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Influencer Plus | WHO approves two new Covid treatments as Omicron spikes – latest updates

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Speaking at the White House, he said six additional military medical teams will be deployed to Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island

Covid-19 has infected more than 320M people and killed over 5.5M worldwide. Here are some of the latest coronavirus-related developments: WHO expects half of Europe to be infected by March. (Reuters) Friday, January 14, 2022

WHO approves two new Covid treatments

The World Health Organization has approved two new Covid-19 treatments, growing the arsenal of tools along with vaccines to stave off severe illness and death from the virus.

In their recommendation in British medical journal The BMJ, WHO experts said arthritis drug baricitinib used with corticosteroids to treat severe or critical Covid patients led to better survival rates and reduced need for ventilators.

Experts also recommended synthetic antibody treatment Sotrovimab for people with non-serious Covid at highest risk of hospitalisation, such as the elderly, people with immunodeficiencies or chronic diseases such as diabetes.

Australia vows to enforce Covid vaccine border rule

Australia has vowed to enforce its Covid-19 vaccine border rules “rigorously” as a decision loomed on the deportation of unvaccinated tennis superstar Novak Djokovic.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison's government has come under fire for not taking a decision sooner on whether to eject the 34-year-old tennis ace, an avowed vaccine sceptic.

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham insisted Friday that Australia only lets in foreign nationals who are fully Covid-19 vaccinated or have an acceptable medical exemption.

Mexico president says pandemic 'on the way out'

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said he believed the pandemic was “on the way out” because the Omicron variant was less severe, even as the country faces record infections from the highly contagious strain.

Lopez Obrador drew on his own experience battling a second bout of Covid-19, saying he had experienced only mild symptoms similar to those of influenza.

On Wednesday, the country counted a record of 44,187 new cases in one day, according to official figures.

Biden to double free Covid tests

President Joe Biden has announced that the government will double to 1 billion the rapid, at-home Covid-19 tests to be distributed free to Americans, along with “high-quality masks,” as he highlighted his efforts to “surge” resources to help the country weather the spike in coronavirus cases.

Biden also announced that starting next week 1,000 military medical personnel will begin deploying across the country to help overwhelmed medical facilities ease staff shortages due to the highly transmissible omicron variant.

Speaking at the White House, he said six additional military medical teams will be deployed to Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island.

Many facilities are struggling because their workers are in at-home quarantines due to the virus at the same time as a nationwide spike in Covid-19 cases. 

The new deployments will be on top of other federal medical personnel who have already been sent to states to help with acute shortages.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies