Retailers under pressure
Shops that sell non-essential goods have been closed for six weeks – and certain sections of the wholesale distributors are closed. The retailers are therefore also looking forward to the decision of the Federal Council expected on Wednesday with great excitement. Because with every day that passes, their fear increases that they will no longer get their goods to the man and woman on time.
Court: curfew in the Netherlands remains provisional
First banned and now allowed again: The curfew as a measure against the corona pandemic was the subject of two processes in the Netherlands. First, an administrative court in The Hague had banned the curfew with immediate effect. The government appealed against this and requested the suspension of the judgment in an urgent procedure. The court upheld that in the evening. The curfew will remain in effect until the appeal process on Friday.
The Corona-skeptical protest group “Virus Truth” had complained against the curfew, which has been in place since January 23. The administrative court had found the group right and declared the measure to be unlawful.
Home ownership becomes priceless
If you dream of your own four walls, the following news is unlikely to please: The Corona crisis is turning out to be a price driver. Real estate prices rose 2.3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. And according to the Federal Statistical Office, this not only affects cities like Zurich or Geneva, but also other cities and rural regions.
Expensive false information for British travelers
In Great Britain, four returnees have to pay a fine of 10,000 pounds each because they wanted to avoid the mandatory quarantine in the hotel with missing information. That corresponds to the equivalent of around 11,470 euros. When they landed at Birmingham Airport on Monday, the passengers did not indicate that they had entered from a country on the so-called Red List, the West Midlands police said on Tuesday. It remained unclear where the returnees had come from.
Since Monday, the British and Irish have had to go into quarantine in a hotel for ten days at their own expense if they enter from one of 33 countries that have been classified as particularly dangerous because of the spread of virus variants.
4 million first vaccinations in Israel
According to government information, the number of first vaccinations against the corona virus reached four million in Israel on Tuesday. This means that around 43 percent of the total population received a first dose, and the second dose has been given to more than 2.6 million people so far. Around 30 percent of Israelis are under 16 years of age, this group cannot be vaccinated for the time being.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulates The odor Salzen, who became the four millionth person in Israel to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Latvia’s government wants to support families
Latvia’s government wants to support families in the corona crisis with a one-off payment of 500 euros per child. The financial aid should be granted automatically by the state social insurance institution without an application. This was decided by the cabinet in Riga on Tuesday. The parliament of the Baltic EU country with 1.9 million inhabitants has yet to agree.
The re should be support for all children under 15 years of age and for young people up to 20 years of age in training. Parents of children who are born before the end of the Corona emergency in Latvia, which will continue until April 6, should also be entitled to the state benefit.
GB: Bumpy start of forced quarantine for immigrants
The new requirements for compulsory quarantine after entering the UK are also causing headaches for the authorities. Border officials only received a detailed explanation of the new corona rules by email on Sunday evening – just a few hours before they came into force on Monday morning, the Guardian reported. The PCS union spoke of a “shame” in dealing with the officials.
Since Monday, returnees from 33 countries declared as high-risk areas have been quarantined for ten days and eleven nights immediately after arriving at a hotel. From Europe only Portugal is affected. Accommodation and meals are charged at £ 1,750 per person (around € 2,000).
Those who then test positive for Corona have to stay in quarantine longer – and pay up to 1200 pounds in addition. However, the government only named this price after the hotel obligation began. Prime Minister Boris Johnson rejected criticism of the high costs: “It is currently illegal to travel abroad for holidays anyway!”
Ruag’s space division will cut another 100 jobs
The space division of the aerospace group Ruag is restructuring its organization in view of the current crisis. This will result in a reduction of up to 100 jobs of the 1,300 jobs worldwide in Switzerland, Austria and Sweden, the group announced. The exact number of people affected is “still unclear” because it depends on fluctuation and retirement. In addition, regrouping of positions would be sought. In Switzerland, a social plan applies to all dismissals. An internal process is under way to «define the specific impacts per country».
In the third quarter, the company will be reorganized with the “Ambition 21” project. This is a response to “a changed market environment and unsatisfactory performance in 2020”. The focus is on strengthening Ruag Space’s position in Europe.
Johnson & Johnson applies for vaccine approval in the EU
The US pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson has applied for approval for its corona vaccine in the EU. As the EU Medicines Agency EMA announced, the vaccine of the subsidiary Janssen-Cilag will be assessed in an accelerated procedure until mid-March. That would be the fourth corona vaccine with conditional marketing authorization in the EU. The vaccines from Biontech / Pfizer, Moderna and Astra-Zeneca can already be used. But the vaccine is still in short supply across the EU.
The EU Commission has ordered vaccination doses for 200 million people from Johnson & Johnson. With this vaccine, one dose is sufficient for immunization. All other vaccines currently in use must be injected twice. The EU Commission will grant approval as soon as the EMA has given a positive assessment, said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Series tests at schools in the canton of Zug
The canton of Zug is building on mandatory series tests in schools in the fight against the spread of the corona virus. Those who take part in the weekly spit tests no longer have to be quarantined in the class if the result is positive.
Pupils from secondary school and their teachers would have to take part in two saliva tests a week, according to the decision that the Zug government council published on Tuesday. The tests are in principle mandatory, the school management can grant exceptions. Anyone who does not want to participate must, however, actively request a dispensation.
Dutch government appeals
The Dutch government is appealing a court ruling that the nocturnal curfew imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic is illegal. Prime Minister Mark Rutte reacted disappointed to the judgment on Tuesday.
The government is preparing a new emergency law to put the measure on legally solid ground. The curfew ensured that the number of new infections was reduced, stressed Rutte.
South Africa wants to share a million vaccine doses with other countries
South Africa plans to distribute a million doses of Astra-Zeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine to other African countries. The vaccine doses that the country received from the world’s largest vaccine producer, the Serum Institute of India, should be distributed through the African Union, the Ministry of Health said.
South Africa recently put the planned vaccination campaign with the Astra-Zeneca vaccine on hold after study data showed that it offered minimal protection against mild to moderate disease courses in the South African virus variant.
A step towards a fair vaccine distribution: South Africa wants to give vaccine doses to other African countries.
End of the BAG media conference
This ends the point de press of the Federal Office of Public Health (BAG). We will keep you up to date with the latest coronavirus news here in the live ticker.
Traffic light system useful?
A journalist wants to know whether a traffic light system would make sense – that is, the division of the regions into green, yellow and red. Nartey says it’s difficult. This system is too simple. For example, one could not yet classify the new variants at all. Mathys adds that a traffic light could also provide false security.
Perspective for the population
A journalist asks whether the BAG could not give the population a perspective. So, for example, promise easing as soon as the values fall below 1000. Mathys says it can’t be done. As soon as you loosened up in such a case, the numbers would rise again immediately. To find the balance, with loosening at a low level with the infections, that one has to achieve.
Demand: What would happen without measures? Mathys says that the R value would then probably be above three, which would have been calculated at the beginning of the pandemic. Without measures, Corona would spread very quickly. The problem, however, is that the health system would eventually be overloaded and collapse. That in turn would lead to more deaths.
What speaks against opening shops?
Why are stores not allowed to open if the protection concepts are adhered to, asks a journalist. «Even protection concepts cannot prevent transmissions 100 percent. That must be clear to us, »replies Mathys.
«I am sorry for everyone who has to keep their business closed. But we will never remove this injustice, because the strategy is simply to keep only the shops that are essential for life open. A jewelry store is simply not one of them. ”
Does a national mass test strategy make sense?
“ The cantons already have the opportunity to test more broadly. The Graubünden case with its mass tests differs from a mass test in a city like Zurich, for example in terms of feasibility, ”says Mathys. A lot of resources are needed for such tests, but the cantons are still underutilizing the possibility of mass tests. Regular mass tests across Switzerland are currently not being considered.
Negative consequences of postponing operations
Linda Nartey was asked if she was concerned about so many other surgeries that had to be postponed. The Vice-President of the Association of Cantonal Doctors says: “Yes”. It is already apparent that these shifts could have negative consequences.
Nartey: “We all want to be able to live normally again”
How can the BAG continue to appeal to the patience of the population when everyone wants a quick end to the corona pandemic?
«I have a great understanding of almost all emotions. We all want the same thing: We want to get out of this pandemic and live normally again. But we now need certain measures to combat corona. The current protective measures are effective. The better we stick together in solidarity, the sooner we have a chance of a quick end to this crisis, ”replies Linda Nartey.
More severe cases due to mutations?
A question about the mutants and the higher risk of infection: A journalist wants to know whether there are more serious cases or not. Mathys answers. He says the three new variants have no visible impact on severity.