Coronavirus Updates on January 23, 2021

Coronavirus Updates on January 23, 2021

Corona Briefer reports Coronavirus Updates on January 23, 2021, as the number of cases exceeds 98.8 million cases and deaths stand at 2,118,370.

  • British experts surprised by Johnson's statement on mortality (10:05 a.m.)
  • Norway tightens regulations in and around Oslo (9.25 a.m.)
  • Vodafone for greater use of cell phone data (09.14 a.m.)
  • Severe allergic reaction to Moderna vaccine rare (7:53 a.m.), according to U.S. health department.
  • Laschet: The economic consequences of the coronavirus are still to come (7.47 a.m.)
  • Serial testing in Bayreuth due to coronavirus mutation (7:10 a.m.)
  • DGB warns of "wage theft" by the home office (7:07 am)
  • Much fewer visitors to concentration camp memorials due to coronavirus (7:03 a.m.)

9.45 p.m.: From tomorrow: Stricter coronavirus controls at Frankfurt Airport

At the largest German airport in Frankfurt, the federal police will intensify controls on flights from high-risk areas from Sunday. Above all, the entry registrations and proof of a current, negative coronavirus test should be checked. According to information from the "Spiegel," the Federal Police are also mobilizing significantly more officers at Munich Airport to check all landing passengers. According to the Federal Police in Frankfurt, the checks occur before the actual border control - and directly on the aircraft. On Sunday, 17 flights from five countries are expected to be affected. Therefore, all measures are carried out in close coordination with the health authorities, the Hesse state police, the airport operator, and the airlines concerned. So-called high incidence areas are countries with significantly higher numbers of infections than Germany. In addition to other countries, this also includes Spain, Portugal, the USA, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Egypt.

9.30 p.m.: US epidemic agency - 41.4 million vaccine doses delivered

The US disease authority CDC has announced the delivery of 41.4 million vaccine doses to date. Of these, 20.5 million were administered, with three million people also receiving the second vaccination. About 328 million people live in the United States.

9:05 p.m.: Number of intensive cases in France declining

For the first time in two weeks, the number of Covid patients in intensive care units falls in France. The Ministry of Health announced that the decrease was 16 to 2,896. The number of new infections rose to 23,924 after 23,292 on Friday and 21,406 a week ago.

8.40 p.m.: France has reached one million mark for anti-corona vaccinations

France hit the one million anti-coronavirus vaccination mark earlier than expected. Prime Minister Jean Castex spread the news on the short message service Twitter on Saturday. The government's original goal in Paris was to vaccinate one million people by the end of January. The vaccination campaign in France began on December 27th. At first, there was a lot of criticism because the vaccinations started too slowly. In response, the government increased the number of people eligible for vaccination. Industry Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher now issued the vaccination of 15 million people by June as the next target. She was "fairly confident" that this goal could even be exceeded.

8:25 p.m.: Egypt starts vaccinations on Sunday

In Egypt, vaccinations are due to start on Sunday. President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi announced this. Egypt received the first batch of vaccines from the Chinese manufacturer Sinopharm in December.

8:05 p.m.: Balance of the Central Franconian police on coronavirus regulations

For today's Saturday (January 23rd, 2021), several meetings were again registered in Middle Franconia concerning the currently applicable coronavirus regulations. The police supervised relevant events in Nuremberg, Erlangen, and Herzogenaurach and drew a positive balance sheet. There were no security disruptions, and the infection protection regulations' breaches only had to be detected in a few cases. The Central Franconian police, which is still supported today by units of the Bavarian riot police, focused their attention on compliance with the assembly and infection protection regulations when supervising the gathering.

7.40 p.m.: Virologist Protzer sees "no reason to breathe easy."

The Munich virologist Prof. Ulrike Protzer does not yet see a "cause for a sigh of relief" in Bavaria's falling incidence value. She said that on BR television. If the coronavirus measures were to be stopped prematurely, the values ​​would "go up just as steeply." Since humans pass on the virus, the infection process depends very much on how strictly or how negligently the measures are handled, according to the Helmholtz Center's virologist. As the first easing for February is currently being discussed in politics, Protzer advises "setting clear limits" to begin with the first easing measures. The first limit would be "probably at 50, the next at 25 and then at ten" - but she emphasized that politics would decide. From the virologist's point of view, the first easing would make sense from mid-March when the "days get longer, and the situation eases seasonally." Should the numbers drop unexpectedly quickly to an "incidence often," one could also think about opening up the ski areas; beforehand, it would be cautious, according to Protzer.

 

7:05 p.m.: British variant detected in Berlin hospital

In Berlin, the Humboldt Clinic does not admit any new patients after detecting one of the more contagious virus variants. 14 patients and six employees are affected, Reuters learns on request from a spokeswoman for operator Vivantes. There is a commuting quarantine between their houses and the clinic; emergencies are passed on to other hospitals. The variant is the one that was first detected in Great Britain.

6:50 p.m.: Czech pubs open in protest against coronavirus restrictions

In the Czech Republic, hundreds of pubs and restaurants across the country opened on Saturday in protest against the government's lockdown regulations. The owners followed a call from the "Hund ist tot" (Chcipl pes) movement, the name of which is a corruption of the official instructions on protection against the coronavirus. "We have been disappointed with the government for a long time," Jiri Janecek from the Maly Janek Brewery in Jince, southwest of Prague, told AFP. The government has taken "the wrong path." In his view, "ministers should think about leaving their posts." Janecek is a co-founder of the "Dog is Dead" movement, gaining popularity in recent weeks. The brewery's restaurant was half-filled with guests on Saturday, who drank beer and ate pork ribs or schnitzel. The staff was busy. The spokesman for the city of Prague, Vit Hofman, said that violating the coronavirus regulations could result in fines of the equivalent of up to 766 euros.

 

6:35 p.m.: Several prime ministers apparently against easing

According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, the heads of government of Lower Saxony, Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Thuringia are against easing the coronavirus restrictions. "But since we do not know the true extent of the local mutations, we cannot take the risk and try out only selective easing ahead of time," said Lower Saxony's Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) of the newspaper. Michael Kretschmer (CDU) from Saxony, Malu Dreyer (SPD) from Rhineland-Palatinate, and Bodo Ramelow (Left Party) from Thuringia made similar statements.

 

6.15 p.m.: Spain's top military resigns

Spain's highest military, Chief of Staff Miguel Ángel Villarroya, offered his resignation on Saturday because he and other high-ranking military officials had been vaccinated against coronavirus earlier than others. Defense Minister Margarita Robles accepted the request, reported the news agency Europa Press and the state TV broadcaster RTVE, citing the Ministry of Defense. The general justified his move because he wanted to "protect the reputation of the armed forces." The early vaccination of senior military officials was criticized as a privilege. According to the national vaccination plan, people who are particularly at risk are currently vaccinated against the Sars-CoV-2 virus, i.e., mainly residents of older people's homes and their nursing staff. The military emphasized that there was an internal vaccination plan, which has not been violated. A colonel from the Guardia Civil police unit, which was organized as a military police force, had previously been dismissed by the Minister of the Interior, who had been vaccinated along with officers of the military. Some Spanish local politicians and officials, as well as a priest, had already had themselves vaccinated, although it was not yet their turn, as RTVE reported.

 

6:05 p.m.: Italian Prime Minister accuses Pfizer of a serious breach of contract

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte calls the delayed delivery of the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech a serious breach of contract. This may also be the case with AstraZeneca, Conte explains on Facebook. He announces the use of all legal means to ensure that the contracts are fulfilled.

 

5.45 p.m.: Laschet against "opening discussion."

The new CDU chairman Armin Laschet considers a long-term opening concept after the coronavirus lockdown is unrealistic. "There will be no strategy until the summer because new facts are constantly being added to which we have to react," said Laschet on Saturday on the sidelines of the Southwest CDU party convention in Stuttgart. The new virus variants from Great Britain and South Africa could mutate again. "We do not know which species we will see in the next few weeks and months. That is why driving on sight is the only thing to do," said the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister. It is not the time for an "opening discussion."

 

5.40 p.m.: Great Britain reports daily record for vaccinations

The UK reports a daily record of 478,248 vaccinations. According to the government, a total of nearly 5.9 million Britons have received the first of two doses they need. Almost 67 million people live in Great Britain.

 

5:05 p.m.: Because of Corona: Tunisia prohibits demonstrations

After days of protests by young people against their economic plight, Tunisia has banned demonstrations, justifying this with the increased coronavirus infections. Among the measures announced by the Ministry of Health on Saturday, travel between regions is also prohibited from Monday. People over 65 must stay at home. On Thursday, Tunisia reported 103 coronavirus-related deaths, the highest number to date in the country of 11 million people. There have been repeated riots in the past few days when young people took to the streets against unemployment and poverty. Hundreds of protesters gathered in central Tunis on Saturday, demanding the release of those arrested in clashes with police during the week. According to human rights groups, there have been around 1,000 arrests.

 

4:55 p.m.: In February, three million AstraZeneca cans arrive

After the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca announced a drastic cut in its coronavirus vaccine deliveries to the EU, the federal government expects three million doses of the preparation in February. "If the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved at the end of January, we expect at least three million vaccine doses for Germany in February," said Health Minister Jens Spahn of "Bild am Sonntag." That is less than expected. Due to production problems, AstraZeneca delivers 31 million vaccine doses to EU countries in the first quarter, around 60 percent less than planned.

 

4:50 p.m.: Berlin clinic stops recordings due to coronavirus mutation

The Berlin Vivantes Humboldt-Klinikum no longer accepts patients after several infections with the new British coronavirus variant were discovered. In the ward for internal medicine and cardiology, routine screenings had so far provided positive evidence for 14 people. The virus type B.1.1.7 had so far mainly occurred in Great Britain. According to experts, the variant is easier to transfer than the previous one. The admission ban that has been imposed since midnight applies until further notice. Emergencies are taken to other hospitals. The hospital employees are under what is known as commuting quarantine: They can only travel between their home and the clinic.

 

3.49 p.m.: Ingolstadt game in Uerdingen is canceled due to coronavirus infections

FC Ingolstadt's game in the 3rd division at KFC Uerdingen, which was actually planned for Sunday, has been canceled due to coronavirus infections. After the entire team of hosts was sent into quarantine at home because of two Covid 19 cases, the Upper Bavarian football club also made positive findings public on Saturday. The FCI did not initially announce how many cases there are and who is affected.

 

3.30 p.m.: Women's Union increases pressure on Söder to open schools

The Women's Union in Bavaria is calling on Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) to open schools quickly - for face-to-face classes for all final grades and alternate classes for all other grades. This increases the CSU boss's pressure, who last defended the ongoing school closings in Bavaria because of the great concern about the mutated coronavirus.

 

The demand emerges from a position paper of the Women's Union that was disseminated on Saturday, which provides a quick return to schools; however, subject to strict protection and hygiene concepts and a clear test strategy. "Distance teaching in its current form is not an equivalent substitute for teaching in the classrooms," says the paper.

 

2.45 p.m.: Wuhan's lockdown is the anniversary

More than 200 new cases of coronavirus infection have been discovered in China. 69 of the total of 206 new infections were in the northeastern provinces of Heilongjiang and Jilin, the authorities announced on Saturday. The province of Hebei was also affected with 15 cases. Three cases each have been reported from the capital Beijing and the metropolis of Shanghai. 107 of the infected showed symptoms; in 17 cases, the virus was brought to China from abroad, it was said.

 

These new cases coincided with the start of a 76-day lockdown in Wuhan's megacity in Hubei province a year ago. The virus first appeared there in December 2019. The most populous country took action against the coronavirus with strict measures. These included curfews for millions, forced quarantine, mass tests, and strict entry restrictions. Since the summer, the virus has been largely brought under control. Life and economic activity have returned to normal overall.

 

12:51 p.m.: British medics criticize vaccination strategy

British medics are calling for a revision of the vaccination strategy against the coronavirus. There is growing concern among doctors because the second dose of the vaccine made by Biotech and Pfizer is administered very late, the British Medical Association said. Britain is increasingly isolating itself from other countries because it does not inject the second dose until after twelve weeks.

 

Biontech and Pfizer recommend giving the second part of the vaccination after three weeks. The World Health Organization considers an interval of up to six weeks to be possible. On the other hand, Britain is trying to give the first vaccination to as many people as possible given the shortage of vaccines and is therefore taking more time with the second injection.

12.09 p.m. Vice-Chancellor Scholz wants better pay for "Corona heroes."

The SPD's top candidate for the federal election, Olaf Scholz, has called for better pay for systemically relevant professions. In the crisis, everyone applauded the coronavirus heroes, Scholz said at a digital party conference of the SPD Saxony-Anhalt. But you shouldn't just clap when everyone is in need. It must be ensured that these systemically relevant professions are paid better in the future.

 

Scholz reiterated his demand to raise the minimum wage to 12 euros and spoke out in favor of higher collectively agreed wages. The finance minister also called for more recognition for apprenticeships. Some people who have decided to work in a trade or geriatric care, for example, feel that their work is not recognized in the same way as that of academic professions. That is a problem.

 

11.30 a.m.: Madrid is also tightening coronavirus restrictions

The Spanish capital Madrid has tightened the countermeasures given the drastically increasing number of coronavirus infections. The night curfew in the metropolis of millions begins an hour earlier at 10:00 p.m. on Monday, as has been the case in other Spanish regions for a long time. However, Madrid’s new measures are not quite as strict as in some other parts of the country, especially those for restaurants. For example, meetings in restaurants that have to close by 9 p.m. at the latest may in the future only be attended by a maximum of four people, but they do not have to come from the same household. Besides, restaurants can continue to serve indoors.

 

Germany had declared Spain, along with other countries, a high-risk area due to the worrying coronavirus numbers the day before.

 

10:05 a.m.: British experts surprised by Johnson's statement on mortality

British experts have expressed their surprise at Prime Minister Boris Johnson's statements about a possibly higher mortality rate for the virus variant found in Great Britain. Several investigations were ongoing. It is not entirely clear that the variant is deadly, said Public Health England medical director Yvonne Doyle on BBC Radio 4. It was too early to say that. There are hints. But: "These are only a small number of cases, and it is far too early to say what will actually come out."

 

9.25 a.m. Norway tightened regulations in and around Oslo

Norway has tightened the coronavirus restrictions in the capital Oslo and nine neighboring municipalities. The reason is the outbreak of the possibly particularly contagious variant of Covid discovered in Great Britain, the government said. Shopping centers and other non-essential stores would have to close from Saturday noon until at least February 1st. Restaurants are also not allowed to open, organized sporting events are canceled, and private households should not receive any visitors.

 

9.14 a.m.: Vodafone for greater use of cell phone data

The German boss of the telephone company Vodafone proposes to use cellular data more to combat pandemics. "Mobility data can help to cope with the crisis faster and better - so you should consider whether you could use it better," said Hannes Ametsreiter, the "Spiegel." Data protection does not currently allow this, the manager said. Given the current number of cases, he wonders whether we shouldn't jump over our shadow now.

 

7:53 a.m.: Severe allergic reaction to Moderna vaccine is rare, according to the US health department

Severe allergic reactions to the coronavirus vaccine from the US company Moderna are "rare," according to the US health authority CDC. After administering more than four million doses of the vaccine, only ten of the vaccine recipients experienced so-called anaphylactic shocks, the CDC announced on Friday (local time). None of the allergic reactions resulted in death.

 

The CDC based its assessment on the documentation of 4,041,396 vaccine doses administered between December 21, 2020, and January 10 this year. A total of 108 allergic reactions were found. In ten vaccine recipients, all of them women between the ages of 31 and 63, these reactions were severe.

 

"The clinical and epidemiological characteristics of reports of anaphylactic shock following administration of Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine are similar to those following administration of Biontech-Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine," the CDC said. According to initial findings, more women than men reacted to the Biontech Pfizer vaccine. However, according to experts, this could also be because significantly more women than men have been vaccinated against the coronavirus so far.

 

7.47 a.m.: Laschet: The economic consequences of the coronavirus will only come to light

According to the new CDU chairman and North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Armin Laschet, the coronavirus pandemic will keep Germany busy for a long time. "Even if the pandemic is over, not everything will be okay. Because then the financial, economic and all other consequences of coronavirus will come to the fore," said Laschet in an interview with the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" (Saturday edition).

 

Laschet also warned of the unpredictability of virus mutants. The new CDU chief underlined the need to weigh the damage caused by the coronavirus measures, especially for children and their educational opportunities, with health protection. In the phase of uncertainty, however, the latter must have absolute priority. "The developments in Ireland and Great Britain must be a warning to us," said Laschet.

 

Although the incidence in Germany is currently falling, the newly mutated virus is unpredictable. "How it will work, how quickly it will work, and in which groups it will work, no one can make a well-founded prediction today. That is why extreme caution is required," Laschet emphasized.

 

7.10 a.m.: Serial testing in Bayreuth due to coronavirus mutation

After evidence of a highly contagious coronavirus mutation in Bayreuth, series of tests begin today at the local hospital. "We want to test all employees by Monday evening," said a spokesman for the clinic. "We have set up three test roads and developed our own booking system."

 

The vast majority of the more than 3,300 employees have already registered for a test. The clinic now fears that many could soon fail. "We are prepared so that we can react if necessary," emphasized the clinic's spokesman. The Bundeswehr has already been asked.

 

07:07 am: DGB warns of "wage theft" in the home office

The German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) has warned against "wage theft" in the home office and urged clear rules for working from home. "We are currently experiencing that working hours in the home office are generally not recorded at all. Employees in Germany already work a billion overtime hours a year that are not paid," said DGB boss Reiner Hoffmann of the "Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung" (Saturday edition ).

 

"This is wage theft. And it is intensified if there are no sensible rules for the digital world of work," explained Hoffmann. He again demanded the right to work from home. Hoffmann said the digital working world's design would be one of the big tasks after the coronavirus pandemic. The right to work from home is an essential element "if we want to use the opportunities offered by digitization."

 

7:03 a.m.: Because of Corona, much fewer visitors to concentration camp memorials

The coronavirus pandemic has slowed down the number of visitors to Bavarian concentration camp memorials. In the past year, significantly fewer people came to the former concentration camps, according to a survey by the Evangelical Press Service (EPD) on the upcoming Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27th. Flossenbürg recorded less than half as many visitors. In Dachau, the number of guided offers users even fell to a quarter of the previous year's level. In total, the memorials had to close completely for four months.

 

6.40 a.m.: Now over 413,000 coronavirus deaths in the USA

According to a Reuters survey, the number of coronavirus deaths in the US has risen by at least 3,788 to 413,775. The number of infections grew by more than 190,000 to 24.7 million people.

 

6:28 am: Night curfew in the Netherlands comes into force

Due to the persistently high number of coronavirus infections, a night curfew will apply in the Netherlands from Saturday for the first time since the Second World War. Anyone who violates the exit ban, which applies between 9 p.m. and 4.30 a.m., faces a fine of 95 euros. According to government information, the ban will initially remain in force until February 9. It is said to help contain the spread of the more contagious variant of the virus.

 

06.24 a.m.: Heil does not rule out the extension of the home office obligation

Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) does not rule out an extension of the home office obligation in the coronavirus pandemic. "We'll see in good time whether an extension beyond March 15 is necessary. The big goal is to prevent our economy from falling into a complete lockdown," said Heil of the Düsseldorf "Rheinische Post" (Saturday edition).

 

The number of infections is currently falling, but the coronavirus mutants pose an additional health risk. "I want us to keep our economy going, and more home office makes an important contribution to this," said the SPD politician.

 

5.40 a.m.: One year after the first lockdown, China reports 107 new infections

China reports 107 new infections on the first lockdown anniversary in Wuhan - the city first spread worldwide. The day before, there were 103. According to official information, a total of 88,911 people have been infected with the virus in the most populous country in the world.

 

5.30 a.m.: Robert Koch Institute reports almost 16,500 new infections

In Germany, the number of people infected with coronavirus increases by 16,417 to 2,122,679. The Robert Koch Institute reports 879 new deaths. This increases the number of people who have died after being infected to 51,521. The seven-day incidence is just under 113.

 

4:00 a.m.: Union faction vice calls for the lockdown to end in mid-February

The deputy leader of the Union parliamentary group, Georg Nüßlein, calls for an end to the lockdown in mid-February. "Because of the massive effects, it is not justifiable to prescribe a nationwide lockdown until the incidence number falls below 50 or below 35," said the CSU politician of the "Augsburger Allgemeine." "If something doesn't happen in the next few weeks (...) then by mid-February at the latest, we have to go a different way than the previous one." Measures other than extending the lockdown would then have to be taken.

 

02.50 a.m.: Hong Kong seals off the district - residents are tested

The Hong Kong government is cordoning off the Jordan district. This applies until all residents have been tested for infection. The aim is to test the residents of 70 high-rise buildings within 48 hours.

 

02.09 a.m.: North Rhine-Westphalia initially only vaccinated in the afternoon

In North Rhine-Westphalia, the vaccination centers will initially only vaccinate in the afternoon due to the lack of a vaccine. This was announced by the head of the North Rhine Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, Frank Bergmann, in the "Rheinische Post." "Only when there is enough vaccine can you vaccinate from 8 a.m." He calls for more political action in the fight against vaccine delivery problems.

 

2 a.m.: Probably no pension increase due to coronavirus 2021

Labor Minister Hubertus Heil sees no increase in old-age pensions this year. "We have to expect that there will be no pension increases in the west this year and only a tiny one in the east because of the adjustment," said the SPD politician of the "Rheinische Post." He points out that the pension development always follows the wage development of the previous year. In the coronavirus crisis year 2020, however, wages hardly increased.

 

1 a.m.: EU Social Commissioner warns of cuts in social benefits

EU Social Commissioner Nicolas Schmit warns of a cut in social benefits. He told the Funke media group that massive amounts of money were being used in Europe to save companies and people's income. "But we would create enormous problems if we went on an austerity course at the expense of social policy after the crisis."

 

12:40 a.m.: South African virus variant now also in Panama

The first case of infection with the highly contagious pathogen from South Africa is found in Panama. The virus was detected in a 40-year-old from Zimbabwe who came from South Africa, the Ministry of Health said. The man was isolated.

 

11:21 p.m.: Belgium will ban "non-essential" travel abroad from Wednesday

To prevent the spread of new, more contagious variants of the coronavirus, Belgium will ban all "non-essential" travel abroad from Wednesday. The ban will initially apply until March 1, said Prime Minister De Croo on Friday evening in Brussels. Exceptions apply to commuters as well as trips for family or health reasons.

 

"We are not building a wall around Belgium. We can continue to other countries, but only for important reasons," emphasized the head of government.

 

10:51 p.m.: coronavirus situation in Portugal leads to ambulance queues in front of clinics

In Portugal, the situation is deteriorating dramatically. Ambulances with coronavirus patients stood in line in front of the emergency rooms of hospitals. With a population of 10.3 million, the country reported almost 14,000 official new cases, the second-highest number since the pandemic began. The coronavirus and intensive care units were, on average, around 90 percent full.

 

10.45 p.m.: Bavarian general practitioner boss: "Help lies in reducing cases."

The chairman of the Bavarian Association of General Practitioners, Markus Beier, spoke out in favor of the so-called No-Covid strategy in Rundschau Magazin on BR TV. Although research is now being carried out on virus-killing drugs and there are options for antibody treatment - for the crucial weeks that now lie ahead of us, we need a clear goal of avoiding cases as far as possible, said Beier.

 

In the spring, one was almost at this "zero infection number." "One help lies in reducing the number of cases." Because a causal treatment would still not be available.

 

10.30 p.m.: EU circles: AstraZeneca cuts vaccine delivery by 60 percent

According to information from EU circles, the British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is drastically cutting its vaccine against the coronavirus to the European Union. Due to production problems, the number of vaccination doses in the first quarter of 31 million units will be around 60 percent lower than planned; a high-ranking EU representative told Reuters on Friday. For the second quarter, AstraZeneca has not given a target number, the insider said. It was actually planned that AstraZeneca would deliver around 80 million vaccine doses to the 27 EU countries in the first and second quarters. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) nevertheless expects that larger amounts of the vaccine can be inoculated in the coming month.

 

The AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to be approved in the EU in February.

 

9:05 p.m.: Bill Gates had himself vaccinated against Corona

Microsoft founder Bill Gates received a coronavirus vaccination. "One of the benefits of being 65 is access to the Covid-19 vaccine," Gates wrote on Twitter on Friday. He received the first of the two doses of vaccine this week - "and I feel great." Gates is at the center of some coronavirus conspiracy theories. One of the unsubstantiated claims is that Gates uses the pretext of vaccination to plant chips to control humanity. "These crazy ideas spread somehow faster on social media than the truth. I'm surprised that my name appears in these conspiracy theories," said Gates on "Bild Live" in September.

 

8:50 p.m.: Saxony's Prime Minister criticizes coronavirus policy in the Czech Republic

Saxony's Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) has criticized the currently less rigid coronavirus policy of the Czech Republic's neighboring country. «We act differently in the member states of the EU. The prerequisite for open borders, however, is a common understanding of how to proceed against the pandemic », said the head of government of the" Welt "(Saturday). The Christian Democrat was bothered by the fact that "all shops are reopening" in the neighboring country, while drastic measures are being decided in Dresden. "This thwarted our efforts." That is why Saxony has introduced compulsory testing for commuters from the Czech Republic and Poland. On Friday, State Chancellery Oliver Schenk (CDU) announced in Dresden that cross-border commuters from the Czech Republic would only be allowed to enter if you present a negative test or prove a job Free State and have themselves tested before starting work in the company. This should apply if the Czech Republic is classified as a "high incidence country." On Friday evening, the federal government finally classified the Czech Republic as a "high-risk area" with tightened entry rules. Regarding the question of border closings, Kretschmer said: "Here in Saxony, in the triangle with Poland and the Czech Republic, we are a common economic and living space. You can't just cut it up." Many Poles and Czechs are active in the health sector in Saxony and are therefore indispensable. "But if the federal police stop a coach from a risk area at the border and the occupants cannot show a negative coronavirus test,

 

8.40 p.m.: Söder criticizes Aiwanger's request for the hotel to be opened

Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder has criticized his deputy Hubert Aiwanger (Free Voters) for his demand to open ski lifts and hotels from February. Without giving his name, the CSU boss took up the demand of his economics minister in his speech at the digital CSU New Year reception and made it clear that the debate was coming at an inopportune time for him. The current coronavirus measures would initially apply until mid-February; what will come after that remains to be seen. Unfortunately, there are always politicians who like to explain "when something will be opened." "My urgent advice is that we should do what is necessary," said Söder.

 

8:20 p.m.: Poland helps Slovakia with coronavirus mass tests

Medical staff from Poland are helping Slovakia with its controversial coronavirus mass tests. The Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic and Interior Minister Roman Mikulec personally picked up the first 65 Polish health workers at Bratislava Airport. According to the populist-conservative head of government, a total of 211 Polish specialists will be deployed. During the welcome, Matovic thanked the Polish government for their "fraternal help" and "gesture of solidarity." Since Monday, Slovakia has been carrying out coronavirus mass tests across the country again, which should last until January 26th. In nine days, almost the entire population over ten years old should be subjected to a rapid antigen test. Anyone who cannot show a negative test result after this can be allowed up to the 7th February didn't even go to work. The medical association and other health organizations criticized the fact that nationwide tests on mostly healthy people would inefficiently use the health system's already scarce capacities, which is on the verge of collapse. It would be better to only test risk groups and hotspots but concentrate more on preparing coronavirus vaccinations.

 

8.15 p.m.: Baltic states for early distribution of AstraZeneca vaccine

Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have joined four other EU countries in calling for the coronavirus vaccine from the manufacturer AstraZeneca to be distributed early in the EU. The Prime Ministers of the three Baltic states appealed on Friday to the EU institutions to approve and ensure the vaccine's delivery immediately before its official approval. According to their own statements, they respond to Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, and Greece.

 

8:05 p.m.: No right to immediate vaccination for 83-year-old married couples

Two spouses from Essen who are over 80 years old are not entitled to an immediate vaccination against the coronavirus. The Higher Administrative Court for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia decided on Friday by express proceedings and thus confirmed a lower court decision (Az.: 13 B 58/21). The decision in the urgent matter is final. The married couple, who lived in their own household, had argued that when they were over 80, they were exposed to the highest risk of infection. It is illegal for all nursing home residents to be vaccinated first, even if they have not yet reached 80. The two 83-year-olds wanted to ensure that Essen's city immediately allowed them to get a coronavirus vaccination. The judges at the OVG, however, agreed with the opinion of the Administrative Court of Gelsenkirchen. The priority given to residents of old people's and nursing homes is not objectionable. The coronavirus vaccination regulation expressly provides for this. Residents of older adults' homes have an increased risk because they are dependent on a large number of contacts. Those who live in their own household, on the other hand, can limit the number of their contacts. It is also permissible that the staff of the nursing homes is vaccinated first. It is also permissible that the staff of the nursing homes is vaccinated first.

 

7.55 p.m.: Söder speaks out against rapid easing

Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder speaks out against a rapid withdrawal of the coronavirus restrictions. The lockdown works, the infection numbers have halved, says Söder at the CSU's virtual New Year's reception. "It would be a mistake to cancel." Otherwise, a rapid yo-yo effect threatens. The measures were extended until mid-February. "We will then see how it goes on." He hoped that the numbers would be better by then. However, nobody knows what challenges the mutated virus will bring. Söder welcomes Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier's plans for a day of remembrance for the pandemic victims and announces that Bavaria will also do this.

 

7.45 p.m.: Söder calls for more efforts in vaccine production

Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder speaks out in favor of increased efforts to expand vaccine production. All capacities would have to be checked to see whether it was possible to manufacture the vaccines, says Söder at the CSU's virtual New Year's reception. "It's an emergency. The faster you can vaccinate, the freer the country is." That is why it is his appeal to put more pressure on and develop national production capacities.

 

7:35 p.m.: British virus variant probably carries an increased risk of death

The coronavirus variant, first discovered in Great Britain, may, according to scientific knowledge, be associated with an increased risk of death. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government was informed about this. The government's scientific advisor, Patrick Vallance, explains that in men between the ages of 60 and 69, ten deaths from the infection are expected among 1,000 people infected. With the mutated virus form, however, this number is around 13 to 14 deaths.

 

7:20 p.m.: Night curfew in the Netherlands

Due to the persistently high number of infections, a night curfew will apply in the Netherlands from Saturday for the first time since the Second World War. Anyone who violates the exit ban, which applies between 9 p.m. and 4.30 a.m., faces a fine of 95 euros. According to government information, the ban will initially remain in force until February 9. It is said to help contain the spread of the more contagious variant of the virus.

 

7:05 p.m.: Belgium probably prohibits all unnecessary travel until March

In the fight against the mutations of the coronavirus, Belgium prohibits all non-essential travel. This applies until the beginning of March, as the Belgian media unanimously reported on Friday after consultations with representatives of the country and the regions. For example, vacation trips and leisure excursions are prohibited. The movement of goods and cross-border commuters should not be restricted, and there should be exceptions. Because of the danger posed by the new coronavirus variants, the EU heads of state and government agreed on Thursday to largely slow down avoidable trips. Belgium goes further with the decision. This aims to prevent the number of infections from rising dramatically after the carnival holidays.

 

6:50 p.m.: Millions of doses of the Biontech vaccine for developing countries promised

Biontech and Pfizer have announced the delivery of up to 40 million doses of their coronavirus vaccine to low and middle-income countries. The ampoules are to go to the Covax international program supported by the World Health Organization, as the manufacturers announced. The first delivery will come in March.

 

6.45 p.m.: Germany introduces mandatory testing for travelers from more than 20 countries

The federal government is tightening travel requirements and introducing compulsory testing for travelers from over 20 countries. Within the European Union (EU), for example, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, and the Czech Republic are declared "high incidence areas," as reported by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). People from such countries must show a negative Covid-19 test on entry from Sunday. These countries have an incidence of over 200. The requirement has also been extended to other countries outside the EU. This also includes the USA. So far, the test was only mandatory for travelers from Great Britain, Ireland, South Africa, and Brazil, as virus mutations have occurred there.

 

6:35 p.m.: Ibiza is cordoned off due to the sharp rise in coronavirus numbers

The Spanish holiday island of Ibiza, which is popular with Germans, will be largely cordoned off from Saturday until the end of the month due to the steep rise in coronavirus numbers. The island, which belongs to the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean like Mallorca, Menorca, and Formentera, may only be visited for a good reason, such as getting to work or the doctor as the German-language "Mallorca Zeitung" reported on Friday. The number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within 14 days on Ibiza rose to more than 1,800 and reported Europa Press's news agency. The situation is also critical on the other Balearic Islands. Overall, the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days in the Balearic Islands is 309. In Germany, this value was given as 115.

 

6:20 p.m.: Scholz for more speed with vaccinations

Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has called for more speed in vaccination in Germany. "In the second quarter, several million citizens have to be vaccinated every week," said the finance minister to "Münchner Merkur." "That requires significantly higher capacities than we have at the moment." He added: "When there is finally enough vaccine, it has to be done quickly." Scholz called on all responsible authorities to prepare for the acceleration of the vaccination campaign. "Everyone responsible for this in the country must prepare well for this critical phase," he said. "It mustn't happen that we have enough vaccination doses but too few vaccination appointments."

 

6.15 p.m.: Tennis pro-Murray not at the Australian Open

Former tennis world number one Andy Murray from Scotland has canceled his participation in the Australian Open. A week ago, the 33-year-old announced that he had tested positive for Corona. Therefore, he could not fly to Australia on one of the charter planes and go into the mandatory 14-day quarantine there. He was "devastated and disappointed" that he could not start at the Australian Open, Murray said on Friday. However, it was not possible to comply with the quarantine regulations. The first Grand Slam tournament of the new season is scheduled to begin on February 8th.

 

6.10 p.m.: Association calls for a top meeting for a new start in tourism

The German travel agencies and operators call for a tourism summit to restart the travel business after the second coronavirus wave. The association announced that a group of politics and industry experts had to develop a safe travel concept. Tourism needs prospects for a new beginning. "The EU and Germany should work hard to increase the speed of vaccinations," it said. The EU states agreed on Thursday evening to further restrict unnecessary travel but to leave the borders open. New virus variants should be tracked down more specifically, and the vaccination campaign should get better momentum. There should be an EU vaccination certificate, but initially no advantages for vaccinated people, for example, when traveling. The travel association said: "It will be a while before everyone

 

5.45 p.m.: More than 20 countries classified as high-risk areas

Because of the particularly high number of coronavirus infections, the federal government has declared more than 20 countries to be high-risk areas, for which slightly stricter entry rules then apply. The classification applies from Sunday. As the Robert Koch Institute announced on its website, the neighboring Czech Republic, the holiday countries Portugal, Spain, Egypt, and the USA, are among the high-risk areas.

 

5:35 p.m.: EU Commission targeted because of confidential vaccine prices

The EU Ombudsman has targeted the EU Commission because of the confidentiality of negotiations on vaccines' purchase. "We have just launched an investigation into the Commission's refusal to give the public access to documents related to vaccine purchases," said a spokeswoman for Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly. The EU Commission could not initially be reached for an opinion. She had previously stated that confidentiality in negotiations was necessary to secure better contracts with the corporations. The EU made around 2.5 billion euros in advance payments to secure almost 2.3 million vaccine doses from six companies. Not all of these vaccines are approved yet.

 

5.10 p.m.: AstraZeneca delivers less vaccine than planned

According to a media report, the British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has delivery problems with its coronavirus vaccine. AstraZeneca has informed the EU Commission that after the vaccine's approval to the EU, which is expected for the end of January, the group will deliver significantly less than initially planned, reports "Bild," citing people familiar with the processes. One reason is that the vaccine has to be adapted after the mutations in some countries. Also, the effects on production after a fire in India's company plant are not yet clear. AstraZeneca initially did not want to comment.

 

4.30 p.m.: Lawsuit against school closure rejected

At the schools in North Rhine-Westphalia, according to a ruling by the Higher Administrative Court in Münster, the face-to-face teaching is suspended to contain the coronavirus pandemic. The court rejects an urgent application by a second-grader from Cologne against the coronavirus Care Ordinance. This had argued that the temporary closure of the schools violated their right to education. The court decides that the school closings are likely to be proportionate in the current situation. Although the consequences of the closings for parents and students are sometimes serious, these are at least partially cushioned by digital or analog teaching offers. The decision is final.

 

4.10 p.m.: Special syringes for an extra dose of vaccine

BioNtech claims to provide 50 million special syringes with which an additional dose can be drawn from the vaccine container. The company says the needles will be resold at cost. The offer is aimed at all countries worldwide. Due to the shortage of vaccines in the EU, six servings can be drawn from the ampoule, which is actually filled with five vaccine doses. Fine dosage syringes are necessary to get sufficient excess.

 

3:30 p.m.: US expert Fauci: Inadequate information costs lives

The renowned coronavirus expert Anthony Fauci is taking the voted Trump administration's information policy in the pandemic hard. The lack of sincerity "very likely cost lives," Fauci told CNN. It was "not helpful" to talk about things "that make no medical or scientific sense." At the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, Fauci was also often present at President Donald Trump's appearances but then lost massive influence. At the same time, the President downplayed the severity of the pandemic.

 

3:20 p.m.: In the opinion of the Minister of State for Culture Grütters, cultural aid must be increased

Minister of State for Culture Monika Grütters draws a positive interim balance of cultural aid in the coronavirus pandemic. However, given the extended and tightened lockdown, the funds were nowhere near enough, said the CDU politician. The funding structure was created with the "Neustart Kultur" program, and it is crucial to "continue to feed" the program. Grütters called for a significant increase in funds by 1.5 billion euros. As a first step, the "Neustart Kultur" program was endowed with one billion euros. Of this, 900 million euros were committed, according to Grütters. Already now, 350 million euros more are specifically requested than funds are available.

 

3 p.m.: 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 anthem 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" state media describes it as the first major documentary film about China's coronavirus outbreak. 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 p.m.: 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 p.m.: 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 p.m.: 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 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 p.m.: 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 will be 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. The district vaccination certificate is only supposed to 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 p.m.: Bremen can track infection chains again

According to Mayor Andreas Bovenschulte, Bremen's health authorities 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 a week.

 

2.20 p.m.: Head of the Chancellery confident about a return to normal in summer

Chancellery chief Helge Braun (CDU) has expressed optimism about returning to normal life in the 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, one could gradually relax the restrictions. "Spring makes it easier for us, and more and more vaccinations are being added. We could return to our normal lives 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 p.m.: 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 the more than 3,300 employees should begin every minute from tomorrow between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., said press spokesman Frank Schmälzle. 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 an online tool for making appointments was "built out of the ground." There are already 2,315 registrations (status: 22.01.21, 2 p.m.). 83 Covid patients are currently being treated at the Bayreuth Clinic, seven of them in the intensive care unit.

 

2 p.m.: Government denies £ 500 bonus for all coronavirus 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. People who are on social security and 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 p.m.: 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 that was first detected in Brazil, the focus is on two more, which were initially discovered in Great Britain and South Africa, and have also already 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 p.m.: 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 be offered in the future for 2.50 dollars and no longer for five dollars (4.12 euros) as before Unitaid spokesman Hervé Verhoosel with. 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 that South Africa has to pay two and a half times as much as European countries for the Astrazeneca vaccine. Based at the World Health Organization (WHO), the United negotiates low prices for drugs thanks to its extensive funds and the resulting high purchase quantities. Unitaid has limited itself to the fight against HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and hepatitis C.

 

1.35 p.m.: 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. 35 and 40 years old, the two men flew to Frankfurt on a vacation plane from Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, as the federal police announced. During the flight, they reportedly refused to wear a mask and disregarded the flight crew's instructions. The captain then notified the federal police, which received the two men on Thursday after their landing, and initiated proceedings against them. Before they were allowed to start their journey home to Moscow, each of them had to deposit 500 euros as a security deposit. According to a spokesman, the fine is so high

 

1:25 p.m.: IOC denies report on Olympic cancellation

The International Olympic Committee has denied a media report that Tokyo's Olympic Games 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 would have 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 p.m.: 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," said Beaune on Friday the broadcaster Europe 1. There is no border taboo, "the measure makes sense because of the virus mutations. It was decided in coordination with the European partners. It must be from Sunday Travelers from EU countries have a negative coronavirus test. This PCR test must not be older than 72 hours. Many details were still open. Beaune confirmed that there would be exceptions for cross-border commuters and the movement of goods. Whether there are more 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 p.m.: 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 p.m.: 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 p.m.: London police dissolve wedding celebration with around 400 guests

The British police broke up a wedding party 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 p.m.: 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. Three intensive care beds are still available in the Hof and Münchberg clinics in the city and district of Hof. Of the currently 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 p.m.: Almost all vaccination appointments for seniors in Poland are given by the end of March

In Poland, according to the government, 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 p.m.: 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 is to meet on Friday evening. The country's virologists are mainly concerned about the new coronavirus variants circulating in Europe and warn that they could spread in Athens.

 

12.25 p.m.: Longer relaxation of the insolvency obligation is risky

Veronika Grimm is critical of the federal government's plans to suspend insolvency reporting for companies plagued by coronavirus 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 p.m.: 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 now often closed schools. 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 p.m.: 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 that, the number of deaths was 26 percent above the average for 2016 to 2019.

 

12:05 p.m.: 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. Income from compulsory contributions from gainful employment increased by 0.9 percent to around 224 billion euros, the authority said. The corona-related effects on the pension fund are limited since contributions are still paid in the case of short-time work allowance and unemployment benefit 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 calling for higher advances to companies

The federal states' economics ministers have asked the federal government to give the companies that were hard hit 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 "about to be 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 number of eligible applicants should be expanded further.

 

11.55 a.m.: 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 a.m.: 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 visit more games for the Junior European Championship and the Olympic tournament. According to the DFB, the DFB coaches will undergo coronavirus tests in advance of the stadium visits.

 

11.45 a.m.: 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 always made decisions at an early stage to prevent this."

 

11.35 a.m.: No increase in intensive care patients over the holidays

Christmas and New Year's Eve did not aggravate severe cases of infection with the coronavirus in Germany. The President of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (Divi), Gernot Marx, said there was no "Christmas or New Year's Eve peak" in the hospitals' intensive care units. 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 does not expect a drop to less than 1,000 intensive care patients - according to Marx, there are currently around 4,800 cases, 2,700 of which have to be invasively ventilated.

 

 

According to the Institute for Virology director at the Charité Berlin, Christian Drosten, there is no reliable data on the mutated form of the coronavirus in Germany. "Whether it is increasing now is difficult to say," said Drosten in Berlin.

According to virologist Christian Drosten, there is no reliable data on the coronavirus's mutated form in Germany.

 

11.25 a.m.: 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 ended 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 a.m.: 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. Air traffic to and from the United Arab Emirates will initially be for five days suspended until it is ensured "that the required negative test is actually a real test that has been properly carried out," said Engelbrecht, according to a statement from his ministry.

 

11:19 a.m.: 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 continued. "We have to find a way." If necessary, it also has corresponding measures at the state border to reduce and keep Germany's coronavirus infections low.

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 a.m.: Medical mask compulsory for flight passengers from February

German airlines and airports are taking up the latest federal and state resolutions and adapting the mask requirement. "From February 1st, travelers and other guests aged six and over are also required to wear a medical mask in the airport and onboard the aircraft," the industry association BDL announced. 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 - 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.

The EU warns of the new virus mutations and wants to take countermeasures - 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, 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 early 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 a.m.: No clear data on coronavirus mutants yet

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

 

10:25 a.m.: 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 65 or older than 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 a.m.: 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" developing Germany's coronavirus pandemic. 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 a.m.: 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 a.m.: 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 now is the right time to stop them completely and close the borders."

 

9.43 a.m.: 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 a.m.: 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 a.m.: 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 a.m.: 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 a.m.: 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, an epidemiologist on the government's science council, the radio station France Inter.

 

8:52 a.m.: 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 2nd 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 a.m.: 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 a.m.: Seven districts and cities in Bavaria have an incidence value of 200

In Bavaria, the Robert Koch Institute still has several more than 200 new coronavirus infections per 100,000 inhabitants within one week in seven districts and independent 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.

 

8:03 a.m.: 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 imperative now, 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 coronavirus daycare 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," the Family Minister continued. "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 a.m.: 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." Also, the debate comes at an inopportune time. "Because our main problem is that people who want to get vaccinated can't 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 a.m.: 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 boss 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 therefore 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 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 a.m.: 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 emerges from 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 a.m.: 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," explained Lauterbach. 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, said the politician. 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 a.m.: China seals off hospitals after the coronavirus outbreak

China is sealing off 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.

 

Due to recurring cases, particularly 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 a.m.: 15-kilometer rule in Weiden lifted

In Weiden, the so-called 15-kilometer rule no longer applies. The rule was lifted on Friday night at midnight. This 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. The spokesman for the government of the Upper Palatinate said on Thursday afternoon. Like any other district administration 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) reported a seven-day incidence of 100.6 for the city of Weiden.

 

05.38 a.m.: The number of coronavirus deaths in Germany exceeds 50,000

More than 50,000 people have died connected with the virus since the beginning of the German 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 which infection with the virus was the cause of the death or, due to previous illnesses, likely, the death is directly related to Covid-19. That is why we are talking about people who "died from 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 a.m.: Economic Institute accuses the federal government of a "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 prospects." The state threatens to stifle the economy in an attempt to defeat the virus.

 

03:34: 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 a.m.: 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 are all properly vaccinated, we can celebrate life and our culture with all the intensity they deserve," Paes said. He also offered financial aid to all the people and associations who had worked for months to prepare for the carnival.

 

01:06 a.m.: SMEs 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 to organize its administration efficiently in the home office. Meanwhile, the German Trade Union Federation is pushing for the new home office rules to be monitored and punished.

 

Regulation for more home office: where it works and where it doesn't

12:16 a.m.: 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 commuters who work in France and drivers and people accompanying transports. The new regulation should apply from Sunday. At the beginning of the week, the French government 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 encroachments on fundamental rights would be lost. 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.