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The new Covid variant first discovered in the UK could become the dominant strain in the US in March, the CDC said | Instant News


Director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Robert Redfield holds a CDC document that reads “COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Guidelines for Jurisdictional Operations” as he speaks during a Senate Subcommittee listening to a “Review of Coronavirus Response Efforts” on Capitol Hill, Washington, USA, September 16, 2020.

Andrew Harnik | Reuters

The kind that is more contagious than corona virus first discovered in Britain late last year could become the dominant strain in the United States in March as the nation races to vaccinate people against the disease, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“This variant track model at the US show rapid growth in early 2021, becoming the main variant in March, “according to the CDC study was released Friday.

Researchers warn that the increased spread could add more pressure to state hospitals and could require greater public health action to stop transmission of the virus until enough people are vaccinated. Increased surveillance of the mutated virus combined with greater adherence to public health measures, such as wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining physical distancing, could help slow the spread of the virus, they said.

“These measures will be more effective if implemented sooner than slowly to slow the initial spread of variant B.1.1.7. Efforts to prepare the health care system for a further surge in cases are needed,” the researchers said.

So far, the country has found only 76 cases of Covid-19 with the highly contagious variant, known as B.1.1.7, according to CDC data last updated on Wednesday. However, many of the cases that have been identified have occurred in people with no travel history, which suggests that the variant spreads in communities without being detected.

Global health experts have stated that although the new variants found in the UK and a similar strain found in South Africa are more contagious, they do not appear to make people sicker or increase a person’s chances of dying.

However, more cases could ultimately lead to additional hospitalizations at a time when the country is already experiencing its highest rates of Covid-19 patients. Rapid transmission of the new variant may require more people to get vaccinated to achieve so-called herd immunity, the researchers said.

Herd immunity is when enough of a population is immune to a disease, either through vaccination or natural infection, so that it is impossible to spread and protect the entire community, the Mayo Clinic said.

The US has had a slow start in vaccination efforts, losing its goal of inoculating 20 million people by the end of last year. The US has given more than 31.1 million doses so far but only gave 12.3 million of them, according CDC data.

There are also concern that a new variant, particularly the strain found in South Africa, could be more resistant to monoclonal antibody treatment, which has been shown to reduce a person’s chances of hospital admission if given early enough for their infection.

CDC study

The agency’s research says that while the current prevalence of the variant in the US is still unknown, it is estimated that it is less than 0.5% of cases based on the analysis. The US has not detected a variant found in South Africa or another strain identified in Japan among travelers from Brazil, the researchers said.

In their model, the researchers estimated that the variant was 50% more infectious than the current strain. They also estimate that between 10% and 30% of people already have immunity from pre-existing infections and that 1 million doses of vaccine will be given a day starting this month.

Although the prevalence of the B.1.1.7 strain is considered low, given its high transmissibility, it is likely to grow rapidly in early 2021, the model shows. Even with vaccines, variants will continue to spread, even though the drugs show the greatest effect in reducing transmission of strains where the disease has decreased.

“Early efforts that could limit the spread of variant B.1.1.7, such as universality and increased adherence to public health mitigation strategies, would allow more time for ongoing vaccination to achieve higher population-level immunity,” the study said.

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the crisis will not be resolved by populist or anti-EU options, said Italia Viva | Instant News


Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte spoke to reporters.

Pacific Press | LightRocket | Getty Images

LONDON – Italy’s latest political crisis will not ultimately lead to the inauguration of a populist or anti-EU government in Rome, a former minister told CNBC as the country seeks a new government amid the pandemic.

Italy faces new political uncertainties after former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi withdrew his support for the current coalition government. His small party – Italia Viva – has supported the Five Star Movement and the Democratic Party, two pro-EU parties, which have been in power since the summer of 2019.

However, differences over how to spend Europe’s upcoming recovery funds led to Renzi’s withdrawal of support and led to the resignation of two of Viva Italia’s ministers. This includes Elena Bonetti, former minister of family and equal opportunities.

“What we don’t want to do is forge an alliance with a right-wing populist and anti-European government,” Bonetti told CNBC’s Joumanna Bercetche when asked about the possibility of a future government.

We believe that we must place Italy’s future prospects firmly in the European context.

Elena Bonetti

Italy Viva member

The three-party alliance is critical to keeping anti-EU politicians away from the government during the previous political crisis in the summer of 2019. But support for anti-immigration and anti-EU parties is strong in Italy, where the Lega and Brothers of Italy are voting. first and third, current respectively.

“We believe that we have to put Italy’s future prospects firmly in the European context. So, no populist or anti-European choices will be made,” said Bonetti.

Financial markets have reacted in the past to comments from anti-EU politicians in Italy which has suggested, for example, that it would be better off moving out of the eurozone – Europe’s 19-member region where countries share the same currency.

The recent crisis has led to an increase in yield 10 years of Italian bonds were benchmark over the past week, but overall their impact on the market was somewhat controllable.

That European Central Bank is undertaking a massive government bond purchase due to the pandemic and the European Union will release unprecedented levels of fiscal stimulus across the region. The monetary and fiscal response has reduced borrowing costs for European governments.

But Italy’s political crisis comes at a particularly challenging time, with the number of Covid-19 infections showing no signs of slowing down, and economic damage that could lead to a 10% contraction of GDP (gross domestic product) for 2020.

Lega party leader Matteo Salvini spoke to the press about the government crisis and called for Prime Minister Conte’s resignation and new elections.

Simona Granati – Corbis | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will discuss the current crisis next week, but it remains unclear whether he will defend his position and which parties may band together to form a new government.

“Conte could take the time to reflect on his steps while trying to find enough lawmakers from other parties to fill the gaps left by the Renzi party,” Wolfango Piccoli, vice president of research firm Teneo, said in a note, suggesting that the current crisis might drag on. late for some time.

There are three main options for breaking the deadlock: A new coalition government, possibly with a different prime minister; a government formed largely by people without political affiliation but with major technical knowledge; or snap elections, which the ruling party wants to avoid.

“We continue to think Conte is likely to stay in the lead,” said Federico Santi, senior analyst at consulting firm Eurasia Group, in a note, setting this scenario a 40% likelihood.

He also said that “snap elections remain unlikely for now,” but if they do “the ruling parties are likely to suffer serious setbacks in the event of an election, which will likely pave the way for a right-wing eurosceptic government.”

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Switzerland allows the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to be used immediately | Instant News


Swiss health regulator Swissmedic on Tuesday authorized US company Moderna’s “live” use of the COVID-19 vaccine in the country. Switzerland, a country of 8.5 million people, has ordered 7.5 million doses of vaccine in advance, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was approved for use by Swissmedic in December. In total, the two vaccines will be available in half a million doses by January, the Swiss government said.

Availability will increase in the coming months, and by summer “everyone who wants to get vaccinated has to be able to do it,” the government said.

It was also stated that so far it had received more than 15 million doses of vaccine from three producers.

The country started its first vaccination campaign on 23 December 2020. A 90-year-old woman was the first Swiss national to receive an injection of COVID-19.

The infection rate remains high in Switzerland. As of Tuesday, the country has reported 487,357 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 7,793 deaths.

As the world is struggling to cope with the pandemic, vaccinations are being carried out in several countries with an approved coronavirus vaccine.

Meanwhile, 236 vaccine candidates are still being developed worldwide – 63 of them in clinical trials – in countries including Germany, China, Russia, the UK and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on January 12.

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Israel’s massive vaccine effort has not kept up with new cases – especially among younger victims | Instant News


For the first time since the pandemic began, Israel now says more than a quarter of the most serious Covid-19 cases, where hospitalization is required, have occurred in patients under the age of 60.

The Israeli Health Ministry blamed the new strain first discovered in Britain last month.

Dr Itamar Grotto, director general of the Israeli Ministry of Health explained: “This is because the new British variant is more contagious, especially among young people and children.”

News that Israeli hospitals now have a record number of serious Covid cases comes within 24 hours of Israel embarking on a “second dose” journey. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the first to get a second chance yesterday.

Israel has been praised by the global health community for moving so fast to vaccinate. So far, nearly two million Israelis have taken their first shot of an estimated 9 million people. Israel has a highly centralized health system, where everyone has to register on a digital system – making it easier for the Ministry of Health to regulate vaccine delivery across the country.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu receives a second dose of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, near the coastal city of Tel Aviv, on January 9, 2021.

MIRIAM ALSTER | AFP | Getty Images

Despite its vaccine success, Israel is currently in a third national lockdown due to the spread of the virus. Without dismissing concerns over the increasing percentage of young people being hospitalized for serious infections, Grotto, an epidemiologist, pointed out that nearly 70% of Israelis over the age of 60 have now received the first injection that provides them with immunity.

CNBC contributor and former head of the FDA Dr. Scott Gottlieb has looked at trends in Israel and Europe since the pandemic began a year ago, and used it as a possible model for what could happen in the United States, including a relatively new British variant.

“If we can spread the vaccine, we might be able to prevent it,” said Gottlieb, referring to the more dangerous, faster-spreading strain.

He thinks the recent and worrying spike in cases in the US has more to do with holiday travel and meetings, “but the point is we don’t have a surveillance system that is good enough to know for sure,” Gottlieb said.

The British variant, he said, officially accounts for only 0.2% of US cases. Gottlieb also warned US health officials were not looking as carefully as they should be for an increasingly dangerous disease that is wreaking havoc on South Africa’s overwhelmed health system.

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The biggest investors are piling into the ‘food of the future’ megatrend – Here’s how to tackle the boom | Instant News


(This story is for CNBC Pro subscribers only.)

Climate change, population growth and health risks are driving the transformation of the global food system, and a handful of public players are poised to benefit from a shift in the industry.

A new wave of technology is driving important changes towards indoor vertical farming, plant-based meat production and nutritional innovation. The future food solutions market is worth $ 200 billion today and will grow to $ 300 billion by 2025, estimates Bank of America. Here’s how to invest in this booming megatrend.

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