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Corona news on Saturday: The most important developments on Sars-CoV


The RKI has registered more than 9,000 new corona cases. The seven-day incidence rose to 63.8. And: The travel industry is preparing vacations with a vaccination certificate and rapid tests. The overview.

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Corona rapid test in a test tent in Saxony-Anhalt

Photo: Hendrik Schmidt / dpa

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Travel industry prepares summer vacations with vaccination certificate and rapid tests

5.30 a.m.:

Germany's tour operators are hoping for a wave of travel for the summer season despite the continued high corona numbers.

After a year of crisis, mass rapid tests and a digital vaccination card should bring about an urgently needed turnaround in tourism.

According to the German Travel Association (DRV), the losses caused by Corona are increasingly troubling companies in view of the months-long lockdown.

According to the DRV, German tour operators and travel agencies recorded an 80 percent drop in sales last year, and in January even more than 90 percent.

DRV President Norbert Fiebig therefore appealed: "The people who finally want to get out need a perspective, but also the companies that offer and arrange trips, as well as the almost three million employees in tourism." The holiday countries are also dependent on tourists .

In addition to the announcement of rapid tests that anyone can carry out themselves, the EU is particularly hopeful about introducing a kind of corona vaccination pass for free travel.

EU Council President Charles Michel said after a summit meeting that the 27 countries were converging in their ideas.

Each country can then decide for itself which rights are attached to the document.

"Travel in Europe will be possible in summer 2021 - safely and responsibly," said the head of the TUI tourism group, Fritz Joussen, afterwards.

However, the technical development of the EU vaccination pass should take around three months.

And so far mainly elderly people and people in need of care who will not necessarily fly to Mallorca or Malta in the summer have been vaccinated.

However, this does not detract from the optimism of the industry.

»A European vaccination certificate can help restore freedom of travel.

There's no doubt about that, ”Joussen said.

TUI is already in close coordination with Spain, Greece and Cyprus for the summer season.

Other Mediterranean countries would soon follow.

According to Joussen, interest in holidays is already reflected more strongly in "bookings and sales".

The managing director of DER Touristik Deutschland, Mark Tantz, described the EU summit as a milestone.

"The digital vaccination certificate will be a considerable relief for travel and especially on long-haul routes," he said.

In addition, a well-engineered test strategy will "lead us to normality up to herd immunity."

Lufthansa also assumes that travel to areas with manageable numbers of infections will be possible again with a comprehensive test strategy.

Internationally recognized digital vaccination and test certificates are of great importance for restarting air traffic, said a spokeswoman.

The travel group FTI, on the other hand, is more cautious about the situation.

"In our opinion, the discussion about the vaccination certificate is set too early," said manager Ralph Schiller.

"The proportion of vaccinated people in the population is still far too low for a vaccination certificate to mean a real change for the travel industry and holidaymakers at this point in time."

Schiller pointed out that in the next few months, the number of guests like before Corona is far from being expected if the possibility of traveling is linked to the vaccination certificate.

A technical implementation of the pass by autumn would be "completely sufficient" for him.

Broad test options in the short term are more important.

Expert expects a sharp increase in corona infections

5.15 a.m.:

According to calculations by Saarbrücken pharmacy professor Thorsten Lehr, the third wave of the corona pandemic will be as strong as the second.

"I assume that we will get the same conditions as before Christmas," said the expert for corona forecasts of the dpa.

He reckoned that seven-day incidences of around 200 could be reached again in the first half of April.

Two developments are responsible for the renewed increase in the corona numbers.

On the one hand, the British mutant, who is probably 35 percent more contagious, is on the rise in Germany.

"It will also gain the upper hand here and continue to rise to the 90-plus range," said Lehr after analyzing the latest figures from the "Covid Simulator" at Saarland University.

On the other hand, he has seen more contacts again since mid-February, which would have led to higher numbers.

“I'm afraid this has a bit to do with lockdown fatigue.

And maybe with a restart of normal life in certain areas. «Now openings are imminent - like those of the hairdressers and other businesses from March 1st or further steps from March 8th.

"Even if the easing is moderate, it will work."

The effect of the vaccinations can hardly be seen at the moment.

This is due to the fact that over 95 percent have not yet been vaccinated.

Effects can only be seen when 30 percent of the population has been vaccinated.

"In an optimistic scenario, I would expect that we might have done that in June."

World medical chief wants to flank easing measures with measures

4:50 a.m.:

According to a newspaper, the chairman of the World Medical Association, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, is in favor of three further measures in the event of a relaxation.

Firstly, it must be vaccinated consistently, secondly, a good test strategy must be in place, and thirdly, the number of new infections must be monitored.

This could nip a flare-up of the infections in the bud, he told the Augsburger Allgemeine.

Politicians "are finally doing their duty not only to impose lockdowns and restrictions, but also to think about clever exit scenarios."

State Secretary: Securing and expanding vaccine production

4.10 a.m.:

The federal government has big plans for a stronger expansion of vaccine production against the coronavirus in Germany.

State Secretary for Economic Affairs Andreas Feicht told the dpa: “We are not alone in the world, we have great responsibility in Europe and internationally, especially with a view to the poorer countries.

Our goal is therefore vaccines "made in Germany" on a scale that can also make a significant contribution to supplying the world's population. "

Feicht has taken over the management of a committee of state secretaries to which a new task force reports on vaccine production.

The task force itself is headed by the head of the Federal Real Estate Agency, Christoph Krupp.

The task force is to start its operative business on Monday.

It should counteract this with the companies concerned in good time if bottlenecks in vaccine production threaten.

There was massive criticism of the slow start of the vaccination campaign in Germany.

"A central lesson from the crisis is that we have to strengthen production again, especially for vaccines, medical products and intermediate products in Germany and Europe," said Feicht.

Greater diversification in the supply chains is also necessary, and the economy itself is also in demand here.

In the first phase of the corona crisis, funding programs for the production of filter fleece and protective masks were set up in the Ministry of Economic Affairs last year, Feicht said and spoke of a great success.

"There are currently additional production capacities available for more than 2 billion protective masks annually from investment projects funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics."

The next step is now to secure and expand vaccine production.

This also has an industrial policy dimension.

According to Feicht, the State Secretaries Committee and the Task Force have three overarching goals: »In the short term, the aim is to support the production processes for vaccines and vaccine accessories in Germany in such a way that the required vaccine doses for all citizens who want to be vaccinated this year, can also be provided.

Because the speed of the vaccination campaign is of course also of decisive importance for all follow-up questions, such as easing for the economy. "

In the medium term, the aim is to build and strengthen an industrial structure in Germany and Europe in such a way that the population is guaranteed to be supplied with vaccines.

"And also in terms of industrial policy, it is about expanding Germany's position in the research and production of vaccines with new technologies such as mRNA technology and securing it in the long term."

Dreyer: "People are totally stressed out"

2.30 a.m.:

According to the Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD), the corona lockdown is increasingly affecting citizens.

The people still participated in a disciplined manner, Dreyer told the "Saarbrücker Zeitung", "but it is also clear that they are totally stressed by Corona".

This applies above all to those who fear for their existence, and also to those who are at the limit of the burden - such as families.

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Malu Dreyer

Photo: Thomas Frey / dpa

Dreyer expected that at the next Corona summit between the Prime Minister and Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) on March 3, a "perspective plan" would be decided.

"We are working very hard in the background between the states and the federal government to bring together the different ideas that exist," said Dreyer.

"That will be successful by Wednesday." After the schools and daycare centers as well as the hairdressers, it is now first about perspectives for retail and for culture.

They will also talk about outdoor dining and the opening of hotels and holiday apartments.

"But a perspective plan does not mean: tomorrow everything will be open," said the SPD politician.

Biden warns of the risk of a renewed increase in the number of cases due to virus variants

1:55 a.m.:

US President Joe Biden has warned of the risk of renewed increases in the number of cases in the pandemic in view of new corona variants.

"The worst thing we can do now is let our guard down," Biden said.

He called on Americans to get vaccinated.

"The vaccinations are safe," he said.

"I swear they are safe and effective." Biden also appealed to his compatriots to wear masks.

He said again that it was not a political statement whether or not to wear mouth and nose protection.

US researchers have recently expressed concern about new virus variants in California and New York.

The daily case numbers in the USA are far below those at the beginning of the year.

In the past few days, however, they have stagnated above the 70,000 mark.

Since the pandemic began, more than 510,000 people in the United States have died after being infected with the coronavirus.

UN Security Council calls for fair vaccine distribution in a resolution

0.40 a.m.:

In a unanimously passed resolution, the UN Security Council called for a fair worldwide distribution of corona vaccines.

All 15 council members supported the resolution introduced by Great Britain, which is primarily intended to improve access to corona vaccines in conflict-ridden and poorer countries, according to diplomatic circles.

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, welcomed the resolution.

This is the second UN Security Council resolution on the corona pandemic.

In it, the council members reaffirmed their demand for solidarity with poorer states and for ceasefires in conflicts.

In the resolution text viewed by the news agency AFP, richer states are encouraged to donate corona vaccine doses to countries with low and middle income.

UN member states are expressly called on to refrain from hoarding vaccines.

It also calls for the strengthening of “national and multilateral approaches and international cooperation” in order to create “equal and affordable access to Covid-19 vaccines in armed conflict situations, post-war situations and complex humanitarian emergencies”.

According to UN data, around 120 million people worldwide live under such conditions.

Diplomats debated the exact resolution text for a week.

The background to this was the objections of the permanent councilors Russia and China to the original draft submitted by Great Britain.

Relations between the three states are tense.

The fact that the vote ultimately went comparatively quickly, observers attributed to a slight easing of the relationship between the United States and China after US President Joe Biden took office.

Council members had argued for months about the text of the first resolution on the corona pandemic last year.

"Voting for equality in vaccines is important, and we recognize this," said WHO chief Tedros.

At the same time, he called on the UN Security Council to take “concrete steps” to promote the production of corona vaccines and their distribution in order to “get rid of this virus as quickly as possible”.

The UN Security Council is able to do this "if there is the political will," said Tedros.

The WHO chief suggested, among other things, a technology transfer and the relaxation of patent rights for vaccines.

He could not understand that there was massive resistance from some states, especially in the latter case.

“This pandemic is unprecedented.

The virus has taken the whole world hostage, ”said Tedros.

One diplomat said all countries faced "the same threat, the same pandemic."

International cooperation and "multilateral action" are necessary to overcome the crisis.

"This resolution could be a step in a good direction."

UN Secretary General António Guterres last week called for a global vaccination plan to prevent poorer countries from being left behind when it comes to corona vaccinations.

According to Guterres, 75 percent of all available corona vaccination doses have so far been vaccinated in only ten countries.

In 130 countries, the corona vaccination campaigns have not even started.

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cop / dpa / AFP / Reuters / sid

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2021-02-27

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