This article will be updated throughout the day. Watch the corona news here Friday, May 7.
23.45 – Curaçao relaxes corona measures
Curaçao will lift the vehicle registration scheme on Tuesday, which had been introduced as a corona measure since March 24. The car-free Sunday will also be abolished. This means that motorists are again allowed to take to the streets seven days a week instead of two on the basis of their license plate. The government announced this on Saturday afternoon. The curfew between 9 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. will continue to apply for the time being.
From Tuesday, all restrictions that applied to construction activities will be lifted and the times to go to the beach will be extended. Until now, people were only allowed to go to the beach between 4:30 AM and 8:00 AM. From Tuesday this is allowed from 4.30 am to 9 am and from 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm.
It is also possible, with restrictions, to exercise again in fitness rooms and gyms. If that happens in the open air, there are no longer any restrictions. Hair and beauty salons may reopen, but customers are only allowed to come by appointment.
The number of corona infections on the island is declining sharply, as is the number of corona patients in the hospital. Last week, the tourism sector complained that the easing was going too slowly. According to the government, policy is being relaxed to prevent stricter measures from having to be taken later.
Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath emphasized on Saturday that he regretted that during Mother’s Day there is still a ban on driving on the street. According to him, it is precisely during these times that people need to visit and hug their mother on this day.
20.02 – Corona outbreak on oil tanker that left the Netherlands
An outbreak of corona was found in southern France on a tanker that left Rotterdam at the end of April. On the ship Bergama, which sails under the Maltese flag, twelve of the eighteen crew members tested positive.
Four sailors appeared to be in serious condition. Two of them have been admitted to intensive care. The other fourteen crew members are quarantined on the ship.
When the Bergama had passed the Strait of Gibraltar, the ship’s captain had reported the Covid-19 suspicion. The French authorities then took action.
17.19 – Merkel calls on President Biden to export US vaccines
Angela Merkel: “Now that much of the US population has been vaccinated, I hope we can achieve free exchange of ingredients and open the market for vaccines.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel is calling on President Joe Biden to send Covid-19 vaccines produced in the United States to countries that need them urgently. “Now that much of the American population has been vaccinated, I hope we can achieve free exchange of ingredients and open the market for vaccines,” she said at a press conference from Berlin after an EU summit in Portuguese. Porto which she followed digitally. According to her, the release of patents, which the US is willing to accept, is not the solution to be able to vaccinate more people quickly.
“I think we need the creativity and innovative strength of companies. Questioning the protection of intellectual property rights is not the way to more and better vaccines, ”Merkel said. She pointed out that the EU has generously exported vaccines produced in Europe. The US has tens of millions of unused vaccines.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte also does not think that releasing patents is the right solution for the short term. “It sounds very nice that you say: release patents. But that does not mean that billions of extra vaccines will suddenly become available for Africa, ”he said in The Hague. He also participated online in the two-day EU summit.
According to Rutte, the EU is reticent. “A few are more in favor,” he said. “I am not saying that the Netherlands says that you should never start. The question is entirely whether this is the ideal means. ” According to Rutte, the main thing is that production must increase. It also depends on the availability of raw materials. But releasing patents also involves risks.
The discussion about releasing the patents that pharmaceuticals like Pfizer / BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson have for their Covid-19 vaccines has flared up after India and South Africa proposed in the World Trade Organization (WTO). Initially, the US, EU, Japan and the UK did not want to hear about this, but last week the US trade representative at the WTO in Geneva unexpectedly stated that he would support a ‘waiver decision’ due to the ‘special circumstances’ of the pandemic.
European Council President Charles Michel said in Porto that the EU is ready to discuss the subject “as soon as a concrete proposal is on the table.” Brussels finds it unclear exactly what the US has in mind with their statement in the WTO about the patents.
12.11- Deal closed: Pfizer supplies EU with another 1.8 billion vaccines
The European Union can count on an additional 1.8 billion corona vaccines from Pfizer / BioNTech over the next two years. The contract with the vaccine manufacturer has been signed, says European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
The committee announced a month ago that a new order was in the pipeline. Brussels has already ordered billions of doses from several vaccine makers, more than enough to vaccinate all approximately 450 million EU citizens. But it may prove necessary to repeat the injection or virus mutants that require an extra dose may emerge. The committee wants to be prepared for this.
Pfizer will deliver another 900 million doses from the end of this year and the EU can lay claim to another that, says von der Leyen. In principle, the vaccines that the EU purchases are distributed fairly among the member states. The Netherlands could therefore claim at least 70 million doses with the new contract.
The great order underlines that the EU is increasingly committed to Pfizer’s vaccine and other products of similar manufacture. Their new so-called mRNA technology is said to have proven itself, while there are all kinds of problems with vaccines with a different effect such as AstraZeneca’s.
11.00 – Call for more research on immunization
Rather than in access tests, the government should invest in the long-term vaccination strategy, says vaccinologist and emeritus professor of Pediatrics Ronald de Groot to the ANP. According to him, there is hardly any research into the effect of the corona vaccines in the longer term, while the question is how long the vaccines offer protection.
Next week, the House of Representatives will vote on a cabinet plan to have access tests for activities and events come into effect in June. There already seems to be a majority in favor of the proposal. “We are going to invest in organizing events, while: the only thing that will help us out of the corona pandemic is vaccination,” says De Groot, who was a member of the Health Council, among other things. “When everyone soon has two shots, the next phase will come into play: the corona vaccination has become the same as the flu shot. This means that people will probably need an extra injection regularly to maintain protection. You should already think about the question of which groups qualify for such a so-called ‘booster’ and how you organize it. ”
At the moment, hardly any research is being done into the question of how long the corona vaccines offer protection, while such studies are already possible, according to De Groot. “You can already develop tests that can predict how long the vaccines will protect and when people may need a third shot.” For example, a trial is currently being carried out in England with a third injection. Setting up such studies, according to De Groot, takes at least six to three quarters of a year. The corona vaccines that are now being given may still offer protection this winter, but that is not certain.
If we have learned one thing from the past corona year is that we as the Netherlands are always lagging behind, says the vaccinologist. For example, he refers to the current vaccination program. The Health Council did not come up with an advice on the injection sequence until very late, one of the reasons that the Netherlands started vaccinating late. “If it immediately turns out that a lot of people will indeed need a third injection next winter, then you need to know how to organize that and also how you can find people willing to take another injection. We should not always react to what is happening, but rather anticipate. ”
08.11 – Belgium is also reopening terraces
The Belgian terraces may open again on Saturday after more than six months. Anyone who then has trouble getting home on time does not have to worry about the curfew, because it will be abolished.
The easing is justified now that the coronavirus in Belgium has been cautiously on its way back for weeks, the authorities think. They actually wanted to do this last week, but took a little longer for fear of running too fast.
The Belgian terraces may reopen a little later than in the Netherlands, for example, but the opening hours are immediately a lot longer. Châteaux may receive their first guests at 8 a.m. They can remain in place until 10 p.m.
With a summer Sunday in the offing, the catering industry is getting ready for big crowds. According to the past week, a beer shortage does not threaten very busy brewers. But a shortage of seats may be. It wasn’t until Friday that it became clear that patio keepers must keep a strict five-foot distance between guests, much to their anger. They are not allowed to reduce that distance, as they did last summer, with the help of Plexiglass partitions.
Belgians have been allowed to take to the streets again at night since midnight on Friday, after almost seven months of curfew between midnight and early morning. Brussels residents got a curious dessert from that on Friday evening. The curfew in the capital always went on at 10 p.m., so they had to stay inside for another two hours on Friday.
The disappearance of the curfew is still no license to congregate on the street or in the park at night. The ban on gathering together during the day becomes even stricter at night. Groups of more than three people are not allowed.
07.50 – For the first time more than 4000 corona deaths in one day in India
India reported a record number of corona deaths in the past 24 hours on Saturday. For the first time, there were more than 4,000.
In total, 4187 deaths from Covid-19 were registered in India in the past 24 hours. This brings the total death toll in India to 238,270, the third highest in the world.
The number of diagnosed corona infections in India increased by 401,078 cases between Friday and Saturday, a slight decrease from the day before. The total number of infections in the country with about 1.37 billion inhabitants comes to around 21.9 million.