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The latest on the corona crisis - Corona mutation in Baselland - test campaign at primary school
China was the only major economy to grow in 2020
Despite the pressures of the corona pandemic, China's economy has grown over the past year. The statistics office in Beijing reports an increase of 2.3 percent compared to the previous year. That is the worst performance since 1976. At the same time, China is the only major economy that did not shrink in 2020.
Emergency approval for two vaccines in Brazil
In Brazil, the competent authority has issued emergency approval for two corona vaccines.
On the one hand for those of the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, on the other hand for the Chinese vaccine from Sinovac. Six million vaccine doses are available from Sinovac that can be administered in the coming days.
Slovaks will soon only be allowed to leave the house with a negative corona test
Anyone who wants to leave the house in Slovakia will soon have to show a negative corona test. The Slovak authorities announced this today. This will further tighten the exit restrictions that are already in force.
The new regulation also applies to people who have to leave their home because of work. Before it comes into effect, however, voluntary mass tests will first be carried out again across the country over the next few days.
The new measure will initially apply until February 7th.
Corona mutation detected in Baselland - test campaign in Oberwil
According to the Basel authorities, all 1st to 3rd grade students and their family members are to be tested for the corona virus in a primary school in Oberwil BL. The newly available saliva tests are used for this.
The test campaign is justified by the fact that the mutated corona virus variant from Great Britain was detected for the first time in the canton of Baselland - including in a primary school child.
Probably tightening in Germany
According to media reports, the German government wants to introduce a nationwide uniform night curfew. The federal states have signaled their approval in principle. An extension of the previous measures is considered certain, Berlin and the German federal states will meet on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder is also thinking about tightening the border. “The best thing would be a uniform European strategy in combating corona. (...) Should this not continue to succeed, border controls would make sense, ”Söder told the newspaper F.A.Z. That already helped effectively in the spring.
The cantonal doctor in Basel does not only want to supply cantons with vaccines based on their population
The corona vaccine is a scarce commodity - that is well known. But now there are cantons that have received more vaccine from the federal government than they can currently administer. This is what the “NZZ am Sonntag” writes today. The Basel canton doctor Thomas Steffen, board member of the Swiss canton doctors, confirms the problem. One now wants to be active.
"At the moment we are trying on all channels, both politically and professionally, to point out this problem and to point out how important a dynamic management of this organization would be," he told SRF's Tagesschau. According to Steffen, the wish would be that the distribution would not only be made according to the population key, but also to see whether there are cantons that cannot yet need the vaccine at the moment. The aim is that they then pass the substances on to those who currently have too little of them and could vaccinate.
Mass testing in schools: experts have doubts about feasibility
Mass tests in the fight against Covid 19 - for example in old people's homes or at schools. The Federal Council is considering including this measure in the Corona strategy. Health Minister Alain Berset said this in the Sunday newspaper today. The mass tests would also test people without symptoms.
However, there are still doubts where the strategy should be implemented. The Basel-City canton doctor Thomas Steffen, who sits on the board of the Cantonal Doctors' Association, welcomes the plans. But he also raised concerns that the effort would be great. In addition, the capacity for spit tests, as the federal government wants to use, is low. That is why the headmasters' association is still skeptical about mass tests.
Music producer Phil Spector dies of Covid-19
The US record producer and convicted murderer Phil Spector is dead. Spector, who had been in a prison in California since 2009, died on Saturday in a hospital in the state, as the competent authority announced on Sunday. Spector lived to be 81 years old, according to consistent media reports.
Spector has worked with greats like the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Tina Turner and The Ronettes. He became world famous for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson, for which he was sentenced to 19 years in prison in 2009.
Stricter measures in Gran Canaria and Lanzarote
On the Canary Islands Gran Canaria and Lanzarote, stricter corona measures will apply from Monday. The start of the night curfew is brought forward by one hour to 10 p.m., meetings with people from other households are prohibited, restaurants are only allowed to serve outdoors and sports are only allowed outdoors without contact to others, like the TV station Canarias7 and the newspaper «El País» reported.
The measures on the two islands belonging to Spain off the west coast of Africa will initially apply for 14 days. On the Canary Island of Tenerife, on the other hand, the number of corona infections is declining, which is why the curfew there only applies an hour later from 11 p.m.
Mass test in Wengen: 7 positive out of 970 people tested
In the mass tests in Wengen BE, the coronavirus has so far been detected in seven people. It is still open whether they were infected with the British virus variant.
The tests are being sequenced, said Gundekar Giebel, spokesman for the Bernese health department, on Sunday at the request of the Keystone-SDA news agency. According to this, 970 people had been tested in Wengen by Saturday evening.
On Monday, a second test center for the community will be opened in Lauterbrunnen, as Giebel further announced. The canton of Bern decided at the beginning of last week to ramp up the test capacities in the tourist resort.
Previously, the positive cases in Wengen had risen sharply within a short period of time. In mid-December there were only ten corona cases in Wengen, after which the number rose to 90 within a few weeks. 28 cases alone can be traced back to a British hotel guest who turned out to be a super spreader.
Belgium: 75 residents of old people's homes infected with the mutated variant
In a Belgium retirement home, numerous residents have been infected with the mutated corona virus, which was first discovered in England. In the home in Merkem in west Flanders, 75 people - two thirds of all residents - tested positive for the new virus type, reports the news agency.
All social activities in the community are now prohibited. Only schools, daycare centers and medical services remained open. In the rest of the municipality, the number of cases rose to 53. "The origin of the outbreak is still unknown, but we are now in the contact follow-up," said the mayor, according to Belga.
After weeks of decline, the daily number of corona cases in Belgium has recently increased significantly again.
There are fewer new infections in both Basel
The two Basels reported declining numbers of new infections with the coronavirus on Sunday: added up, 59 new positive test results were recorded in the two cantons compared to 76 the previous day.
The number of new infections registered in Basel-Stadt rose by 18 to 8942, according to the canton's pandemic statistics. The day before, 28 newly infected people were reported. The number of those currently isolated decreased by 28 to 332. The number of Covid-10 deaths remained unchanged at 169.
The reported number of hospitalizations in the canton of Basel-Stadt fell sharply. A total of 31 Covid 19 sufferers were in a Basel hospital on Sunday, 24 of them residing in the city canton. That was 35 patients less than the day before. According to case statistics, there were only 2 (-11) Covid-19 patients in an intensive care unit.
R-value decreased in Switzerland and Liechtenstein
The number of reproductions (R value), which indicates how many people a person infected with the coronavirus infects on average, has fallen to 0.83 in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. This is reported by the Federal Office of Public Health (BAG) on its website.
The number refers to January 6th. On Friday a value of 0.84 was reported for January 5th. If the number of reproductions (R value) is above 1, the total of all infected people increases.
The BAG reported an R value of over 1 on Sunday only for the canton of Obwalden. The value in Ticino, Nidwalden and Liechtenstein was below 0.8
500 students and 70 teachers in Morbio Inferiore in quarantine
In southern Ticino, the authorities have temporarily closed the middle school of Morbio Inferiore: All 500 students and 70 teachers would have to be in quarantine, said the Ticino health department. This is because 13 people in the school have currently tested positive for Corona - the virus variant from Great Britain has been detected in at least two cases. The school is not far from Balerna, where the British virus variant was first confirmed in a nursing home in Ticino last Thursday.
The 13 positive cases occurred at school between January 7th and Saturday (yesterday). The pupils can now be tested for the coronavirus free of charge in order to be able to discover any further positive cases.
From January 20, classes will be held online - for at least nine days, the message continues.
The health authorities continue to write that it is the first such case in the canton of Ticino. As a precautionary measure, the Ticino State Council decided to ban all physical contact and indoor sporting activities for children up to 16 years of age in the Mendrisio district.
Trust in old people's and nursing homes is falling due to the corona crisis
According to the “SonntagsZeitung” and “Le Matin Dimanche”, trust in old people's and nursing homes is dwindling in Switzerland. This is due to the situation that over half of all coronavirus deaths in Switzerland lived in nursing homes. According to experts, the current negative headlines would fundamentally change care for the elderly. "The negative attitude towards care institutions has increased again," said the age researcher and sociologist Francois Höpflinger from the University of Zurich in the "SonntagsZeitung".
The Swiss nursing homes are already feeling that families are more reluctant than before to send their relatives to the home and are complaining about the increasing number of vacancies. According to information from the cantonal umbrella organizations in French-speaking Switzerland, the reduction in bed occupancy was between three and ten percent, as the French-speaking newspaper "Le Matin Dimanche" reported.
The reasons for this development are, on the one hand, the numerous deaths in old people's and nursing homes. On the other hand, families were also reluctant to place their relatives in nursing homes because they would then often no longer be able to visit their parents or grandparents, it said.
Austria extends measures until February 8th
In Austria, the measures will be extended by two weeks until February 8th. After that, there should be the first easing, the government announced. The trade, body-friendly services, museums should then be allowed to reopen under strict conditions. Classes at the schools are scheduled to start again in February after the semester break.
The restaurants and hotels will remain closed in February. In mid-February, the government wants to decide whether an opening is possible in March. In addition, it was decided that an FFP2 mask must be worn in shops and on public transport from January 25th. The rate of new infections in Austria is currently at a seven-day incidence of 130 per 100,000 inhabitants.
Great Britain hopes for easing from March
Great Britain hopes to be able to consider easing the corona restrictions in March. "We want to end the lockdown as soon as possible," said Foreign Minister Dominic Raab to the TV broadcaster Sky News. From March onwards, the country should hopefully be in a position that will enable decisions to be made. Of course, everything cannot be relaxed all at once, but must be done gradually, says Raab. In no other country in Europe have so many people died in connection with the coronavirus as in Great Britain.
Epidemiologist calls for distance learning for older students
Because of the appearance of the much more contagious coronavirus mutations in Switzerland, more tests should be carried out in primary schools. Older students should return to distance learning. This is what the epidemiologist Marcel Tanner from the federal Covid task force demands.
So far, there have been hardly any major outbreaks in schools. And it is still unclear how strong the transmission from school to society or vice versa, said Tanner in an interview with the “Sunday newspaper”. However, it is certain that adolescents are infected in the same way as adults. And a new study in Geneva shows that younger children also have an infection rate that is about the same as the adults around them.
In the new situation with the mutated virus, it is therefore imperative that the test strategy be reconsidered, said Tanner. "We increasingly have to test entire classes or even schools when cases arise."
Tanner does not recommend closing primary schools for the time being. «There is a right to education. And while a restaurant can be compensated for the damage caused by the measures, this is not possible if there is a deficit in the education of the children and young people and long-term social consequences. "
Italy closes most of the restaurants
First closed, then open again, then closed again: In the back and forth of the Corona restrictions, thousands of hosts in Italy will have to close their bars, restaurants and pizzerias for guests from Sunday. Around 70 percent of the catering establishments nationwide are affected, as the Italian agricultural association Coldiretti announced.
From Sunday there will also be three red zones in Italy with strict exit bans, including Lombardy and Sicily. Many other parts of the Mediterranean are classified as Orange Zones and are subject to partial lockdown. This emerges from an order from the Minister of Health Roberto Speranza on Saturday.
Because of the new Corona variant, Italy is also canceling numerous Brazil flights. Anyone who was in transit in Brazil in the last 14 days is no longer allowed to enter Italy. People arriving from Brazil must be tested.
What about the risk of infection in public transport?
Many people are uncomfortable with public transport because of the pandemic: too many unknown people crowd into a narrow space on buses, trains and trams. There are currently around 20 percent fewer passengers in this country. But what about the risk of infection, i.e. the spread of aerosols, i.e. the finest water droplets contaminated with viruses in the railroad car? And what role do air conditioning systems play? SRF tracked it down:
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