COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates: Monday / Tuesday, Dec. 27-28


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An emailed statement said the new mandates at Shanghai Pudong International Airport “require significantly extended ground time and are not operationally viable for Delta.”

It wasn’t clear what the rules are and what prompted the change, but it comes as China tightens its already strict COVID-19 travel restrictions in the face of a growing outbreak in the city of Xi’an and ahead of the Winter Olympics in Beijing in six weeks.

Xi’an, which is about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) southwest of Beijing, reported more than 300 new cases over the weekend, a sharp rise from previous days. The city of 13 million people has been locked down, with only one person per household allowed out every two days to shop for necessities.

The Delta flight that turned back to Seattle last week left passengers with expired COVID-19 test results and U.S. visas, according to Chinese media reports…

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From a longer thread:

The study only covered a small group of people and has not been peer-reviewed, but it found that people who were infected with Omicron, especially those who were vaccinated, developed enhanced immunity to the Delta variant.

The analysis enrolled 33 vaccinated and unvaccinated people who were infected with the Omicron variant in South Africa.

While the authors found that neutralisation of Omicron increased 14-fold over 14 days after the enrolment, they also found that there was a 4.4-fold increase in neutralisation of the Delta variant…

According to the scientists, implications of this displacement would depend on whether or not Omicron is less pathogenic compared to Delta. “If so, then the incidence of COVID-19 severe disease would be reduced and the infection may shift to become less disruptive to individuals and society.”

Alex Sigal, a professor at the Africa Health Research Institute in South Africa, said on Twitter on Monday that if Omicron was less pathogenic as it looked to be from the South African experience, “this will help push Delta out”…

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