The latest on the covid-19 pandemic and vaccines

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The first case of coronavirus variant detected in France, the health ministry says.

France has detected the country’s first confirmed case of the new coronavirus variant initially identified in the United Kingdom, health officials said Friday.

The infected person, a French citizen living in England, left London for the French city of Tours last weekend and was admitted to hospital on Monday, the French Health Ministry said in a statement.

“The person is asymptotic for Covid-19, is currently isolated at home, and is doing well,” the statement said.
“The health authorities have carried out contact tracing of the health professionals who took care of the patient and have sought out his at-risk contacts, to place them in strict quarantine.”

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South Korea reports more than 1,100 daily Coronavirus cases

South Korea detected 1,132 cases of Covid-19 on Friday, the country’s Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported Saturday.

Among the new cases, 1,104 were locally transmitted and 28 were imported. A total of 762 cases were reported in the Seoul Metropolitan Area.

On Thursday, South Korea recorded 1,241 coronavirus cases — the highest since the pandemic began.

Duke women’s basketball cancels rest of season over Covid-19 concerns

Duke University’s women’s basketball team will not play the remainder of the 2020-2021 season, citing health and safety concerns stemming from Covid-19, the school announced Friday.

The student-athletes on the Duke women’s basketball team have made the difficult decision to conclude their current season due to safety concerns,” Michael Schoenfeld, chief communications officer for Duke University, said in a press release.
“We support their decision, as we have supported the choices made by all student-athletes at Duke during this unprecedented time. Duke will maintain our current schedule of competition in other sports and will continue to observe our rigorous health and safety protocols, which include daily testing for all student-athletes and are based on guidance from leading medical experts.”

US CDC to require negative Covid-19 test for all passengers arriving from UK

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December 24, 2020 – Orlando, Florida, United States – Travelers wearing face masks arrive at Orlando International Airport on the day before Christmas, ignoring health experts who recommend against holiday travel as the coronavirus pandemic hits record levels across the United States, on December 24, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Passengers arriving in the United States from the United Kingdom must test negative for Covid-19 before departure, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced late Thursday.

Passengers will be required to have a negative PCR or antigen test within 72 hours of boarding their flight from the UK to the US. Passengers are also required to provide documentation of their laboratory results, either as a hard copy or electronic.

New variant: The order is in response to a new coronavirus variant that is said to have originated in the UK and is potentially more transmissible. Since the discovery of the variant, more than 40 countries have restricted travel from the UK — as well as, in some cases, travel from other countries that have documented cases with the variant.

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The agency said the order will be signed Friday and go into effect on Monday.

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