On Monday, Boris Johnson unveiled the British government exit plan – with variations according to the four nations. Schools will reopen on March 8 and shops, as well as terraces, on April 12.
L’Austria strongly accelerates its screening campaign. The country of 8.8 million people now performs three million tests per week.
■ 1,131 new cases in Switzerland
Switzerland has 1,131 additional cases of coronavirus on Tuesday in 24 hours, indicates the Federal Office of Public Health (OFSP).
- 14 additional deaths are to be deplored.
- 43 patients were hospitalized.
- During the last 24 hours, the results of 23,255 tests have been transmitted. The positivity rate is 4.86%.
- Over the past 14 days, the total number of infections is 14021.
- Over the past two weeks, the country has 162.19 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants.
- The reproduction rate, which has a delay of ten days, is 0.92.
■ In Switzerland too, the pandemic has increased inequalities
What happensis confirmed in Switzerland. A study by KOF, the economic research institute of the EPFZ, indicates that since the start of the pandemic, households whose income is considered very low – less than 4000 francs according to the researchers’ definition – have suffered a decline by 20% on average. Conversely, households with one of the highest monthly incomes – over 16,000 francs – saw their incomes decrease by 8%.
■ A surge in reservations for an airline
We were certainly starting from very low, but the jump is undoubtedly significant: the British airline Easyjet announces a surge of 337% of bookings from the United Kingdom in the hours following the government announcements on the reopening of the economy thanks to the reflux of the virus.
“This jump in bookings shows that the signal from the government, which plans to reopen (international) travel, was what consumers expected,” commented Johan Lundgren, general manager of the low-cost company.
Easyjet also notes in its press release published late Monday evening that bookings for stays have soared by 630% compared to the last few weeks thanks to customers who want to “make up for lost time”.
■ Large demonstration in Bangalore
In the great city of training and technology in India, a vast mobilization takes place on February 23. School staff and principals protest against a decision by the state government, Karnataka. Because of the pandemic, he had ordered a 30% reduction in schooling, a measure to which he returned.
■ Neuchâtel increases its budget for hardship cases
The canton of Neuchâtel has decided to adapt a second time the commitment credit intended for hardship cases linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Council of State announced that it would increase the envelope from 55.5 million francs to 80 million. The probable minimum contribution from the Confederation is 56 million.
Aid for hardship, recalls the ATS, is aimed at companies that have suffered closures imposed for more than 40 days since November 1 and those that have suffered a loss of turnover of more than 40%. Eligible businesses will benefit from support equivalent to 24% of their average monthly turnover per month of closure up to a maximum of 40,000 francs per month.
■ After Nice, Dunkirk
In France, the debate on the dilemma between national measures and targeted decisions, at the territorial level, is resuming again. In recent days, special measures have been taken for Nice and its immediate surroundings, where contamination is rising dangerously.
This Tuesday, it is about Dunkirk. “Additional braking measures” of the epidemic will be implemented in this city, announced the government after a meeting in the morning between Prime Minister Jean Castex and the mayor of the city Patrice Vergriete.
The Prime Minister, who noted the “strong deterioration of health indicators in recent hours, asks that the local consultation work of elected officials and public authorities of the territory allow to define the response best suited to the situation”, indicated Matignon.
■ Austria relies heavily on testing
The AFP agency is back on Austria, which, discreetly, is accelerating its testing campaign. Caught off guard in the fall by the second wave, the country this time took the lead: with 3 million tests per week, half of which in schools, Austria now stands as the champion of the exercise.
More than 500 dedicated centers, 900 pharmacies and a thousand companies offer free coronavirus screening (PCR and antigens), while all the students submit to the ritual themselves, twice a week.
The approach had initially met little echo when the first sites had been set up, in full containment of December: “Mass tests without crowd”, headlined the newspapers. But it accelerated in early February, when restrictions were eased, and attitudes began to change, by necessity.
Because it is now necessary to present a negative test of less than 48 hours at the hairdresser, in certain ski resorts or at the entrance of retirement homes.
“Our strategy is to have a high frequency of tests and to make them easy to access,” explains Katharina Reich, chief medical officer at the Ministry of Health. “This is the only way to keep the pandemic under control,” she says, as variants are worrying and vaccination is taking very small steps.
■ Mexico received 200,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine
Mexico received its first 200,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19 on Monday. Authorities said so on Monday evening. They will use them to continue immunizing people over 60.
Other deliveries will follow
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said.
On Saturday, Mexico had received a shipment of 200,000 doses of the vaccine manufactured by the Chinese laboratory Sinovac. Previously, Mexico City received vaccine shipments from Pfizer / BioNTech, AstraZeneca and CanSino, a Chinese laboratory.
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