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Sunday 5 February 2023 Dublin: 0°C

# Covid-19

Last week
29th January 2023 - 4th February 2023
# pandemic
Three years on, WHO says Covid-19 is still a global emergency
The WHO first declared a so-called public health emergency of international concern on 30 January 2020.
Last month
January 2023
# WHO
WHO panel debates Covid's emergency status and whether pandemic merits highest level of alert
The outcome will be issued early next week.
# factcheck
Debunked: London Police are not criminally investigating COVID-19 vaccines
Despite accusations of murder, terrorism, genocide, and torture, no credible evidence was given.
# respiratory illness
North Korea locks down capital over 'respiratory illness', report says
Residents of Pyongyang have been ordered to stay in their homes
# Recovery Files
Cash for reforms: €700 billion EU recovery fund sparks concern and criticism
Analysis by Noteworthy and European journalists finds that Ireland is among several member states who repackaged old promises in reform plans.
# flu season
Ireland has passed the peak of this year’s 'severe' flu season, according to the CMO
Flu cases have decreased by 48% in the past week.
# jacinda ardern
From Christchurch attacks to Covid: Key moments from Jacinda Ardern's reign as New Zealand PM
‘Jacindamania’ has given way in recent months, with recent polls putting the centre-right coalition ahead.
# stepping down
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces shock resignation
Ardern said she would step down no later than 7 February because she no longer had ‘enough in the tank’.
# Transport
Used car prices jump by almost 70% - due to pandemic, Brexit and Ukraine - report says
In particular, used cars in the lower end of the market are becoming less affordable despite being lower in safety standards and higher in emissions.
# Trolley crisis
HSE boss: Flu, RSV and Covid figures at levels above Govt's 'most pessimistic modelling' for winter
Planning for next winter to begin early when health system is ‘over the worst’, says Stephen Mulvaney.
Health bosses will appear before the Oireachtas Health Committee today.
Covid, RSV and influenza continue to place significant pressure on GPs and hospitals.
HSE interim CEO to tell TDs that health service staff "do not believe this is acceptable".
Chief medical officer has not advocated for a mask mandate, says Taoiseach
Consultants warn of stark impacts for patients due to 'avoidable delays' in health system
# China
China reports almost 60,000 Covid-related deaths in a month
China has been widely accused of underreporting its number of coronavirus fatalities since the abandonment of its zero-Covid policy.
# XBB.1.5
We need to talk about the 'Kraken' variant: What is it, and do we know what impact it could have?
XBB.1.5 is uniquely good at breaking the ‘door’ to the human body, but it’s not clear how much of a surge in cases it could cause.
# factcheck
Debunked: Misleading graph used to argue that non-vaccinated people achieved ‘Zero Covid’
Unvaccinated people appear not to be affected by the disease — until you count deaths
# House Of Commons
Brexiteer MP Andrew Bridgen stripped of Tory whip for comparing vaccines to Holocaust
Fellow Tories as well as Holocaust remembrance groups have slammed Bridgen’s remarks on Covid-19 vaccines.
# Vaccines
Over 70% of workforce have received Covid vaccine and at least one booster, latest data shows
61% of employees have a first booster and 13% of employees in the state had a second booster.
# winter surge
Over 200 medicines unavailable in Ireland, including cough syrups and soluble painkillers
There is a major shortage of over-the-counter treatments for respiratory illnesses and bacterial infections.
# China
China ends quarantine for overseas travellers
Beijing last month began a dramatic dismantling of a strategy that had enforced mandatory quarantines and lockdowns.
# damar hamlin
Debunked: Claims that an NFL player collapsed due to a Covid-19 vaccine are completely unfounded
Multiple social media posts have incorrectly claimed that Hamlin’s collapse was caused by a Covid-19 vaccine.
# winter surge
Immunologist says stronger advice on mask-wearing needed amid surge in respiratory viruses
Professor Christine Loscher told The Journal that the Government “missed a trick” in not issuing stronger advice sooner.
# China
China slams 'unacceptable' Covid curbs on travellers from its territory
China’s steep rise in infections comes after Beijing abruptly lifted years of hardline restrictions last month.
# Emergency Departments
INMO calls for return of mandatory mask-wearing in crowded settings amid record trolley numbers
Over 931 patients are without beds in Irish hospitals today – the highest number since records began in 2006.
Covid-19 and influenza cases continue to increase rapidly, while notifications of RSV are also increasing
A consultant at University Hospital Limerick said "conditions in many instances are inhumane"
Services at several hospitals around the country are under extreme pressure
# pandemic
Covid-19 inquiry 'should not be about pointing fingers' – Taoiseach
Leo Varadkar said he hopes to have an inquiry into the handling of the pandemic up and running this year.
# Covid-19
Canada and Australia impose Covid rules on travellers from China
China is battling a nationwide outbreak of coronavirus after abruptly easing restrictions that had been in place for much of the pandemic.
Last year
2022
# China
WHO holds 'high-level meeting' with Chinese officials to discuss Covid-19 surge
It comes after Britain joined France and Spain in requiring that travellers arriving from China show a negative Covid test.
# INMO
Urgent health service demand at never before seen levels amid 'worst year' for hospital overcrowding
It comes amid a warning from the HSE that ‘demand for urgent health services is rising well above levels we have seen before’.
# China
EU health agency says China traveller screening 'unjustified' in bloc
Hospitals across China have been overwhelmed by an explosion of infections following Beijing’s decision to abandon its zero-covid policy.
# factcheck
Debunked: Self-proclaimed ‘inventor’ of mRNA vaccines makes nonsense claims about spike proteins
A COVID-19 infection can unleash literally billions of virions inside the body, each with dozens of spike proteins on their surface.
# factcheck
FactCheck newsletter: Covid, climate change and Ukraine dominated disinformation narratives in 2022
The ‘unholy trinity’ were prevalent throughout Europe this year.
# Moving On
Australia deportation nightmare will stay with me forever: Djokovic
The 21-time grand slam champion is happy to be back in the country for the Australian Open.
# Coronavirus
People aged 18 to 49 can now receive a second Covid-19 booster
Appointments can be made on the HSE website, with appointments available from today.
# Coronavirus
US to require negative Covid tests for travelers from China after country's sudden Covid pivot
The United States says China is not sharing enough information about the surge in coronavirus cases there.
# China
Explainer: What's happening with Covid-19 in China?
The country has abandoned its harsh zero-covid approach, but an explosion of cases has prompted concerns about the outbreak spreading to other countries.
# Respiratory viruses
Public urged by CMO to wear masks on transport and in crowds to reduce spread of viruses
Prof Breda Smyth said that wearing a mask is not just about protecting ourselves individually, ‘It’s for everyone.’
Chinese city seeing half a million Covid cases a day, says official
A health official was quoted in a local news outlet said Qindao was seeing up to 530,000 new cased a day.
# Covid-19
Taoiseach asks HSE to 'deploy all available resources' in response to respiratory viruses surge
Frontline healthcare workers ‘feel that they have been abandoned to a situation that was avoidable,’ the INMO’s general secretary said.
Taoiseach has said that HSE must deploy all available resources to combat virus surge.
HSE said they're seeing more people currently in hospital with Covid-19 than had been expected.
# factcheck
Debunked: Call to take mRNA vaccines off the market relies on dodgy death data
A group, chaired by a US senator, couldn’t think of another explanation for deaths during the pandemic.
# lockdown over
WHO concerned over China Covid cases but country claims no new deaths
Beijing last week admitted the scale of the outbreak has become ‘impossible’ to track
# Covid-19
Covid cases soar in China after sudden easing of harsh lockdowns
The United States has warned the outbreak is now of concern to the rest of the world.
# Winter Dose
HSE on 'higher state of alert' as Covid-19 and other illnesses cause concern
Covid-19 hospitalisations and outbreaks in nursing homes have increased in recent weeks.
# Covid-19
China expands hospital facilities and ICUs amid Covid surge
Beijing recently eased anti-virus controls that confined millions of people to their homes, crushed economic growth and triggered protests.