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The latest on the corona crisis - Federal vaccination campaign delayed
By the end of summer 70 percent of adults in the EU had been vaccinated
Despite supply bottlenecks for corona vaccines, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen sees the EU on the right track. Twelve million people in the EU have now been vaccinated. That is a “stately number” with around 370 million adult EU citizens. Von der Leyen reported on the ZDF “heute journal”, the link opens in a new window.
There is now "another difficult phase" in February and March. But significantly more vaccine doses are to be expected in the second quarter because more vaccines will be approved. The EU aims to have 70 percent of adults in the EU vaccinated by the end of summer.
Von der Leyen again pointed out that Astra-Zeneca will now deliver more vaccine than announced in the first quarter. There would be nine million cans, for a total of 40 million cans. That is half of the originally targeted amount of 80 million cans.
Primary school students in Niederdorf (BL) have to be in quarantine
Due to identified infections with a mutated variant of the coronavirus, the primary school in Niederdorf (BL) will be quarantined until February 8th. This was announced by the cantonal crisis team.
The pupils in the first to sixth grades and also their parents therefore have to go into quarantine. For kindergarten children and their parents, the quarantine has already started and will last until February 5th.
In order to break the chain of infection, all schoolchildren and teachers are called to take part in a saliva test on Monday afternoon.
Area test in Arosa successfully completed
The Graubünden health department was able to determine 58 infections with the SARS-CoV-2 virus in 2570 samples by Sunday evening after an area test in Arosa. 45 of them (77 percent) concern the virus mutation B.1.1.7. 350 test results are still pending.
After evaluating the test, it turns out that the infections found are mainly due to the schools. That is why the canton of Graubünden lifted the general measures ordered to protect the population from Monday morning. But the school will remain closed until February 6 and all students will remain in quarantine.
After several infections in Arosa, the Graubünden health department was able to filter 20 mutations of the coronavirus in an investigation. The school and ski schools in Arosa were then closed, the wearing of masks was introduced and an area test was ordered. The area test was able to identify people who carry the virus and so far 58 chains of infection have been broken.
Astra-Zeneca gives in and promises more vaccine doses to the EU
According to EU information, the manufacturer Astra-Zeneca wants to deliver more vaccine to the European Union in the first quarter than announced. There would be nine million cans, so a total of 40 million cans, said EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen on Twitter. That is half of the originally targeted amount of 80 million cans.
Astra-Zeneca surprisingly announced a week ago that it would deliver only 31 million doses of vaccine to EU countries in the first quarter instead of 80 million. The EU reacted indignantly and put pressure on the company to withdraw the delivery cut.
Switzerland haggles over vaccine from Johnson & Johnson
The next vaccine against Covid19 is in the pipeline - that of the US manufacturer Johnson & Johnson. There are high hopes for the vaccine: because it is cheaper and because it only takes one dose to be fully effective.
The new vaccine also comes as it is called in Switzerland - there is a lack of supplies of vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer / Biontech. Switzerland is in negotiations for a supply contract, as confirmed by Urs Vögeli, Switzerland boss of Janssen, the responsible subsidiary. However, it is still unclear when and how numerous the vaccine doses from Johnson & Johnson will actually be used.
Great Britain vaccinates almost 600,000 people in one day
While the corona vaccination program in the EU is making slow progress, the UK is posting record numbers. According to the government in the United Kingdom, almost 600,000 vaccine doses were administered on Saturday alone. The number of first vaccinations rose to just under nine million. However, only around 490,000 people received a second dose. By mid-February, the government wants all 15 million people from the most vulnerable groups to be vaccinated.
Unlike the EU, Great Britain is not affected by delivery delays at vaccine manufacturer Astra-Zeneca. As it turned out, London stipulated in the contract with the British-Swedish company that the domestic production may initially only be used for the benefit of its own vaccination program.
Italy only recommends Astra-Zeneca for 18 to 55 year olds
After the approval of the Astra-Zeneca corona vaccine by the European Medicines Agency, the Italian authority recommended age-restricted use of the product.
With regard to the assessment of the effectiveness of the vaccine in people over 55 years of age, the data from the approval studies showed a "certain degree of uncertainty," said the drug agency Aifa. That part of the population was poorly represented. Nevertheless, a good antibody reaction was observed there. The agency therefore recommended the vaccine for people between the ages of 18 and 55, until more well-founded data were available. The mRNA vaccines should be administered to the elderly or people with previous illnesses, as it was said.
Federal vaccination campaign slowed down
The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) assumes that only 650,000 vaccine doses from Pfizer / Biontech and Moderna will be available in February. Originally, the double, namely 1.3 million vaccinations were planned. Because of supply bottlenecks at the vaccine manufacturers, the planning of the vaccination campaign had to be revised downwards, as the "NZZ am Sonntag" quoted from a report by the BAG.
"This small delay in the vaccination plan should not have any significant consequences," said the BAG. The vaccine doses not delivered in February should be compensated in March, the BAG informed the Keystone-SDA agency on request. "To the best of our knowledge, the second dose of vaccine can be given in good time."
This new timetable has met with criticism from the cantons. “With the publicly announced vaccination targets, the federal government created unhappy expectations. Now we have a problem, ”says Lukas Engelberger, president of the cantonal health directors conference of the NZZ.
From the second week of February onwards, Schaffhausen can no longer carry out initial vaccinations and had to cancel around 500 appointments. Nidwalden, on the other hand, can carry out the second vaccination, but only after the necessary doses have been given by another, unknown canton.
Delivery bottlenecks and canceled vaccination dates in the canton of Schaffhausen
Due to the vaccine delivery bottlenecks, Covid-19 first vaccinations can no longer be carried out in the canton of Schaffhausen from the second week of February. The vaccines that are still available will only be used for the second dose from February 8, the health department said.
An initial vaccination dose is only given to individual high-risk patients who have already been registered with their family doctor. In addition, only people in old people's and nursing homes and dialysis patients would be taken into account.
In addition, the canton of Schaffhausen has to cancel around 500 agreed appointments for the first Covid vaccination in the cantonal vaccination center. All those affected were informed of this by SMS. As soon as appointments can be made again, those affected will be the first to receive an appointment. It is currently unclear when the canton of Schaffhausen will have more vaccine quantities available.
Thousands gather for a funeral in Jerusalem
In Jerusalem, thousands of strictly religious Jews attended a funeral and thus violated the corona lockdown in the country. An influential rabbi who died at the age of 99 after a corona infection was buried. Video footage shows how thousands crowded into the cemetery. Many of them did not wear hygienic masks.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz condemned the behavior against the lockdown in Israel, which had been in place for three weeks. He wrote on Twitter. "Millions of families are locked up at home and obey the rules, while thousands of ultra-Orthodox crowd to a funeral, most without masks." He is not ready to agree to the extension of such a "fake lockdown". The lockdown ends on Monday night, but the Ministry of Health is demanding an extension.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently called on the police to take action against all lawbreakers with an iron fist. Many ultra-Orthodox feel they are not represented by the State of Israel. They follow the guidelines of the rabbis rather than those of the state. Very many new infections have occurred among the strict religious.
Defense Secretary Benny Gantz criticizes the behavior during the lockdown
Arrests and reports during demonstrations against corona measures
In another demonstration against corona restrictions, the police in Amsterdam around 30 people arrested. A gathering of around 600 people had been dissolved because of violations of the applicable Corona requirements, the police said. A week ago there were repeated riots and numerous arrests.
In Vienna around 5000 people took part in a "corona walk" in an unauthorized protest against corona measures. Because many did not wear masks or did not keep the minimum distance, the police announced the dissolution of the meeting on Twitter and later reported around 850 people for violating corona regulations and partly because of suspected resistance to state authority. Applications for several planned demonstrations with up to 15,000 participants in Vienna had been rejected for sanitary reasons.
Unauthorized demonstrations against the Belgian anti-corona measures are in the Belgian capital Brussels at least 200 people have been arrested. "We are ending the demonstration outside the main train station," the police said on Twitter. All participants could leave if they were identified and there was no reason for arrest. In Belgium there has been a no-night go-out for weeks.
Also in the Hungarian capital Budapest employees of restaurants demonstrate against the restrictions in the fight against the corona pandemic. At least 100 restaurants want to reopen despite the conditions, although they face high fines. There is currently a night curfew.
More and more Swiss want to be vaccinated
The number of people in Switzerland who want to be vaccinated against Covid-19 has reached a record high. According to a survey by the University of Zurich, 55.1 percent of those questioned wanted to be “very likely” or “likely” vaccinated in the 3rd week of January. More than a quarter (27.8 percent), on the other hand, wanted to forego immunization. A month earlier, only 41.3 percent of those surveyed wanted to be vaccinated and 39.2 percent wanted to do without it. So reported the "Sunday view". 17.1 percent are currently still tied.
There is broad support for preventive measures among the population. 84 percent are willing to be tested for the corona virus if necessary. Just as many are ready to go into quarantine. According to the study, support for these measures never fell below 78 percent.
The monitoring project “Covid norms, link opens in a new window” is updated weekly. Each week 425 Swiss nationals from the three major language regions are surveyed.
A new corona case: Australian metropolis Perth goes into lockdown
After the occurrence of the first confirmed corona case in almost ten months in western Australia, the city of Perth has imposed a lockdown. The restrictions are to apply from Sunday evening (local time) in the metropolis and in two neighboring regions for five days, as the head of government of the state of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, announced.
Residents are therefore only allowed to leave their homes in a few exceptions, for example to go shopping or drive to work when home office is not possible. Sports activities outside are only allowed one hour a day in the neighborhood.
The proven Corona case was suspected to be the more contagious British variant, as the news agency AAP reported, citing Australian authorities.
Austria takes over Portuguese corona intensive care patients
Austria takes over seriously ill corona patients from Portugal. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced how many people should be flown to Austria will be clarified with the Portuguese Ministry of Health.
Austria had already accepted intensive care patients from France, Italy and Montenegro. The Portuguese way of health is under massive pressure due to the high number of infections. According to the authorities, there are only a few intensive care beds available.
Freiburg Medistri successfully sterilizes vaccine vials
The Freiburg medical technology company Medistri took advantage of its opportunities during the pandemic. It has been able to compensate for the slump in traditional business activities with the strong expansion of the sterilization of vaccine vials.
Founded in 2006 and certified by Swissmedic, the company based in Domdidier, Friborg, carries out specialized, medically relevant analyzes and sterilizes medical devices and pharmaceutical products.
In mid-March, as a result of the corona pandemic, all projects were stopped at once, and activities for hospitals focused on Covid-19, said Chief Financial Officer Ali Nilforoushan in an interview with the Keystone-SDA news agency. At that time it was about the survival of the company.
After ten days of uncertainty, however, the company was contacted by manufacturers of glass vials. They now work for three of the five most important European manufacturers of glass vials. Last year, the number of bottles processed doubled to 180 million. And in the current year, according to the company, these are likely to rise to 220 million.
Pentagon doesn't want to vaccinate Guantanamo prisoners
The Pentagon is suspending its plan to vaccinate Guantanamo detainees against Covid-19. With his intent, the US Department of Defense had caused an uproar over a lack of vaccines for medical workers and elderly and vulnerable Americans in the country. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby felt compelled to smooth things over: "No Guantanamo prisoners were vaccinated," he tweeted on Saturday afternoon (local time).
Earlier this week, the US Department of Defense told the press that prisoners in Guantanamo Bay would be offered vaccines against the coronavirus. Republican Kevin McCarthy outraged on Twitter: “President Biden has told us that he has a plan to defeat the virus. He didn't tell us that he intended to give the vaccine to terrorists in front of most Americans. " Elected Representative Elise Stefanik added: "It is inexcusable and anti-American that President Biden is prioritizing vaccination of Guantanamo Bay terrorists over older Americans or veterans."
The US prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, houses inmates suspected of having ties to Al Qaeda and the Taliban - including the Pakistani Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, the self-appointed mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
WHO expert team arrived at the market in Wuhan
The international research team of the World Health Organization (WHO), which is supposed to investigate the origin of the new coronavirus, has arrived at the fish and meat market in Wuhan. This is where the lung disease Covid-19 or a major outbreak of the relevant Sars-CoV-2 virus was discovered for the first time.
The experts turned down answering journalists who had positioned themselves in front of the entrance of the market, which had been closed since January 2020. As quickly as the WHO convoy was admitted, the security guards closed the barriers again.
The visit is politically highly sensitive for the government in Beijing. She is accused of reacting too late to the first cases of Covid-19, which were registered in the central Chinese metropolis of Wuhan at the end of 2019.
Various Chinese diplomats and state media deny that the new corona virus originates from the Wuhan market. Instead, they argue that the virus may not have originated in China.
Willingness to be vaccinated increases
The willingness to vaccinate against Covid-19 has increased in Switzerland. This is underlined by a survey carried out by researchers at the University of Zurich. Since the beginning of September, they have been asking 425 Swiss people from the three major language regions weekly questions about how to deal with the corona pandemic - including their willingness to be vaccinated.
In the third week of January, a little more than 55 percent of those questioned answered that they would be “likely” or “very likely” to be vaccinated if enough vaccine was available. That is more than ever since the survey began. Only just under 28 percent reject a vaccination, 17 percent of those surveyed are still undecided.
China's industry is recovering more slowly
Chinese industry continued its recovery course more slowly in January than in the previous month. The official purchasing managers' index for manufacturing (PMI) fell to 51.3 from 51.9 in December, data from the national statistics bureau NBS showed on Sunday. However, it remained above the 50 point mark above which the barometer signals growth. Analysts had expected a decline to 51.6.
According to experts, the reason for the slowdown is new corona outbreaks in the People's Republic. Due to the corona crisis, the Chinese economy grew more slowly in 2020 than it had for over four decades. The gross domestic product increased by 2.3 percent compared to the previous year. That is the worst performance since 1976. In 2019 it was still enough for an increase of around six percent.
Germans critical of Astra-Zeneca vaccine
After discussions about the corona vaccine from the British-Swedish group Astra-Zeneca, people in Germany are very skeptical about this vaccine, according to a survey. Only 36 percent would be vaccinated against corona with this preparation, according to a Kantar survey for “Bild am Sonntag”. 45 percent, however, reject the vaccine. 19 percent are therefore unsure.
Although the vaccine has been approved in the European Union without age restriction, according to the will of Health Minister Jens Spahn, this vaccine should not be inoculated in people over 65 years of age in Germany.
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