- The essential
- ■ Thousands of demonstrators in Brussels against the restrictions
- ■ The criteria for obtaining aid for hardship could be tightened
- ■ Demonstration against wearing masks in Bernese schools
- ■ Édouard Mendy positive for covid, uncertain for Senegal’s first match at CAN
- ■ Pierre Alain Schnegg defends the holding of the Ski World Cup
- ■ A reduced quarantine to face the wave?
- Reread : For Lukas Engelberger, abolishing quarantines is “neither justified nor desirable”
- ■ A possible 4th dose unthinkable before the 2nd semester
- ■ Questionable test centers
- ■ China is deploying major resources and will test 14 million people in Tianjin
- ■ In Corsica, a vaccination center open 24 hours a day
the UK passed the milestone of 150,000 dead this Saturday
Over 2 million daily cases of Covid-19 were recorded on average around the world during the week of January 1 to 7, a figure that doubled in ten days, according to an AFP count.
The France has experienced a sharp rebound in anti-health pass and anti-vaccine demonstrations this Saturday with more than 100,000 participants, a few days after the remarks deemed insulting by President Emmanuel Macron.
In Switzerland, vaccination for children aged 5 to 11 was launched on Saturday in the cantons of Vaud and Neuchâtel.
More than a thousand opponents of the measures taken against the pandemic demonstrated on Saturday in Zurich.
L’Federal Office of Public Health plans to adapt its screening strategy: a positive rapid antigen test could be sufficient, without a PCR test to confirm the disease
■ Thousands of demonstrators in Brussels against the restrictions
Several thousand people demonstrated in Brussels on Sunday against the health pass and the restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. They chanted “freedom”, noted an AFP journalist.[display-posts orderby="rand"]
The protesters – 5,000 according to the police – marched between the Brussels North station to the European district, at the call of the movement “Together for freedom”, bringing together several associations. Demonstrations against the health certificate – required to access restaurants and cultural events in particular – have been taking place regularly for several weeks in the Belgian capital, causing clashes with the police.
The Belgian Minister of Health Frank Vandenbroucke spoke on Sunday on the RTL television channel for the organization of a debate in the Federal Parliament “as quickly as possible” on the vaccination obligation or the establishment of a vaccination pass .
■ The criteria for obtaining aid for hardship could be tightened
In December, the Federal Council took the decision to extend its aid for hardship cases to 2022 and instructed the Federal Department of Finance to draw up an ordinance to this effect. According to Sunday view who was able to obtain a first draft of the document, the conditions of access would be tightened.
According to this document, the objective is to force companies to adapt by their own means to the developments of the pandemic. A company will in the future have to prove to the cantonal authorities that it is not able to ensure the continuation of its activity following the measures taken to fight against the epidemic of covid, specifies the ordinance. The receipt of partial unemployment benefit or compensation for loss of earnings is considered as proof. The Federal Council is due to vote on the subject in February.
■ Demonstration against wearing masks in Bernese schools
The obligation to wear a mask in classes in the canton of Bern from the 3rd year Harmos is causing dissatisfaction. Some 150 people marched in silence on Sunday in Tavannes, in the Bernese Jura, to denounce this measure which is due to come into force on Monday.
At the call of the collective “Bernese schoolchildren without a mask”, grouping together according to its Facebook page more than 560 parents, the demonstrators waved banners to contest the wearing of the mask. As a dress code, adults were asked to wear a white mask adorned with a cross. The procession which was authorized took place in peace.
This rebellion against the obligation to wear a mask in schools also affects the German-speaking part of the canton of Bern. An online petition gathered around 12,000 signatures in just a few days. Handed over last Wednesday to a representative of the canton, she asks the government to go back.
■ Édouard Mendy positive for covid, uncertain for Senegal’s first match at CAN
After players from the Burkina team on Saturday, it is the turn of three players from Senegal to be positive for covid. Chelsea goalkeeper Édouard Mendy considered the best in the tournament, Naples captain Kalidou Koulibaly and striker Famara Diedhiou could miss Senegal’s first African Cup of Nations (CAN) game against Zimbabwe announced on Sunday the Senegalese Football Federation. The three men should therefore not participate in Senegal’s first match, unless they provide a negative test for covid in time.
■ Pierre Alain Schnegg defends the holding of the Ski World Cup
The director of public health Pierre Alain Schnegg defends the cantonal green light given to the holding of the Ski World Cup in Adelboden (BE). Everyone knows what is going on with the omicron variant, Pierre Alain Schnegg said on Sunday: “Everyone must learn to assume their responsibilities”. One day or another, it will also be necessary to return to normal, according to him. The Councilor of State welcomes, however, the fact that the organizers canceled the award ceremony on Saturday evening for security reasons.
On Saturday, athletes and spectators were astonished and worried about the situation in Adelboden: more than 12,000 fans cheered the victory of Swiss Marco Odermatt in the giant slalom. Many of them did it without a mask and hugging each other. Festive scenes took place in the finish area. Images that made the Austrian rider Manuel Feller react, who joked about Swiss management in comparison with Austria during an interview on Austrian television.
The Adelboden slalom took place on Sunday. As a spectator told Keystone-ATS, organizers have called on both the online site and the shuttle to the finish area to wear a mask as a sign of solidarity. The vast majority of people have done this.
■ A reduced quarantine to face the wave?
Zurich Health Minister Natalie Rickli asks in the NZZ to reduce the quarantine from ten to five days – there could be up to 40,000 cases a day in the canton of Zurich alone by the end of January, enough to cripple society if we do not act now. The president of cantonal doctors Kurt Hauri is open to such a proposal, citing indications that people infected with Omicron are infectious for a shorter period of time. A source told the newspaper that discussions within the Federal Council were heading in the same direction.
In the Sunday newspaper, epidemiologist Marcel Salathé indicates that he could imagine a removal of the quarantine obligation under certain conditions. He proposes that anyone who has had contact with an infected person should receive ten rapid tests. The person should then test themselves daily. As long as the test is negative, the affected person can return to work with careful behavior. There is certainly a residual risk but, given the significant absences caused by this epidemic wave, it is tolerable, believes the scientist.
This is not what this Saturday, interviewed by The weather, the president of the Conference of Directors of Health (CDS) Lukas Engelberger recommends, while upholding the request of the cantons for shorter quarantines:
■ A possible 4th dose unthinkable before the 2nd semester
This is what writes Morning Sunday, quoting an expert at Infovac: “Studies are needed to better understand the effect of the third dose”; “There is no indication that a fourth injection of the same product would be really useful.” Vaccine producers have announced that they are working on a reformulated vaccine to fight Omicron that should be available in the coming months. But experts deem it better to wait for these revised versions before discussing the fourth dose. “The goal is not to boost our antibodies against a virus that no longer exists”, indicates Giuseppe Pantaleo, director of the Immunology and Allergy Department of the CHUV.
■ Questionable test centers
Many private providers of rapid antigenic tests and PCR tests have violated the directives of the cantonal health authorities. The cantons have closed the test centers concerned, reports the Sunday newspaper. It was the canton of Aargau which took the most severe measures against these not very serious test centers. It has already withdrawn twelve operating licenses from various providers who carried out tests outside pharmacies, doctors’ offices and hospitals. Closures also took place in the cantons of Schwyz, Zurich, Lucerne, St. Gallen, Thurgau, Schaffhausen and in Graubünden. The conditions were sometimes deplorable. In Basel, a test center was located in a store that sold shoes and keys.
■ China is deploying major resources and will test 14 million people in Tianjin
The northern Chinese city of Tianjin on Sunday advised its some 14 million residents to stay at home while it conducts massive Covid testing after a string of recent cases, including several linked to the variant Omicron from the coronavirus, state media reported. So far, no greater containment has been ordered.
Tianjin, a large port city about 150 km southeast of Beijing, has become a new area of concern after more than 20 cases of Covid have been reported there in recent days, most of them imported from abroad, according to the Commission national health.
■ In Corsica, a vaccination center open 24 hours a day
It is the first center in France to be open even at night. It has just opened on the premises of SOS Doctors in Sarrola-Carcopino, in a small shopping area less than 10 kilometers from the center of Ajaccio.