Coronavirus Updates


Dr Veena Aggarwal, Consultant Womens’ Health, CMD and Editor-in-Chief, IJCP Group & Medtalks Trustee, Dr KK’s Heart Care Foundation of India    17 December 2022

With inputs from Dr Monica Vasudev


WHO Director General hopes to remove the global public health emergency tag from Covid-19 next year 

Addressing a media briefing, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General expressed hope that the Covid-19 pandemic would not be considered a global public health emergency in the coming year. When quizzed about the conditions for lifting the PHEIC, WHOs senior epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove said that theres more work to be done…(Source: Medscape, Dec. 15, 2022).


Hong Kong permits 5th Covid-19 dose


Following a resurgence in Covid-19 cases, the government of Hong Kong has allowed the residents aged 18 years to take a fifth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine…(Source: Reuters, Dec. 16, 2022).


Hong Kong lifts restrictions for international visitors, but testing on arrival stays


Hong Kong has ended the “amber” health code for international visitors to the city. Inbound travellers, testing negative on PCR Covid test on arrival, can now freely visit the restaurants, gyms and other venues as soon as they land in the city. Undergo the “0+3” medical surveillance period is no longer mandatory. However, a vaccine certificate is still required. Residents also do not need to scan QR codes with the mandatory “Leave Home Safe” app…(Source: Lifestyle Asia, Dec. 13, 2022).


China has stopped including asymptomatic cases in its daily Covid cases count


From Wednesday this week, China will not include new asymptomatic infections in the total count of Covid-19 cases. According to the National Health Commission (NHC), many asymptomatic cases do not undergo testing leading to an inaccurate number of cases. Till now, China had counted symptomatic and asymptomatic infections separately…(Source: Medscape, Dec. 14, 2022).


Travelers to Nigeria no longer need to undergo Covid testing 


International travelers to Nigeria will not be required to undergo testing for Covid-19 regardless of the vaccination status. Also, it is not mandatory to wear masks inside the flights and inside the airport. However, travelers aged 60 years and above and those with underlying medical conditions are encouraged to wear face masks…(Source: Medscape, Dec. 14, 2022).


Covid-19 vaccines have saved more than 3 million US lives, says study


A study released by the Commonwealth Fund has found that Covid-19 vaccines prevented more than 120 million more infections, more than 18.5 million additional hospitalizations and 3.2 million additional deaths from December 2020 through November 2022. Vaccines also saved at least one trillion US dollars in healthcare costs…(Source: The Commonwealth Fund, Dec. 13, 2022).


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