Coronavirus Updates on January 22, 2021

Coronavirus Updates on January 22, 2021

Coronavirus Updates on January 22, 2021, and the most important coronavirus news of the day:

  • State ministers demand higher advances to companies (12 noon)
  • No increase in intensive care patients over the holidays (11.35 am)
  • Israel - 224,000 coronavirus vaccinations in one day (9.43 am)
  • Seven districts and cities in Bavaria above an incidence value of 200 (8:15 am)
  • RKI: number of coronavirus deaths in Germany exceeds 50,000 marks (05.38 am)

3 PM: China releases a film about lockdown in Wuhan in cinemas

One year after the beginning of the almost eleven-week lockdown in the first coronavirus hotspot, Wuhan, China, celebrates its own approach to the virus in a patriotic film. "Wuhan Days and Nights" hit theaters nationwide on Friday. The film shows, among other things, empty streets and scenes from the city's hospitals. The film "creates a heroic hymn for the people," says an article in state media posted by the Wuhan authorities on their website. The film was produced by the central Chinese province of Hubei, in which Wuhan is located, and state media. After criticism, China tries to present its crisis management positively. There have already been dozens of smaller film projects with this goal. "Wuhan Days and Nights" However, state media describe the first major documentary film about the coronavirus outbreak in China. According to previous knowledge, the pathogen originated in Wuhan. Since then, nearly 100 million people worldwide have tested positive. More than two million died who tested positive.

2:55 PM: coronavirus vaccination at the first family doctors in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the first general practitioners' practices are carrying out coronavirus vaccinations. Initially, eight general practitioners in a first test phase in cooperation with vaccination centers, as a spokesman for Northwest Mecklenburg's district, said on Friday. The doctors had previously worked in mobile vaccination teams and had been trained in handling the vaccine. According to a report by the daily newspaper “Die Welt” (Friday), the first coronavirus vaccinations for seniors were given on Thursday in a family doctor's practice in Neuburg near Wismar. According to the Schwerin Ministry of Health, the vaccinations' organization is the responsibility of the districts. General practitioners could act as "outposts of the vaccination centers," a spokesman said. However, the allocation of patients takes place via the central appointment allocation by the commissioned call center.

2:50 PM: Authorities in Lower Franconia are increasingly trying to work from home

Lower Franconia's authorities are increasingly trying to work from home. Since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, the Lower Franconia district has sent half of its employees to the home office, for which each employee was given a notebook. A spokesman announced this at the BR request. Only a few conferences are still held as face-to-face meetings, but strict hygiene regulations are observed. Working from home is a bit more difficult in district offices. According to a spokeswoman for the Bad Kissingen district office, just 15-20 percent of all employees work from home. The reason is that around 200 employees are also involved in different areas due to the coronavirus pandemic.

2.45 PM: State Office for Health reports 309 positive coronavirus tests in Swabia

The State Office for Health reports 309 new positive coronavirus tests for Swabia's administrative district compared to yesterday. The 7-day incidence continues to decrease. It is now at 99.56. A week ago, the 7-day incidence was 139.51. The number of people who died from or with Covid19 rose by 13 to a total of 1,170.

2.40 PM: An immunity certificate should follow the vaccination certificate

Today the first analog-digital vaccination certificates were issued to citizens of the Altötting district. The certificate is given to everyone who is vaccinated against the virus a second time. According to the Altöttingen district administrator, Erwin Schneider (CSU), 800 citizens have received the second vaccination. A total of 2,000 citizens have been vaccinated against the coronavirus so far. There should be no easing for vaccinated people so far - at least not until every citizen could be vaccinated, confirms District Administrator Erwin Schneider to the BR. However, the district's vaccination certificate should only be the first step: District Administrator Schneider is already planning an immunity card. This should be given to citizens who have already been infected with the coronavirus. Schneider speaks of so-called "closed groups" - So all people who supposedly can no longer be infected again. According to the district administrator, these closed groups could perhaps take part in public life again sooner.

2.30 PM: Bremen can track infection chains again

According to Mayor Andreas Bovenschulte, the health authorities in Bremen can again track the contacts in positive coronavirus cases given fewer infections. In a government statement in the citizenry, mayor Andreas Bovenschulte (SPD) said on Friday that the staffed health department in Bremen is “again in a position to fully track the chains of infection.” The low value makes fighting the pandemic easier again. Complete tracking is one of the central pillars in the fight against the virus. According to the Robert Koch Institute on Friday, Bremen currently has the lowest value among the federal states of new coronavirus infections per 100,000 inhabitants within one week.

2.20 PM: Head of the Chancellery confident about a return to normal in summer

Chancellery chief Helge Braun (CDU) has expressed himself optimistically about returning to normal life in summer despite the tense coronavirus situation. For this, the number of cases would have to be reduced quickly, and with good control of the infection process, the restrictions could be gradually relaxed. "Spring makes it easier for us, and more and more vaccinations are added. We could return to our normal life in the summer," Braun told Spiegel. He sees a great danger in mutated coronaviruses. "If the mutant is very fast, wins the upper hand, and our measures are not implemented consistently, then there is a risk that this success will be screwed up," said Braun.

2.10 PM: Serial testing at Bayreuth clinics starts

At the Bayreuth clinics, the Covid series testing of employees will begin tomorrow (Saturday, 23.01.21). It became known that the highly contagious coronavirus variant from Great Britain had arrived in Bayreuth during these days. The clinic has been recording an increase in coronavirus cases for about four weeks. However, there has not yet been a confirmed case of the coronavirus mutation at the clinic. Testing of the more than 3,300 employees should begin every minute from tomorrow between 8 AM and 6 PM, according to press spokesman Frank Schmälzle when asked by BR. The city of Bayreuth is making three test roads available for this purpose. Two at the clinic, one at the Hohe Warte clinic. Testing is not mandatory, but the willingness is very high, Schmälzle continues. Yesterday they had an online tool for making appointments "out of the ground." There are already 2,315 registrations (as of January 22, 21, 2 PM). 83 Covid patients are currently being treated at the Bayreuth Clinic, seven of them in the intensive care unit.

2 PM: Government denies £ 500 bonus for all corona-positives

The British government has rejected media reports that all people in England who tested positive for coronavirus should receive £ 500 (a good 560 euros). No expansion of the special payment is planned, said a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday. Currently, people on social benefits who cannot work from home are getting £ 500 for coronavirus. Several newspapers had reported that the government wanted to ensure better compliance with self-isolation with the special payment. It is the "preferred position" of the Ministry of Health. The ministry refused to comment on reports that the expansion would cost up to an additional £ 453 million a week, twelve times before.

1:50 PM: Brazilian virus variant discovered in Germany

For the first time, proof of the coronavirus variant circulating in Brazil has become known in Germany. The mutant was discovered when a traveler returned to Hesse, said Hesse's Ministry of Social Affairs, Kai Klose. As a result, it is the first proof in Germany. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) was also not aware of any other evidence today. Virologist Sandra Ciesek said that the person arrived in Frankfurt from Brazil on Thursday. The mutation discovered in Brazil was detected in a PCR test in the laboratory. The sequencing is still pending. In addition to the variant, which was first detected in Brazil, the focus is on two more, which were initially discovered in Great Britain and South Africa and have also been

detected in Germany. All three variants are suspected to be more contagious than the wild type of the coronavirus Sars-CoV-2. But there is no evidence that they lead to more severe courses, said Ciesek.

1.45 PM: Rapid tests: Half the cost for poorer countries

To enable poorer countries to use more rapid coronavirus tests, they should be halved. The initiative for the procurement of medicines for countries in need (Unitaid) and the foundation for innovative diagnostics would ensure that the tests could in the future be offered for $ 2.50 instead of the previous $ 5 (EUR4.12), said Unitaid spokesman Hervé Verhoosel. The aim is to enable poorer countries to identify infections more quickly and to better fight the pandemic. While there are 252 rapid tests per 100,000 inhabitants in rich countries every day, in poorer countries, there are only 24. Needy countries are also disadvantaged when it comes to vaccinations. In Johannesburg, the Ministry of Health announced on Thursday that South Africa has to pay two and a half times as much as European countries for the Astrazeneca vaccine. The United, based at the World Health Organization (WHO), negotiates low prices for drugs thanks to its extensive funds and the resulting high purchase quantities. United has limited itself to the fight against HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and hepatitis C.

1.35 PM: Mask refusers face a fine of 25,000 euros

Because they are said to have not complied with the mask requirement applicable there onboard an aircraft, two air travelers face a fine of 25,000 euros each. As the federal police announced, the two 35 and 40-year-old men flew to Frankfurt on a vacation plane from Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. During the flight, they reportedly refused to wear a mask and disregarded the instructions of the flight crew. The captain then notified the federal police, which received the two men on Thursday after they landed and initiated proceedings against them. Before they were allowed to start their journey home to Moscow, each of them had to leave a security deposit of 500 euros. According to a spokesman, the fine is so high

1:25 PM: IOC denies report on Olympic cancellation

The International Olympic Committee has denied a media report that the Olympic Games in Tokyo are canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. "That is absolutely untrue," said the IOC in a statement on Friday. The Japanese government had previously "completely rejected" a report by the London "Times," according to which it had concluded internally that the summer games had to be canceled this year due to the pandemic. The Times reported, citing an unspecified member of the Japanese government coalition, that there was agreement that the games, which had already been postponed by a year, were doomed to fail. IOC boss Thomas Bach had already emphasized in an interview published on Thursday,

1:15 PM: France's Secretary of State for Europe defends new immigration policy

The French Secretary of State for Europe Clément Beaune has defended Europeans' new entry rules in France. "We are not doing border policy, but health policy," Beaune told the broadcaster Europe 1 on Friday. There is no border taboo, "the measure makes sense because of the virus mutations. It was decided in coordination with the European partners. From Sunday onwards, Travelers from EU countries have a negative coronavirus test. This PCR test must not be older than 72 hours. However, many details were still open. Beaune confirmed that there would be exceptions for cross-border commuters and the movement of goods. Whether other groups than It was initially unclear, as the Foreign Ministry did not provide any information on the new entry rules on Friday afternoon.

1:05 PM: St. Moritz lifts various protective measures

In the Swiss luxury ski resort of St. Moritz, additional protective measures against the coronavirus that have been in effect since the beginning of the week were lifted on Friday. "The test campaign was successful," said a spokesman for the canton of Graubünden. After a break of several days, the schools and ski schools are now open again, and the general mask requirement is lifted. However, due to federal requirements, restaurants and shops are closed, as is usually the case in Switzerland. In tests in hotels, a mutated coronavirus variant was noticed. Immediate extensive tests on around 3,200 guests, staff, and citizens showed that 53 people were infected. 31 of them - exclusively hotel staff - carried a mutated virus of the South African or British variant. Thanks to the protection concepts, there was no transmission to guests.

1 PM: Bavaria for more tests in daycare centers

Bavaria's family minister wants to better protect the staff in daycare centers from the coronavirus with more rapid tests - but sees the federal government in particular as a duty. "I welcome the move by Federal Minister Franziska Giffey; it is essential to improve the protection of employees and children in childcare facilities," said Carolina Trautner (CSU) on Friday. However, the federal government must make the tests available and bear the costs. Daycare centers are generally closed until February 14th - but offer emergency care, which many working parents also use. Federal Family Minister Giffey (SPD) had pleaded for an expansion of coronavirus tests in childcare. "I think it is essential now, as long as vaccination is not yet possible, to expand the tests," she said on ARD- "

12.50 PM: London police dissolve wedding celebration with around 400 guests

The British police broke up a wedding celebration with almost 400 guests in London while checking the coronavirus requirements. It was a "completely unacceptable violation" of the law, says a police spokesman. According to the tightened lockdown measures at the beginning of the year, only gatherings of six people are allowed, wedding celebrations may only take place under "exceptional circumstances." The police had been alerted about the celebration in a school in Stamford Hill in the north of the British capital. The windows were said to be covered. The organizer is now threatened with a fine of 10,000 pounds (a good 11,000 euros).

12.40 PM: Intensive care units in Upper Franconia are used to varying degrees

The utilization of the intensive care units in Upper Franconia varies greatly from region to region, but overall it is tense. In the city and district of Hof, there are still three intensive care beds available in the Hof and Münchberg clinics. Of the current 41 intensive care patients in both houses, nine are infected with the coronavirus. Almost 100 COVID patients are currently being treated at the Bayreuth Clinic, seven in the intensive care unit. Six of a total of 58 intensive care beds are currently free. However, in the Bayreuth district, capacities are already exhausted: The six intensive care beds at the Sana-Klinik Pegnitz are occupied. In neighboring Kulmbach, there is only one free intensive care bed. Six of 37 COVID patients need intensive treatment. The situation in Bamberg is a little more relaxed. 49 COVID patients are treated in the local hospital, eight of them in the intensive care unit. Another seven intensive care patients could be accommodated here.

12.35 PM: Almost all vaccination appointments for seniors in Poland are given by the end of March

In Poland, according to government information, most of the appointments for the coronavirus vaccination of seniors have already been assigned by the end of March. Nationwide, there are only 150,000 free appointments available for this period, said the head of the government chancellery, Michal Dworaczyk, in Warsaw on Friday. In the early hours of the morning, registration for people between the ages of 70 and 80 was started; according to government figures, this group comprises 2.7 million citizens. People over the age of 80 were able to register last week. The television showed pictures of pensioners queuing in front of medical centers to register because the telephone hotline was completely overrun.

12.30 PM: Greece wants to open secondary schools soon

Greek high school students will be able to go back to school from February 1st after months of virtual lessons. The Greek government is preparing such plans, as the media reported on Friday. The coronavirus crisis team should meet on Friday evening. The country's virologists are mainly concerned about the new coronavirus variants circulating in Europe and warn that these variants could spread in the metropolis of Athens.

12.25 PM: Longer relaxation of the insolvency obligation is risky

Veronika Grimm is critical of the federal government's plans to suspend the insolvency reporting obligations for corona-plagued companies for even longer. A company does not currently recognize whether it is actually entering into contracts with a solvent company, said the economist at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in an interview with "Zeit online." This carries the risk of bankruptcies with domino effects. Grimme, who advises the federal government as an economical method, spoke of a "risky balancing act." The federal government had previously announced that over-indebted companies would not have to file for bankruptcy until the end of April if they were still waiting for coronavirus state aid applied for. The federal government wants to help companies to cushion the economic consequences of the pandemic and to preserve jobs,

12.20 PM: Biden wants to accelerate aid for families in need

US President Joe Biden wants to accelerate coronavirus aid for families in need and increase food aid for children dependent on food in the schools that are now often closed. It was said that he would sign two corresponding decrees during the day. Biden proposed a $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package. The pandemic and, as a consequence, the recession hit US citizens hard. Around 16 million people receive unemployment benefits, and around 29 million do not have enough to eat. Women, members of minorities, and employees with low incomes, especially in the service sector, are particularly affected.

12.15 PM: The number of deaths in the week over Christmas is almost a third above average

In the week over Christmas, around 31 percent or 5,832 more people died in Germany than the average in previous years. At least 24,470 people died between December 21 and 27, as the Federal Statistical Office announced in Wiesbaden on Friday. In the week before, the death rate was 26 percent above the average for 2016 to 2019.

12:05 PM: Pension insurance is taking in more money despite the coronavirus crisis

Despite increased unemployment and up to six million short-time workers, the German Pension Insurance took in more money last year. The authority has raised income from compulsory contributions from employment by 0.9 percent to around 224 billion euros. The pension fund's corona-related effects are limited since contributions are still paid for short-time work benefits and unemployment benefits I. At the end of 2020, the pension insurance had a reserve of around 37.1 billion euros. This will be reduced in the coming years to keep the contribution rate stable at 18.6 percent until 2022.

12 noon: State ministers are demanding higher advances to companies

The federal states' economic ministers have asked the federal government to give the companies that have been badly shaken by the coronavirus crisis more support than previously planned. The down payment for a company should be up to 150,000 euros per month and not just 100,000 euros. The chairman of the economics ministers' conference, NRW department head Andreas Pinkwart (FDP), on Friday in Düsseldorf. He justified the demand for a higher advance on the later payments by saying that it would take some time before the full funding was paid out. It is all the more important that companies get money quickly into the empty coffers.

In general, Pinkwart welcomed the federal government's new "Bridging Aid III" funding program, which he says is "close to being finalized" and covers November 2020 to June 2021. Companies affected by the pandemic's consequences with an annual turnover of 750 million euros should be eligible to apply. In the previous program, the limit was 500 million euros. From the state ministers' point of view, however, the group of applicants should be expanded even further.

11.55 AM: Heil wants coronavirus grant and mask vouchers for the needy

Social Minister Hubertus Heil wants to give more support to those in need in the coronavirus crisis. "Especially for people in need in the basic security systems, the extended and ongoing coronavirus measures also mean additional social worries in everyday life," said the SPD politician on Friday in Berlin. For many people, spending on the better protective masks now prescribed in buses, trains, and supermarkets meant a financial feat. Heil wants to pay basic security recipients a coronavirus grant and check whether they can be provided with masks. First, the "Rheinische Post" reported on the plans.

11.50 AM: National coach Löw back in Bundesliga stadiums: Start in Gladbach

After months of restraint in the coronavirus pandemic, national coach Joachim Löw will go back to watch matches in the Bundesliga stadiums to view the European Football Championship. The German Football Association (DFB) announced on Friday. At the start of the second half of the season, Löw wanted to be there in the evening at the top match between Borussia Mönchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund. U21 selection coach Stefan Kuntz also wants to see more games for the Junior European Championship and the Olympic tournament. According to the DFB, the DFB trainers will undergo coronavirus tests in advance of the stadium visits.

11.45 AM: 60 percent of nursing home residents have their first vaccination

So-called triage - i.e., a selection of intensive care patients to use a ventilator, for example - will not exist in Germany in the opinion of intensive care physicians. It is so "that we will, in fact, not experience this situation in Germany," said the President of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine (DIVI), Gernot Marx. On the one hand, this is because there is still a reserve of 10,000 intensive care beds. On the other hand, Marx also praised the fact that "we have very attentive political leaders who have always made decisions early to prevent this."

11.35 AM: No increase in intensive care patients over the holidays

Christmas and New Year's Eve did not lead to any aggravation in severe infection cases with the coronavirus in Germany. The German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (Divi), Gernot Marx, said there was no "Christmas or New Year's Eve peak" to be seen in intensive care units of the hospitals. This is thanks to the behavior of the population. According to Marx, the first positive effects of the lockdown in intensive care units can be seen in the form of a falling number of intensive care patients. Nevertheless, the situation is "far from easing." In April at the earliest, if the current positive development continues, he expects a drop to below 1,000 intensive care patients - according to Marx, there are currently around 4800 cases, of which 2700 have to be invasively ventilated.

11.25 AM: Essen: Police break up the service

The police broke up a church service in Essen on Thursday evening with almost 100 participants, 88 adults, and 10 children. The worshipers neither wore masks nor kept the prescribed distance, said a police spokesman. There was also no list of participants. The service was terminated immediately because of the "massive violations of the coronavirus protection ordinance," said the police. All participants were led out of the church. Their identities had been established, the adults had received reports and would face fines, the police said. According to the report, most of the church service participants come from Gelsenkirchen. The daily newspaper "WAZ" had previously reported.

11.20 AM: Denmark stops flights from Dubai

Denmark does not want to let travelers from the United Arab Emirates into the country for the time being. Transport minister Benny Engelbrecht said on Danish television DR that air traffic to and from the United Arab Emirates will initially be for five days, given that a citizen gave a specific tip who raised doubts about the coronavirus tests when leaving Dubai airport Suspended until it is ensured "that the required negative test is actually a real test that was carried out properly," said Engelbrecht, according to a statement from his ministry.

11:19 AM: Spahn - Zero Covid Strategy for Germany is no solution

In the view of Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU), the zero-Covid strategy is for Germany unsuitable. "I don't see the model transferable to Germany," said Spahn in Berlin. The country lies in the middle of a continent, in the middle of the European Union, "that's why I see zero as a permanent target, not as something that can work in a country like Germany with our situation and situation." With this goal in mind, a "Zero Covid" initiative is campaigning for a complete shutdown across Europe.

Instead, the number of infections must continue to be reduced and remain as low as possible, Spahn added. "We have to find a way." If necessary, also with corresponding measures at the state border to reduce and keep Germany's coronavirus infections at a low level.

Health Minister Jens Spahn has promised anyone who wants to have a vaccination by the summer. This is related to further vaccine approvals.

11.10 AM: Medical mask compulsory for flight passengers from February

German airlines and airports are taking up the latest federal-state resolutions and adapting the mask requirement. "From February 1st, travelers and other guests from the age of six are obliged to wear a medical mask in the airport and onboard the aircraft", announced the industry association BDL. Both surgical masks and FFP2 masks or masks with the KN95 / N95 standard without exhalation valve are then permitted. Simple cloth or everyday masks were no longer sufficient from February. "Face visors and simple mouth and nose covers such as scarves are also prohibited." The passengers must therefore bring the masks themselves.

 

The EU warns of the new virus mutations and wants to take countermeasures - but the borders remain open. The "dark red zone" category is to be introduced for very badly affected regions, said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

11.00 am Intensive care physicians - there will be no "triage" in Germany

So-called triage - i.e., a selection of intensive care patients to use a ventilator, for example - will not exist in Germany in the opinion of intensive care physicians. It is so "that we will,l in fact, not experience this situation in Germany," says the President of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine (DIVI), Gernot Marx, in Berlin. On the one hand, this is because there is still a reserve of 10,000 intensive care beds. On the other hand, Marx also praised the fact that "we have very attentive politicians who have always made decisions at an early stage to prevent this."

10:32 am: intensive care physicians warn of "extreme stress."

"We are still a long way from a situation in which one can speak of relaxation," says the President of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine (DIVI), Gernot Marx, in Berlin. "So we have to continue to reduce the number of infections drastically." Should the mutated virus form continue to spread, this would lead to "extreme stress on intensive care medicine."

10:27 AM: No clear data on coronavirus mutants yet

According to the Institute for Virology director at Charité Berlin, Christian Drosten, there is still no reliable data on the mutated form of the coronavirus in Germany. "Whether it is increasing now is difficult to say," says Drosten in Berlin. It is clear that the mutant was introduced to Germany over the Christmas period, and not only from Great Britain.

10:25 AM: Amazon opens vaccination clinic in Seattle

The world's largest online retailer, Amazon, is opening a temporary vaccination clinic at its Seattle headquarters. On the first day on Sunday, around 2,000 eligible citizens should be vaccinated against the coronavirus, the US company announced. In Washington State, people over the age of 65 or people over the age of 50 who live in multigenerational households can currently be vaccinated. Amazon's logistics employees are not currently eligible. The company recently offered the new US President Joe Biden help as part of the national vaccination project.

10.17 AM: RKI President Wieler sees a "slightly positive trend" in the coronavirus pandemic

The President of the Robert Koch Institute, Lothar Wieler, sees a "slightly positive trend" in developing the coronavirus pandemic in Germany. Wieler said in Berlin that the number of new infections is currently falling in most federal states. These are successes of the lockdown - but it should not be let up now. There are currently 900 outbreaks of the coronavirus in old people's and nursing homes in Germany alone.

10.03 AM: Spahn admonishes patience in a pandemic - "There is hope."

Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn urges patience in the pandemic: "The numbers are developing in the right direction, but they are still too high," said the CDU politician in Berlin. There are fewer patients in intensive care units, but there is still a "considerable burden." The spread of the mutations must also be minimized. But the minister stressed: "There is hope."

9:56 AM: Great Britain will keep borders open until further notice

Great Britain will keep its borders open until further notice. Environment Minister George Eustice says this to speculation that after the restrictions already imposed, such as a coronavirus test before departure and quarantine after arrival, entries could now be completely prevented. "It is right that we are careful when it comes to travel," Eustice told LBC radio. "But we don't think that now is the right time to stop them completely and close the borders."

9.43 AM: Israel - 224,000 coronavirus vaccinations in one day

A high level of vaccinations against the coronavirus has been recorded in Israel. As Health Minister Juli Edelstein wrote on Twitter, 224,000 doses were administered the day before. Around 2.4 million people in the country, with its nine million inhabitants, received the first vaccination and around 850,000 people the second vaccination since December 19.

For comparison: around nine times as many people live in Germany as in Israel. So far, 1.3 million people have received a first and 78,000 people a second vaccination (as of January 21).

There is enough vaccine in Israel. The government ordered a corresponding number of cans early on. In cooperation with the Pfizer company, the state also provides data material in return for vaccine deliveries. Experts also attribute the success of the vaccination campaign to the strong and digitalized public health system.

Israel is in a third coronavirus wave. A lockdown with strict restrictions applies until the end of January. Today 7,099 new infections were reported within 24 hours. There are many seriously ill people in the hospitals. More than 4,200 people have died linked to the virus since the pandemic began.

9.30 AM: Hungary is the first EU country to buy Russian coronavirus vaccine

Hungary is the first EU country to buy the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V. A corresponding agreement has been signed, said Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto on the sidelines of talks in Moscow. The vaccine should be delivered in three tranches, he explains in a video on his Facebook page. Details on the volume of the deliveries are to be announced later. The vaccine has not yet been approved in the EU.

9.24 AM: Over 21,500 new infections and 580 more deaths in Russia

In Russia, the authorities recorded 21,513 new infections within 24 hours. The total rises to more than 3.67 million. Worldwide, Russia ranks fourth behind the USA, India, and Brazil. The coronavirus-related death toll climbs 580 to 68,412.

9.12 AM: Heil plans pandemic surcharge on Hartz IV and other social benefits

Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) wants to enforce a surcharge for social benefits such as Hartz IV because of the coronavirus pandemic. "The extended coronavirus measures also mean additional social worries in everyday life for people in need in the basic security systems," he told the "Rheinische Post." "That is why it is right now to provide a subsidy for corona-related burdens quickly."

Heil pointed out that daycare centers, schools, and many social institutions are currently closed. Also, additional expenses would arise, for example, for hygiene articles. "This particularly affects children, single parents, the elderly, the long-term unemployed and people with disabilities who are dependent on government support."

In addition to the coronavirus grant, Heil pleaded that basic security recipients with FFP2 and surgical masks should be ensured. The federal and state governments bear responsibility here.

9:11 AM: Government advisor - if necessary, new strict lockdown in France

According to government advisor Arnaud Fontanet, France must impose a strict lockdown, as in Ireland and Great Britain, if the containment of the more contagious virus variant does not succeed. The situation is agitated; the hospitals' staff are exhausted, says Fontanet, who as an epidemiologist belongs to the government's science council, the radio station France Inter.

8:52 AM: Almost 4,000 coronavirus deaths within 24 hours in the USA

In the United States, almost 4,000 people died within a day related to the coronavirus. With 3,955 deaths on Thursday, the number was below the previous high of 4,462, which had been recorded on January 12, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in Baltimore on Friday morning. The number of registered new infections reached 188,952 on Thursday. The previous daily record was registered on January 2 with 298,031 new cases.

In the country with around 330 million inhabitants, around 24.6 million people have been infected with the Sars-CoV-2 pathogen, and more than 410,000 people have died. In absolute terms, that's more than in any other country in the world.

8:20 AM: Orban - Too early to debate about unlocking the lockdown

In Hungary, according to Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the lifting of restrictions on public life can only be discussed if mass vaccination of the population is possible. The best way to do this is to get multiple vaccines approved, he says on state radio. Because then competition would force manufacturers to speed up their deliveries. "We don't need explanations; we need vaccines."

8.15 AM: Seven districts and cities in Bavaria have an incidence value of 200

In Bavaria, the Robert Koch Institute still counts several more than 200 new coronavirus infections per 100,000 inhabitants within one week in seven districts and urban cities. About a week ago, there were still 30 districts and independent cities.

The institute has the highest values for the city of Ansbach with 289.5 and the districts of Wunsiedel with 262.9 and Regen with 246.7 - followed by the districts of Berchtesgadener Land (224.7), Tirschenreuth (220.7), Passau (204.5), and the city of Coburg with 202.1.

The limit of 200 infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week is significant because it triggers the so-called 15-kilometer rule. After that, residents can only go on excursions within a radius of no more than 15 kilometers.

08.03 AM: Giffey - expand coronavirus tests also in childcare

Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey (SPD) advocates expanding coronavirus tests in childcare as well. "I think it is now vital, as long as the vaccination is not yet possible, to expand the tests," she said in the ARD "Morgenmagazin." Currently, there are mainly voluntary tests in childcare. According to the current Corona-Kita study, around 20 percent of educators are not on the child due to corona. They are sick or in quarantine.

"After February 14, we need an opening," continued the Family Minister. "The longer it takes, the higher the price." Health against health is playing here, as many children suffered from a lack of exercise and loneliness due to the pandemic restrictions. "When we talk about easing, schools and daycare centers have to be the first," she emphasized.

8:00 AM: Schwesig - Debate about relief for vaccinated people comes at an inopportune time

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig is currently against lifting corona-related restrictions on basic rights for vaccinated people. First of all, you need reliable knowledge, says the SPD politician on Deutschlandfunk. "And we don't have that. And then I always don't believe in speculating about it." Besides, the debate comes at an inopportune time. "Because our main problem is that people who want to be vaccinated cannot get vaccinated at all because we don't have enough vaccine. We don't even have enough vaccine to at least get the over-80s at the moment vaccinate. " Federal Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) had said that if it was certain that vaccinated persons would not pose a threat to others, "

7.47 AM: Political Ash Wednesday of the CSU digital this year

The CSU's traditional rally on political Ash Wednesday is to take place digitally this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. "Instead of the felt 10,000 guests in the Dreiländerhalle, the Political Ash Wednesday will be realized as a studio production under strict hygiene measures," said CSU General Secretary Markus Blume of the "Passauer Neue Presse" (PNP). In Passau itself, only Bavaria's Prime Minister and CSU leader Markus Söder and Blume himself are said to be.

The Greens also rely on the Internet after PNP information: Their political Ash Wednesday with Greens leader Annalena Baerbock and Bundestag Vice President Claudia Roth and the Bavarian parliamentary group leaders Katharina Schulze and Ludwig Hartmann should be streamed online from a studio in Munich's Muffathalle.

Traditionally, the parties have a political exchange on Ash Wednesday, to which, under normal circumstances, many political celebrities from Berlin travel to Bavaria. The CSU event in Passau's three-country hall is the largest meeting. Ash Wednesday falls on February 17th this year.

7:32 am: Feared of further radicalization by "lateral thinkers."

The federal government fears a further radicalization of the "lateral thinker" scene and a connection with violent right-wing extremists. This emerges from the Federal Ministry of the Interior's response to a request from the Greens that is available to the editorial network in Germany. "Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, right-wing extremists have been actively trying to take advantage of the displeasure among demonstration participants from the esoteric or conspiracy-ideological milieu about the measures to protect against infection and about restrictions on public and economic life," the answer said. It “cannot be ruled out that esotericists and conspiracy ideologues acquire additional radical ideas. The high level of digital networking of the scenes can also lead to progressive radicalization”. Hence, the ministry continues. A progressive networking can also be seen between lateral thinkers and Reich citizens. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) has "knowledge that extremists as well as 'Reichsbürger' and 'self-administrators' also appear in the so-called lateral thinker movement or at least in the events that are organized by it," it says in the Answer.

6.43 AM: More than 190,000 new infections and over 4,000 deaths in the United States

In the USA, the number of coronavirus infections rose by at least 191,982 to 24.51 million confirmed cases within 24 hours. This is the result of a survey by the Reuters news agency based on official data. At least 4,157 other people have died in connection with the virus. This increased the number of deaths to 409,987. The United States has the highest number of infections and deaths in the world.

6.41 AM: Experts call for clarity about the places where coronavirus victims die

According to experts, there is currently a lack of reliable data on the places where coronavirus deaths died. The average age in intensive care units has dropped to under 60 in some cases, said the board of the German Foundation for Patient Protection, Eugen Brysch, the newspapers of the Funke media group. Simultaneously, the proportion of people over 70 who died of Covid-19 is over 90 percent. "This contradiction is worrying," said Brysch. Many older adults and residents of nursing homes apparently did not reach the intensive care units, so the patient protection agency presumed. He asked Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn to commission the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) with corresponding daily statistics. According to RKI information, the places of death of coronavirus deaths have not yet been recorded centrally,

The SPD health politician Karl Lauterbach referred to statements by intensive care physicians and nursing directors, according to which many people in need of care who fell ill with Covid-19 die on their wards. People in need of care who were infected with coronavirus have a death probability of over 75 percent. And if they survived the disease, they would have a high risk of a "severe dementia attack, many no longer recover from it despite rehabilitation measures," said Lauterbach. According to the politician, he suspects that the responsible doctors decided against admission to the clinic in many of these cases based on advance directives or in consultation with relatives. Instead, palliative treatment is started to relieve pain and shortness of breath with medication. He assumes Lauterbach emphasized that there were medical reasons behind such decisions. "I don't think that covert rationing plays a role here, for example, to relieve the intensive care units."

6:31 AM: China seals off hospitals after the coronavirus outbreak

China is sealing two of the country's most famous hospitals after a new coronavirus outbreak. The Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center and Renji Hospital, and some surrounding neighborhoods in Shanghai have been locked down, and outpatient treatments have been suspended, the authorities said.

Because of the recurring cases, especially in the north of the country, increased vigilance applies. Lockdowns have been imposed in parts of Beijing and other cities. The government has called for people to stay at home for the Chinese New Year celebrations in February.

6:05 AM: 15-kilometer rule in Weiden lifted

The so-called 15-kilometer rule no longer applies in Weiden. The rule was lifted on Friday night at midnight. What emerges from a communication from the city. The background to this is a persistent seven-day incidence below 200. The city previously informed the Upper Palatinate government about the move, which informed the Bavarian Ministry of Health. That said, the spokesman for the government of the Upper Palatinate on Thursday afternoon. Like any other district administrative authority, Weiden can decide for itself whether to repeal the 15-kilometer rule. There is only an obligation of the respective district administration authority to inform the Bavarian Ministry of Health via the government, the spokesman said.

The city had a seven-day incidence above the limit of 200 on Tuesday last week at 205.9 for the last time. The 15-kilometer rule can generally be lifted if the incidence is below 200 for at least seven consecutive days. On Friday, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) showed a seven-day incidence of 100.6 for the city of Weiden.

05.38 AM: The number of coronavirus deaths in Germany exceeds 50,000

In Germany, more than 50,000 people have died connected with the virus since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported 50,642 deaths since March last year on Friday morning. According to the health authorities' daily reports, another 859 people died of or with the virus. The previous record high was on January 14 at 1,244 deaths. According to the RKI, coronavirus deaths are counted as those in whom infection with the virus was the cause of death or, due to previous illnesses, likely, death is directly related to Covid-19. That is why we are talking about people who "died of or with" the virus.

Also, 17,862 new infections were reported on Friday morning. The seven-day incidence, which indicates how many people per 100,000 inhabitants were infected with the virus within a week, is 115.3 nationwide - with strong regional fluctuations. The policy's aim is an incidence of less than 50 to be able to trace infection chains.

5:00 AM .: Economic Institute accuses the federal government of "collective standstill" with no prospects

The director of the Institute of German Economics, Michael Hüther, criticizes the German government's coronavirus policy. "The maximum limit of 50 new infections per 100,000 people was justified in the spring with the health authorities' limited efficiency. But that has hardly improved since then," he wrote in a guest article for the "Bild" newspaper. Protection concepts for older adults and nursing homes, however, have been neglected. "Instead of resolving the problems in a targeted manner, an entire country is stuck in a collective standstill with no perspective." In trying to defeat the virus, the state threatens to stifle the economy.

03:34 AM: Japan wants to hold on to the Summer Olympics

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has denied a report that the Summer Olympics planned in Tokyo will be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Suga said he was determined to make the games a reality. The British newspaper "The Times" had reported, citing an unnamed member of the governing coalition, that the Japanese government had concluded that the mass event planned for July must be canceled. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Summer Olympics have already been postponed by a year.

02.20 AM: Carnival of Rio de Janeiro is completely canceled this year

Rio de Janeiro has completely canceled its carnival, which was postponed to July. Given the coronavirus pandemic, the mayor of the Brazilian metropolis, Eduardo Paes, said it would be nonsense to continue to hope that the carnival conditions would be in place in July. Therefore, the next official Carnival celebrations in Rio would not take place until next year.

"In 2022, if we're all properly vaccinated, we can celebrate life and our culture with all the intensity they deserve," said Paes. He also offered financial aid to all the people and associations who had worked for months to prepare for the carnival.

01:06 AM: Medium-sized companies criticize new home-office rules

Medium-sized companies criticize the federal government's home office regulation. The Funke media group quoted from a statement by the Federal Association of SMEs. It says that before the state imposes a bureaucracy monster on the German economy, it should show itself how it efficiently organizes its administration in the home office. Meanwhile, the German trade union federation is pushing for the new home office rules to be monitored and violations to be punished.

12:16 AM: France requires coronavirus tests from travelers from Europe

France tightened its entry rules. As President Macron's office announced during the night, travelers from Europe must also show a negative coronavirus test in the future. The test must not be older than three days. However, various exceptions should apply, including for commuters who work in France and for drivers and transport escorts. The new regulation should apply from Sunday. At the beginning of the week, the French government had already announced that it would campaign for health controls at intra-European borders at the digital EU summit.

00:00 clock: Lambrecht wants to lift fundamental rights restrictions for vaccinated people

Federal Minister of Justice Lambrecht has spoken out in favor of lifting restrictions on fundamental rights for vaccinated people as far as possible. The SPD politician told the editorial network in Germany that as soon as it was established that vaccinated people would not pose a threat to others, an important element of justification for encroaching on fundamental rights would disappear. At the beginning of the week, Foreign Minister Maas (SPD) demanded that people with coronavirus vaccination be allowed to visit restaurants or cinemas earlier than others. Lambrecht had rejected that.