Follow the latest corona news in this live blog.
10:38 am – Fewer AstraZeneca vaccines delivered than promised
Pharmaceutical AstraZeneca will deliver fewer vaccines to member states of the European Union than promised in the next two weeks. For the Netherlands, this involves more than 217,000 doses, which will arrive later. The cause of the delay has not been communicated by the vaccine maker, says a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS).
From next Monday, according to the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), no vaccines can be delivered to injection sites of the GGD, to general practitioners and to institutions in mental health care. Injection appointments that have already been planned, up to and including March 14, will remain in place. New appointments are not scheduled for this period for the time being, according to the RIVM. According to the institute, an additional delivery of 211,000 doses of AstraZeneca will arrive on Sunday, March 7.
The Ministry of VWS calls the delay a setback. “One that fits in a pattern. We hope that the pharmaceutical companies will quickly increase the reliability of their delivery schedule. ”
Vaccinations with AstraZeneca started in The Hague on Friday 12 February. In total, about half a million employees of nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, care for the disabled and community nurses receive the drug. 63- and 64-year-olds, people living at home with Down’s syndrome, people with morbid obesity and people with great difficulty breathing due to neurological disorders, also received the first doses of the vaccine.
10.28 am – Schools in North Rhine-Westphalia reopen to 800,000 students
Around 800,000 students in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), which borders Gelderland, Overijssel and Limburg, return to school wearing face masks. These are ‘halved’ classes that alternate, for example every other week. The schools were completely closed for 6 weeks because of the corona measures. Education was provided online and for the time being it will permanently remain that way for the highest classes of secondary education. There is a lot of criticism from students and parents of this ‘discrimination’ against the upper classes, according to German media.
7:00 am – Corona emergency support also available for zoos
Zoos that have to keep the gates closed, but in the meantime have to take care of all the animals and maintain the enclosures, can apply for government support from Monday. Last week, the cabinet received permission from the European Commission to come to the rescue of the parks. 39 million euros had already been reserved for the aid package.
During the first corona wave in spring 2020, the zoos were closed for two months. They had to close for another two weeks in November, and this has been the case again since mid-December. In the intervening periods they were only allowed to receive a limited number of visitors.
Based on the loss of turnover, it is determined what part of those costs zoos will be reimbursed. Zoos that make use of the scheme must submit a reorganization plan.
The cabinet has already set aside an extra 17 million euros in case the support package proves insufficient.
6.35 am – Number of corona cases in Belgium is rising again
In Belgium, on average, more than 2000 people are infected with the corona virus every day. This is evident from figures from health institute Sciensano. This is an increase of 5 percent. The downward trend that has continued for a while, and which has stagnated in recent days, seems to have reversed.
In addition to the number of infections, hospital admissions also increased again, by 4 percent in the past week, to an average of 123 per day. There are currently 1,617 corona patients in hospital, an increase of 3 percent. The number of people with Covid-19 in intensive care is 329, an increase of 5 percent.
The number of deaths is still declining, by 10 percent, to an average of 37 per day in the period from February 12-18, the most recent for which data is available. The number of tests fell by 16 percent over the same period to an average of more than 38,200 per day.
A total of 404,000 Belgians have received at least one injection with the corona vaccine so far.
6.30 am – Number of corona cases in Germany considerably lower
In Germany, 4369 new cases of the corona virus have been registered in the past 24 hours. There were 62 deaths from Covid-19 disease, compared to 145 a day earlier, reports the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the German equivalent of the RIVM.
The number of infections is considerably lower than on Sunday, when it concerned 7676 new infections. On Saturday, the number of new infections was 9164, compared to 9113 corona cases on Friday. In total, 2,390,928 infections have been registered in Germany. The death toll stands at 67,903.
Germany is currently in a lockdown to prevent the spread of the lung virus and lasts until at least 7 March. The authorities also extended the entry ban this week from countries where there are many infections with corona mutations, such as the United Kingdom and South Africa.
6.15 am – New Zealand lifts Auckland corona measures
In New Zealand, the last corona measures in the city of Auckland will be lifted on Monday at the end of the day. This has the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced.
Earlier this month, there was a three-day lockdown in the largest city in the country after three new local corona cases were discovered. The measures meant that everyone must stay at home and that residents were only allowed to go out for essential shopping and essential work.
Until the recent infections, New Zealand had not had any local virus cases for months and was seen as one of the countries that managed to combat the lung virus very successfully with very strict measures. By closing its international borders early, the island state virtually eradicated the virus early in the pandemic.
In the country, a total of 2001 people became infected with the coronavirus and 26 people died from Covid-19.
An update of the most important news every day during lunch.
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