EScAPE Newsletter, Issue #44

Reports that are of interest for the week

Trust in scientists soared in Australia and New Zealand during Covid Pandemic, poll finds
Wellcome Globe Monitor surveyed 119,000 people in 133 different countries and found that 62% of two countries said they trusted scientists “a lot” while, globally, this number is only about 41%. The percentage of trust in scientists for the entire population surveyed in Australia and New Zealand jumped 15% since 2018.

Health Secretary Rejects Telling people to work from home despite scientific advice
Sajid Javid, health secretary in the UK, does not think it is necessary for people to start working from home due to the new omicron variant after Boris Johnson announced that masks mandates and stricter travel rules would be implemented.

What you need to know about the COVID-19 omicron variant
Cases of the omicron variant have been reported in Botswana, Israel, Belgium, the UK and Hong Kong. This specific variant has a large number of mutations in comparison to past variants, 30 to be exact, and there is concern about how well vaccines will work against this variant and if omicron is extremely transmissible.

South African scientists brace for wave propelled by omicron
In the last two weeks, the omicron variant has caused SA to go from low transmission to rapid growth of new cases. Even though their numbers are still low in comparison to other countries with only 2,828 new cases, this variant has been infecting young people which is concerning.

China could double down on its zero-Covid approach amid concerns about omicron, analysts say
As more news comes forward about the new COVID-19 variant, China makes decisions on whether to double down on staying isolated.

Hong Kong includes Canada in travel ban due to Omicron COVID-19 variant
Non-residents who have traveled to four African countries, Australia, Canada, Israel and six European countries in the past 21 days will be banned from entering the city due to fears about the transmissibility of Omicron.

Covid: Huge protests across Europe over new restrictions
To protest anti-Covid measures, tens of thousands of Europeans have been marching to the Belgian capital in Brussels. Most of these protesters are opposed to the use of Covid passes, which prohibit unvaccinated people from entering certain venues.

Omicron COVID variant underlines need for global ‘pandemic treaty’
The accord on pandemics disincentivizes countries from alerting other countries to threats because leaders react poorly to this information and isolate these places from help. According to the UN Secretary General, we should be thanking and helping countries when they report information, not blaming and isolating them.