‘Tricky moment’ for Europe as schools reopen, but not a driver of Covid-19: WHO
Europe is entering a “tricky moment” with the new school year, and while classrooms have not played a major role in spreading coronavirus, there is growing evidence of youth infecting others at social gatherings, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.
Throughout the summer, countries on the continent have recorded higher numbers of Covid-19 infections among young people, Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, told a news briefing.
“It may be that the younger people are not necessarily going to die from it, but it’s a tornado with a long tail. It’s a multi-organ disease, so the virus is really attacking the lungs, but also the heart and other organs,” Kluge said.
“Younger people, particularly with the winter coming, will be in closer contact with the elder population,” he said.
Older people and at-risk groups must protect themselves with a flu vaccination as winter approaches, a season when more hospitalisations and deaths may be expected, he added.
Kluge, asked about concerns that schools could become a driver of infection, said that WHO’s 53 European member states would discuss the issue in meetings on Aug. 31 and in mid-September.
“What we know is that we can’t open societies without opening the schools first,” he said. “So the key issue here is that it depends a lot on the level of transmission in the community. Basic measures have to be applied everywhere.”
He added: “So far we know that the school setting has been not a main contributor to the epidemic. There is also more and more publications that adds to the body of evidence that children do play a role in the transmission, but that this is so far more linked with social gatherings.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping, in a visit to Hong Kong on the city's handover anniversary on Thursday, told crowds that the city has been “reborn of fire” and “risen from the ashes” in what appeared to be references to the pro-democracy protests quelled by security forces in 2019 and a large-scale Covid-19 outbreak earlier this year.
Hong Kong has 'risen from the ashes', China president Xi Jinping said Thursday on a rare visit to the former British colony. Xi Jinping's was in Hong Kong to celebrate 25 year since it was returned to China and administer the oath of office to the global financial hub's new leader, John Lee. Today was Xi Jinping's first visit to Hong Kong since 2017.
Chaos erupted in Kabul as several explosions and gunfires were reported close to the hall where the 'Loya Jirga' or the grand assembly of religious scholars and elders is underway, local media reported. The exact cause and location of the gunfire is not clear yet. The Freedom Fighters Front in its statement said that its 'special forces' had attacked the Taliban gathering. But the Taliban regime has not said anything, Aamaj News English, reported.
Canada extended all existing Covid-related border restrictions till at least September 30 this year, the government announced on Wednesday. The restrictions include a mandatory 14-day quarantine for everyone except the fully vaccinated, which in this case means having taken the primary series of two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine approved by Canadian health authorities. Those not considered fully vaccinated will also be tested on the first and eighth days after their entry into Canada.
A Congolese woman was kidnapped twice by militants in the Democratic Republic of Congo, repeatedly raped and forced to cook and eat human flesh, a Congolese rights group told the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday. Julienne Lusenge, president of women's rights group Female Solidarity for Integrated Peace and Development (SOFEPADI), told the woman's story while addressing the 15-member council about the conflict-torn east of Congo.