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French Prez sparks backlash by berating unvaccinated

French Prez sparks backlash by berating unvaccinated

French President Emmanuel Macron took Europe’s aggressive stance against the unvaccinated up a notch, saying he wants to “piss off” people who don’t get their Covid-19 shot. “We will continue to do this, to the end. This is the strategy,” he said in an interview. He added that means “limiting as much as possible their access to activities in social life”. The comments sparked an angry response from opposition politicians in France, and led to parliament suspending a debate on new virus restrictions. Some lawmakers are demanding that PM Jean Castex shows up to explain the remarks. The verb used by Macron in the interview- “emmerder” in French - is informal slang commonly used to insult people. It can also mean to hassle, or annoy. French politicians expressed dismay at Macron’s comments. Valerie Pecresse, presidential candidate for Conservative Party The Republicans, said on CNews she was “outraged by his comments” and that “insults are never a good solution”. Meanwhile, France hit another record for new cases on Wednesday, AFP reported, citing comments by health minister Olivier Veran at the national assembly. New infections totalled about 335,000, Veran said, according to AFP, up from 271,686 on Tuesday. Poland’s president tests Covid+ for second time Poland’s President Andrzej Duda has tested positive for Covid-19 but has no serious symptoms, an aide said on Wednesday. The aide, Pawel Szrot, said on Twitter that Duda was under medical observation but feels well. Duda, 49, has been vaccinated against the coronavirus and received a booster shot last month, Szrot said. He previously tested positive in October 2020. Bulgaria’s foreign minister Teodora Genchovska has tested positive for Covid-19 amid a sharp rise in new infections in the Balkan country, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday. Genchovska, who has been vaccinated with two doses, will remain under doctor’s supervision, the ministry said in a statement without elaborating. Chinese govt orders mass testing in Zhengzhou Chinese health authorities on Wednesday imposed a partial lockdown and ordered mass testing for Covid-19 on a city of 12 million people in central China even as the locked down city of Xian reported a sharp drop in new infections. Millions of residents of Zhengzhou, the capital city of the central Chinese city of Henan, lined up to be tested on Wednesday after the city reported 11 domestic infections this week. Pfizer, BioNTech to develop shingles shot Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech will develop an mRNA-based vaccine for viral infection shingles, collaborating for the third time after the success of their Covid-19 vaccine based on the same technology. The companies said on Wednesday they expect to begin clinical trials of the shingles vaccine, which will combine Pfizer’s antigen technology and BioNTech’s Messenger RNA platform technology, in the second half of 2022. Austrian police said they had raided two dozen homes on Wednesday, seizing equipment and placing 22 people under investigation on suspicion of forging vaccine certificates, weeks before Covid vaccines become mandatory. One in 20 people in UK had Covid: Official data More than one in 20 people in Britain had Covid-19 in the last week of 2021, the highest infection rate recorded during the pandemic, official data showed on Wednesday. An estimated 3.7mn people had the virus, up from 2.3mn the previous week, as the Omicron variant surged nationwide, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. British PM Boris Johnson announced on Wednesday that compulsory Covid-19 tests required by overseas travellers no earlier than 48 hours before arriving in England will be scrapped from Friday morning. With inputs from Sutirtho Patranobis.

world-news 2022-01-06 hindustantimes