· The new variant has spread to almost one-third of U.S. states, according to health officials. But the Delta variant is still the source of the majority of infections. 


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