Latest coronavirus updates


11.07.2021: Study: Simple window ventilation better than expensive air filters

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, have found in a new study on containing the Covid 19 pandemic and increasing air quality in classrooms that normal window ventilation supported by simple technical aids such as fans and extractor bonnets is superior to expensive filter systems. It works quite simply: fresh, cool air enters the classroom through a tilted window, the warm air breathed by the children causes the air, including the particles, to rise upwards, where they are captured by extractor bonnets and transported outside by a fan in the window.

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10.07.2021: Biontech: will we need a third dose?

The vaccine manufacturers Biontech and Pfizer have jointly announced that they expect a decrease in the protective effect of their coronavirus vaccine six months after the second vaccination. This is based, among other things, on data collected by the Israeli Ministry of Health from practical use. On this basis, “it is likely that a third dose will be required within six to twelve months after the full vaccination”.

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09.07.2021: 70 tonnes of medical aid arrived in Namibia

Windhoek (dpa) – 70 tonnes of medical aid supplies from Germany arrived in Namibia’s capital Windhoek on Thursday. On board a cargo plane were 500,000 FFP2 masks, 60,000 hospital beds and 300,000 protective gloves from German army stocks. According to the Bundeswehr, a field hospital has already been set up in Windhoek’s central hospital in the south-west African state of Namibia. Around 462,000 surgical masks were already handed over in Windhoek in June. Namibia, with a population of almost 2.5 million, has officially registered around 97,100 corona infections and 1662 deaths so far. The country is reaching the limits of its medical infrastructure. So far, only 4.9 per cent of the population have had an initial vaccination, fewer are fully vaccinated.

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08.07.2021: Germany gives 30 million vaccine doses to developing countries

Berlin (dpa) – Germany will give at least 30 million Corona vaccine doses to developing countries and other states by the end of the year. This is according to a report by the Ministry of Health. At least 80 percent of the vaccine donation is to be distributed through Covax. As of mid-June, only 83 million vaccine doses had been distributed through the international vaccine programme, most of them to the poorest countries. A maximum of 20 percent of the donation is to be distributed bilaterally, especially to countries in the Western Balkans with up to three million doses, to Namibia and to countries in the Eastern Partnership. Eastern partners refers to EU neighbours such as Armenia, Azerbaijan or Ukraine.

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07.07.2021: “Fulminant reopening”: people flock to the cinemas

Berlin (dpa) – From Thursday to Sunday, almost 830,000 people went to the cinema, HDF Kino and the Association of Film Distributors (VdF) announced. This is “a very good result under the existing conditions”. A year ago, around 200,000 tickets had been sold on the calendar weekend, and in 2019, before the pandemic, around 1.29 million tickets had been sold. Another association – the AG Kino-Gilde – even speaks of a “fulminant  reopening”. The association mainly represents art house cinemas.

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06.07.2021: RKI: High vaccination target to avoid fourth wave 

Berlin (dpa) – In view of the dreaded delta variant of the coronavirus, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has set a high vaccination target. According to RKI calculations, at least 85 per cent of 12- to 59-year-olds and 90 per cent of seniors aged 60 and older should be fully vaccinated. “If this vaccination rate is achieved in time, a pronounced fourth wave in the coming autumn/winter seems unlikely,” says an RKI paper.

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05.07.2021: Berlin producer plans Corona film 

Munich (dpa) – Berlin producer Regina Ziegler wants to make a film about the Corona pandemic. “I will make it a tragicomedy, that’s the only way,” she said at the Munich Film Festival. Despite the serious and difficult situation, there are so many things to smile about, she said. “I’m in favour of tackling life as it comes to us, with the sad sides, but also with the cheerful sides.” Ziegler did not give details yet. However, the film should be shown next year.

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04.07.2021: Slight increase in incidence rate for first time in weeks

Berlin (dpa) – For the first time in weeks, the seven-day incidence rate of new corona infections in Germany has risen compared to the previous day. It was 5.0 infections within seven days per 100,000 inhabitants and thus 0.1 higher than the day before (4.9; previous week: 5.7), according to figures released by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on Sunday morning. According to the figures, health authorities in Germany reported 559 new corona infections to the institute within one day. A week ago, the figure was 538 infections.

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03.07.2021: Lowest corona incidence in almost a year

Berlin (dpa) – For the first time in about eleven months, the incidence of corona in Germany has fallen below 5. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) gave the nationwide value on Saturday morning as 4.9 (previous day 5.0; previous week 5.9). The last time the value was below the 5 threshold was on 30 July 2020, when it was 4.8. According to this information, 16 deaths were recorded across Germany within 24 hours. A week ago, there were 68 deaths.

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02.07.2021: Stiko: Because of delta variant, second vaccination with mRNA vaccine

Berlin (dpa) – In view of the rapid spread of the particularly infectious delta variant in Germany, the Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko) is adjusting its Corona vaccination recommendation. Thus, people who have received a first dose of Astrazeneca should in future receive an mRNA vaccine such as those from Biontech or Moderna as a second injection, regardless of age. The experts justify the advice to combine vector and mRNA vaccine with the fact that the immune response after administering two different preparations is “clearly superior” to the immune response after two doses of Astrazeneca.

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01.07.2021: Digital EU vaccination certificate launches

Brussels (dpa) – On 1 July, the EU vaccination certificate will be officially launched. This means that, just in time for the summer holidays, it will be possible to read a proof of vaccination issued in Germany, a fresh test or an infection that has been overcome via a QR code anywhere in Europe. According to current figures from the Ministry of Health, 37.3 million EU vaccination certificates have already been issued in Germany alone, whereby there can be a certificate for a first as well as a second vaccination.

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30.06.2021: Maas warns against “vaccine diplomacy”

Matera (dpa) – German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has warned China and Russia against using the distribution of Corona vaccines to expand their influence in the world. The fight against the pandemic should not be about “achieving short-term geostrategic advantages”, the SPD politician said on Tuesday at the G20 meeting in Matera in southern Italy. China and Russia gave vaccines to other countries very early on, earning accusations of “vaccine diplomacy”. To date, China has delivered more than 350 million vaccine doses to more than 80 countries. What was donated, sold at market prices or sold cheaply remains unclear. Russia has delivered significantly less. There are no official figures.

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29.06.2021: RKI: Every second new infection with the delta variant

Munich/Berlin (dpa) – The more infectious delta variant is spreading more and more in Germany. It now accounts for at least 35 per cent of the samples examined, said the President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Lothar Wieler, in a statement by the federal and state health ministers. Since the data is already a few days old, the share can actually be estimated at around 50 per cent.

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28.06.2021: Spanish doctor awarded for commitment in Corona crisis 

Dresden (dpa) – The Spanish doctor Cristina Marin Campos has been awarded the Dresden Prize, worth 10,000 euros, for her commitment in the Corona crisis. The 32-year-old doctor at the Hospital Universitario de La Princesa in Madrid receives the prize on behalf of medical staff all over the world who performed outstanding work during the Corona crisis and continue to do so. When the first wave of the pandemic hit Spain particularly hard in the spring of 2020, she used social media to call on the public to write to the sick to alleviate the loneliness of Covid 19 patients isolated in intensive care units. Already on the first day, 35,000 letters were received.

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27.06.2021: Experts see upswing in German economy

Nuremberg (dpa) – Things are looking up for the German economy: rising private consumption will drive economic output upwards in the second half of the year, economists from leading economic and financial institutions predicted in a dpa survey. “In the wake of sharply falling infection figures and relaxations of the Corona restriction, the way is now virtually clear,” said Katharina Utermöhl of the Allianz Group.

Meanwhile, economists warn against too much euphoria about the end of the Corona pandemic and its consequences for the national economy. One risk, they say, is a renewed surge in the number of infections. The experts see positive signals on the labour market. By the end of the year, at least half of the half a million people who became unemployed because of Corona could have found a new job.

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26.06.2021: Vaccination campaign for seafarers started in Hamburg

Hamburg (dpa) – On International Seafarers’ Day, Hamburg has started vaccinating seafarers against the coronavirus. “We very much hope that this date will send a signal to German ports to vaccinate seafarers regardless of their nationality,” said Ralf Nagel, Executive Member of the Executive Committee in the German Shipowners’ Association, on Friday. Ports worldwide should join the vaccination campaign.

There are 1.7 million seafarers on 60,000 merchant ships. At present, ship crews are not allowed to go ashore in many Asian countries. In some cases, they are even denied medical care. The first 40 seafarers from India were vaccinated at the Seamen’s Club on Friday.

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25.06.2021: Study: Consumers more optimistic than in a long time

Nuremberg (dpa) – According to a study by the Nuremberg-based consumer research company GfK, the consumer mood in Germany is better than it has been since August 2020. “We are leaving the lockdown more and more behind us,” said GfK consumer expert Rolf Bürkl. A sharp drop in the number of infections as well as considerable progress in vaccination allowed for more and more extensive relaxations. Holidays are also possible again. “This is causing rising optimism, which is also expressed in the improved consumer mood,” Bürkl said. He said that it was becoming apparent that there would be catch-up effects on expenditures that were foregone in 2020: Travel, restaurant visits and events, but also clothing or services such as those provided by hairdressers and beauty salons.

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24.06.2021: Biontech to build vaccine production facility in Singapore with Siemens

Munich/Mainz (dpa) – Siemens is to become a partner of Biontech in the construction of a vaccine production facility in Singapore. The intention is to intensify cooperation in the rapid establishment and expansion of capacities, Siemens announced. The Munich-based company was already involved in the rapid conversion of a production facility in Marburg. “Now we want to jointly transfer this success to other production sites – and thus make the Covid 19 vaccine available worldwide as quickly as possible,” said Siemens board member Cedrik Neike.

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23.06.2021: Merkel has received second vaccination

Berlin (dpa) – Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has received her second Corona vaccination, a government spokesperson announced. After Merkel had received the vaccine from Astrazeneca for the first vaccination on 16 April, she had now been vaccinated with the vaccine from Moderna. After her first vaccination, the 66-year-old Merkel had declared via Twitter: “I thank everyone who is involved in the vaccination campaign – and everyone who gets vaccinated. Vaccination is the key to overcoming the pandemic.”

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22.06.2021: Private consumption the driving force of the upswing

Frankfurt/Main (dpa) – According to the Bundesbank, private consumption should become a strong driver of the economic upswing. In the Corona crisis year 2020, many people kept their money together, closures in the retail sector and travel restrictions also slowed down consumption. Now, many economists expect consumers to make up for at least some of the postponed purchases, trips and ventures in the coming months – and thus boost the economy.

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21.06.2021: Majority of Dax corporations plan expansion of mobile work

The majority of the 30 corporations listed in the German Stock Index (Dax) are planning to expand mobile work even after the pandemic, according to a survey. This was reported by the Funke Mediengruppe with reference to a survey of the 30 Dax companies. In the survey, 22 companies expressed their interest in increasing the number of mobile working days in the future.

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20.06.2021: Drosten: Take delta variant really seriously

Berlin (dpa) – According to Charité virologist Christian Drosten, Germany must take the delta variant in the pandemic very seriously from now on. “I have now reached the point where I say we are now in the running here in Germany with the delta variant,” Drosten said at the Online Congress for Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine. According to an analysis by the Robert Koch Institute for the first week of June, the share of the delta variant in Germany had almost doubled to six per cent within just one week. Drosten referred to Great Britain. There, the more contagious delta variant had clearly taken over the predominance of the infection incidence within a few weeks despite advanced vaccination rates. The 7-day incidences rose again – from 20 to 70. Relaxations were therefore stopped.

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19.06.2021: Merkel and Macron united on fighting Corona

Berlin (dpa) – Germany and France have shown unity in managing the Corona pandemic ahead of the European Union leaders’ summit. German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) said in Berlin during a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron that the experience of the pandemic had taught that European action should be as unified as possible. Macron agreed with her, arguing for greater coordination.

Macron and Merkel also agreed on the relationship with Turkey: there were differences of opinion, but they were also dependent on each other on many issues. Russia is a great challenge for Europe, Merkel said. Macron stressed that a common line had to be found.

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18.06.2021: World Medical Association President concerned about delta virus variant 

Berlin (dpa) – The president of the World Medical Association, the German physician Frank Ulrich Montgomery, fears a rapid spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus, which is considered particularly infectious, and sees a need for action on the part of politicians. It is to be expected that the delta variant will spread even faster in Germany than the previous variants, Montgomery told the newspapers of the Funke Mediengruppe. “The tricky thing with this variant is that infected people very quickly have a very high viral load in their throats and can thus infect others before they even realise they have been infected,” Montgomery said. As long as not enough people have been vaccinated, the risk of infection in everyday life must be reduced, the medical representative warned.

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17.06.2021: Spahn: More than 50 percent vaccinated this week 

In the course of the week, the 50 percent mark for first-time vaccinations will be cracked in Germany, said Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn on Wednesday after consultations with his state colleagues. By the end of July, beginning of August, every adult who wants to be vaccinated should be offered a vaccination. The second vaccination is more important than sometimes assumed – it protects against the delta variant of the coronavirus. 48.9 per cent of the population now have the first vaccination, 27.6 per cent have full vaccination protection.

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16.06.2021: Corona enters a “chronic phase”

Berlin (dpa) – The coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 will remain, even if once the majority of the world’s population should be vaccinated – the majority of experts now assume this. In the future, Covid-19 will become a disease of everyday hospital life and will lose the horror of a pandemic running in waves. We are moving “into a chronic phase,” said the president of the German Society for Internal Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DGIIN), Christian Karagiannidis.

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15.06.2021: More relaxed Corona situation in summer

Jülich (dpa) – A more relaxed Corona situation is expected for the coming months. “For the current summer, based on the current data, we expect a moderate infection incidence, similar to last year,” explained Jan Fuhrmann from the Research Centre Jülich, who calculates possible pandemic courses. “On the one hand, the now predominant virus variants are more contagious than last summer, on the other hand, an increasing proportion of potentially infectable people are protected by vaccination.” Forecasts for the autumn are not yet possible, he said. “That would be pure speculation,” Fuhrmann emphasises.

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