Corona ticker: China – no new virus variants so far
4:11 p.m .: China – So far no new corona variants have been discovered
According to official information, no new virus variants have been discovered in the current corona wave in China. Researcher Chen Cao from the National Health Agency’s Virus Institute said in Beijing that variants BA.5.2 and BF.7 are the dominant viruses in the outbreak in the world’s most populous country. During the Chinese New Year holiday, which has been celebrated since January 22, the genes of 1,421 selected samples from provinces were sequenced without a new variant being discovered.
4:06 p.m .: WHO: Corona still “global emergency”
The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to classify the corona pandemic as a global emergency. But the situation is now much better than a year ago, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the annual meeting of the organization’s Executive Committee on Monday in Geneva. The pandemic may be nearing the tipping point where higher levels of immunity lower the risk of fatal illnesses.
However, Tedros also pointed out that at least 170,000 people had died with the corona virus in the past eight weeks. He called for high-risk groups to be fully vaccinated, increase testing, use antivirals, and expand laboratory capacity. In addition, misinformation about the pandemic must be combated.
1.30 p.m .: Psychologist – Many have to redesign everyday work after Corona
The psychologist Timo Schiele rates the effects of the Corona period on working life and stress levels as a “double-edged sword”. An example of this is the possibility of working from home, he told the Catholic News Agency (KNA). There, many find “the distinction between work and other areas of life more difficult”.
At the same time, people experience it as “great freedom that they can open their laptops anywhere and get something done. In this respect, it is important to set limits that are helpful for you and constructive for you,” stressed Schiele. The relationship to the home office is also different: Some people have to continue to drive to work every day without being able to decide – others have to continue working at home despite the pandemic subsiding, although they would like to come to the office.
As a result of the corona pandemic, society was “confronted with an intensity” for which hardly anyone was prepared, said the head psychologist at the psychosomatic clinic in the Dießen monastery on Lake Ammer: “It is important to find an appropriate way of dealing with it not yet complete for many people.”
12:22 p.m .: Red Cross – the world is not prepared for the next pandemic
From the Red Cross’s point of view, even three years after the outbreak of the corona virus, the world is still not sufficiently prepared for possible future pandemics. “The next pandemic could be imminent,” warned the Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Jagan Chapagain, in Geneva. “If the experience with Covid-19 does not carry out our preparations, then what?” he demands.
According to current figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 6.8 million people have died in connection with Covid-19. In its report on global disasters, the Red Cross pointed out that the pandemic had triggered the largest death spurt since World War II. In order to be prepared for upcoming pandemics, the population’s trust in vaccinations and health measures should be increased, Chapagain demanded. The fair global distribution of vaccines and medicines as well as local health measures at the community level are just as important.
10.25 a.m .: WHO continues to classify Corona as a health emergency
Around three years after the start of the corona pandemic, the World Health Organization classifies WHO Covid-19 continues as a global public health emergency a. The decision was announced Monday following a meeting of the WHO Emergency Committee. While the pandemic may be approaching a tipping point, the Committee agreed that Covid-19 remains a dangerous infectious disease that could cause significant damage to health and health systems. In addition, surveillance and genetic sequencing have declined worldwide, making it difficult to track known variants and discover new ones.
10.20 a.m .: Russian embassy reports lifting of lockdown in Pyongyang
North Korea has lifted restrictions and controls in the capital Pyongyang in connection with respiratory diseases, according to the Russian embassy there. Last week, she said the North Korean authorities had ordered diplomatic missions to begin confining her outside and taking her body temperature four times a day in response to a week of flu cases “and other respiratory illnesses.” North Korea had not officially confirmed a lockdown in Pyongyang or a recurrence of Corona. Ruler Kim Jong Un had declared a victory over the corona virus in August, which was considered questionable by observers. Last May, Pyongyang admitted a corona outbreak for the first time.
10.08 a.m .: After the end of the Corona requirements, more counterfeit money in circulation again
Counterfeiters in Germany and Europe have benefited from the end of most corona restrictions over the past year. In Germany, the police, retailers and banks withdrew almost 44,150 counterfeit euro banknotes, the Bundesbank announced on Monday. That was 5.2 percent more than in the previous year. “This is probably due to the fact that the corona restrictions of the two previous years were largely lifted and folk festivals or Christmas markets took place again, where most of the payments were made in cash,” said Burkhard Balz, the member of the Bundesbank board responsible for cash. “Overall, however, the volume of counterfeit money remains very low: In purely mathematical terms, there were only five counterfeit banknotes per 10,000 inhabitants in 2022.”
8.41 a.m .: Lauterbach – “Got in very hard with children”
In retrospect, Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) admits that there were mistakes in corona policy. In hindsight, it was wrong to keep the schools and daycare centers closed for so long, Lauterbach said on Monday in the “Morgenmagazin” of the ARD. On the other hand, the advising scientists of the federal government would have advised it. “The level of knowledge was often not really good enough,” said the minister. A distinction must be made between irregularities such as illegal mask shops or corona tests that are far too expensive. “These are things that should never have happened.” Compared to other countries, Germany has “relatively spared” the companies. “But we went into it very hard with the children and the schools,” says Lauterbach.
8:11 a.m .: The number of people who “stay seated” after Corona has increased significantly again
After changed transfer regulations in the first school year after the outbreak of the corona pandemic, we have again in the 2021/2022 school year significantly more children and young people repeat a grade level. Overall, this affected 155,800 students who either repeated voluntarily or had not been promoted in the previous school year. That was 62,700 or 67% more than in the 2020/2021 school year and 12,200 (8%) more than in the 2019/2020 school year, as reported by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). The rate of repeaters nationwide rose from 1.4% in the 2020/2021 school year to 2.4% in the past school year. The proportion was also slightly higher than in the 2019/2020 school year (quote: 2.3%), when the corona-related transfer rules had not yet come into effect.
5.41 a.m .: Social association VdK for further protection of corona risk groups
In view of the end of the corona mask requirement on long-distance trains at the beginning of February, the social association VdK insists on further protection for risk groups. President Verena Bentele told the German Press Agency that people with previous illnesses, disabilities or old age are concentrated in health and care facilities and are particularly at risk. Masks should therefore continue to be worn there. Tailor-made solutions had to be thought about in buses and trains. For example, Bentele suggests separate areas that are reserved for people who wish to wear a mask.