German virologist Christian Drosten believes that endemia will replace the pandemic. Such signals are seen in South Africa
The expert predicts that the restrictions in Germany will have to be maintained “probably until Easter”. The peak of the Omicron wave in this country is likely to come in January
Unfortunately, the situation in China is worse. Drosten reminds that “the Chinese vaccine appears to be insufficient in the fight against Omicron, and the uncontrolled course of the epidemic could have serious consequences for the global economy”
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Coronavirus pandemic to be replaced by endemic?
Drosten cites medical data from South Africa where Omikron – a particularly contagious variant of the coronavirus – originally spread. – In South Africa, there are already signs that the pandemic is being replaced by endemia. Unfortunately, we are still far from that in Germany, adds Drosten.
Moving from a pandemic to an endemic situation means that the virus will continue to spread, but in an less dangerous form comparable to typical common cold viruses.
When will the COVID-19 pandemic end? Experts give specific dates
“The situation in the UK with Omikron is also good as well, as the number of seriously ill appears to be lower,” Drosten said, noting that restrictions in Germany would have to be maintained “possibly until Easter”. Experts predict that the peak of the Omicron wave in Germany will come in January.
COVID-19 and worrying news from China. Possible serious consequences for the world
The situation is different in China, where 1.4 billion people have been vaccinated, but “the Chinese vaccine seems to be insufficient in the fight against Omicron, and the uncontrolled course of the epidemic may have serious consequences for the global economy” – emphasizes the virologist. – Because Omikron will of course also reach China – the expert believes.
Delmicron – what are the risks of connecting Delta and Omicron?
When it comes to the effectiveness of Chinese vaccines, a study conducted at two Hong Kong universities found that “Even three doses of the Chinese active ingredient Coronavac do not produce enough antibodies to protect against Omikron infection” – reminds the expert.
The University of Hong Kong announced it in a press release on December 23, and “the study itself was not initially published,” the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on Friday. “It cannot be concluded from this to what extent the vaccine can prevent severe disease. (…) What speaks against the Chinese vaccine is that adaptation to new variants such as Omikron takes longer and is more difficult than with mRNA technology by Biontech “,” FAZ “reports.
A study in Hong Kong also found that boosting BioNTech / Pfizer after two doses of Chinese Coronavac produced “protective levels” of antibodies. “However, China has denied this opportunity. Beijing has not allowed the active ingredient of the German company, which agreed to cooperate with the Chinese company Fosun as early as March 2020. Until now, the Chinese were convinced that they would be able to cope with their own, less effective vaccines.” – describes “FAZ”.
China’s “zero Covid” strategy will work for Omikron?
The “zero Covid” strategy adopted by the Chinese government since the beginning of the pandemic is based on traditional methods: early detection, tracking, isolation, mass testing. Individuals’ vaccination status does not play any role in the rules. In extreme cases, this policy leads to the situation we see today in Xian, where residents remain in their apartments, not knowing when they will be able to leave their homes again.
Another key instrument of China’s preventive policy is a drastic reduction in the number of people entering the country and a mandatory three-week quarantine for every person coming to China.
“Thanks to these measures, China has so far managed to keep the number of infections very low. The question is whether it will work against Omicron,” FAZ writes. For now, the authorities in Beijing are convinced that they will also deal with Omikron. “The higher transmission speed of Omikron does not mean that the strategy needs to be changed, it must be enforced more rigorously,” emphasized Liang Wannian, the head of the expert group of the Chinese Health Commission.
“Those who predict imminent failure may underestimate how far China will go to contain the virus,” Chinese expert James Palmer commented in Foreign Policy.
PAP / Marzena Szulc
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