In this live blog we will keep you informed about all developments surrounding the corona virus at home and abroad.

Controversial German corona law gets parliamentary approval


The controversial law that gives the German government the power to directly impose corona measures, such as a curfew and further contact restrictions, has been given the green light by the German parliament, German media report.



After the approval of the Bundestag, the Bundesrat, the upper house, also agreed today.

The law will come into effect as soon as President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has signed it.



Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government can then impose lockdowns and other measures themselves outside the federal states.

Merkel considers federal say in the fight against the corona virus necessary, because the federal states regularly take less strict action than she believes is necessary.

There was a lot of criticism of the law from the federal states themselves and the opposition.

a few seconds ago

EMA and WHO to look at Sputnik-V production process


In May, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) will look together at the production process of the Russian corona vaccine Sputnik-V.

The study is part of the procedures by which medicines are approved for use.

Several European countries, including Germany and France, have expressed an interest in using Sputnik-V, which, according to the Russians, has proven to be very effective, relatively cheap and easy to transport and store.

14 minutes ago

Six suppliers receive permission


from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS)

to sell self-tests.

Six suppliers have received

permission

from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) to market corona

self-tests

. Four new antigen rapid tests are available from pharmacies, drugstores and supermarkets starting this week. The cheapest, Flowflex, is in the shops for 2.89 euros.



The new self-tests come from AEnerG BV Lyher, Acon Biotech Flowflex, MP Biomedicals Rapid and BD Veritor. Tests from Roche and Biosynex were already on sale.



The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport hopes that the low-threshold self-tests will detect more infections, because people can test themselves without complaints. People with complaints are not supposed to undergo a self-test. They must have themselves tested with a PCR test at the GGD.



Outgoing Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) also emphasized earlier that people who test positive during a self-test must still undergo a test at the GGD. The result of a self-test is known within 15 minutes.



The Ministry of Health does have some comments on the instructions for use of the self-tests. For example, the Acon Biotech manual does not contain a clear picture of a cotton swab. MP Biomedicals Rapid uses too complicated language and too few blank lines in the package leaflet. BD Veritor should state more clearly in the explanation that it is a self-test for 'nasal swabs', ie a test in the nose.



The antigen rapid tests are less reliable than the PCR test of the GGD.

The antigen test measures infectivity.

A negative test result does not necessarily mean that you do not have an infection, but that you are not contagious at the time.

The tests are approximately 70 to 80 percent reliable, according to the RIVM.

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an hour ago

Problems with AstraZeneca vaccine possibly caused by impurities


The very rare side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine, in which people developed a severe form of thrombosis after vaccination in combination with a lack of platelets, may have been caused by impurities in the vaccine. These are substances that should not be in the vaccine. In extreme cases, these can cause platelets to be activated to clot, leading German researchers write in a pre-publication about which

de Volkskrant

writes.



AstraZeneca's vaccine uses harmless cold viruses. These viruses are grown on so-called

cell lines

.

Remains of these cell lines may cause the side effect.

If that theory is correct, the rare side effect could possibly be prevented by better purifying the vaccine, the researchers say.



The European Medicines Agency (EMA) emphasized on Tuesday that it is not yet certain that the theory of the scientists is correct.

"It is important to look at all the different options because at this point we are not yet sure what causes this side effect," said Sabine Strauss, head of the EMA pharmacovigilance committee.

an hour ago

Hospitals are increasingly scaling down regular care


Regular care is increasingly being scaled down in Dutch hospitals, says the National Coordination Center for Patients Distribution (LCPS). In several hospitals, only operations are performed that have to take place within two weeks to prevent health damage.



Operations that must take place within six weeks are postponed in many hospitals. This also includes heart operations. As yet, there is no question of code black, a situation in which hospitals have to choose between patients for a place on the ic.



According to the LCPS, the situation is "absolutely worrying".

Still, according to the spokesperson, there is room for minor relaxation, because the consequences of this will only be visible in the hospitals in three to four weeks.

"Then we will hopefully not be in this tough situation anymore. The most important thing now is that everyone gets the first injection as soon as possible."

2 hours ago


A flight ban

does not necessarily stop mutations according to Van Dissel 

According to RIVM boss Jaap van Dissel, a flight ban for countries with dangerous coronavirus variants offers "no guarantee" that you will stop the advance of such a mutation in the Netherlands.

That is why he advocates strict enforcement of the testing and quarantine obligation. 



Since January, there has been a ban on passenger flights from South America and South Africa.

In the Chamber, D66, GL and the PvdD, among others, wonder whether it is wise to also add India to the list, because a new, probably more contagious mutation of the corona virus has been discovered. 



According to Van Dissel, however, this mutation can also enter the country in other ways, for example by infected Dutch people who have traveled to India via another European country.

3 hours ago

Effects of vaccination are becoming increasingly clear, according to Van Dissel


The effects of the vaccination campaign are becoming increasingly visible, according to Van Dissel.

During the technical briefing, he pointed to figures that show that older people in the highest age groups hardly contract the virus anymore.



“Since vaccination, we only see a decrease in the number of infections in nursing homes and among elderly people living at home. This decrease can be attributed to the vaccination effect,” says Van Dissel.

3 hours ago

RIVM expects a decrease in the number of occupied hospital


beds in

one to two weeks.

The influx of corona patients into hospitals "appears to be leveling off" and the number of new infections is stabilizing, says Jaap van Dissel of the RIVM. However, there is no sign of a clear decrease, he said during a technical briefing. Based on model calculations, RIVM expects the decline to begin shortly.



According to the calculations, the number of occupied hospital beds will decrease in one to two weeks. Van Dissel emphasizes that the models are uncertain. The peak could therefore also occur later and be higher than the institute currently anticipates.



According to the models for the IC admissions, it probably does not matter whether the measures will be relaxed next week or only mid-May, the RIVM boss said during the briefing.

But that is not certain either, he emphasized.

3 hours ago

3 hours ago


Corona support line for young adults

consulted a thousand times since the beginning of April

The national corona support line for young adults has been consulted a thousand times since its inception on April 7.

On average, the volunteers of the Alles Oké?

Support line 63 telephone and chat conversations daily with people between 18 and 24 years old who needed it.



The content of the interviews varies according to the organization from practical questions about study delay to feelings of stress and loneliness.

Not all difficulties are caused by the pandemic, but in many cases they are exacerbated by it.



With the support line you can call (0800-04 50) or chat (allesoke.nl) between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m.

The conversations are free and can be conducted anonymously.

4 hours ago

Janssen guarantees delivery of vaccines to EU


American pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson is sticking to its promise to supply 200 million Janssen corona vaccines to the EU, Norway and Iceland this year.

The branch in Leiden refers to a statement from the parent company last night.

A factory in Baltimore where raw materials for the vaccine were made has been closed by the US FDA.

A report shows that there were problems with, among other things, hygiene and that poorly trained staff were working.



It can take months to resolve all issues at the factory, according to the FDA.

4 hours ago

Over 50,000 more unemployed since the start of the corona crisis


Since the start of the corona crisis, the number of unemployed has increased by 53,000.

The increase is much less than the increase after the first year of the financial crisis.

Then the number of unemployed had risen by almost 92,000 in a year.

At the end of March, Statistics Netherlands counted 326,000 people without work who do want to work. 

5 hours ago

Cafés are reluctant to order beer


The terraces will open on April 28, but the majority of the catering industry is not yet.

The cafes, restaurants and hotels that do have a terrace are still very

reluctant

to order beer.

That's what the big brewers AB InBev and Heineken say.

The period during which the terraces may initially be open does not exactly include the hours when guests go to beer en masse.

5 hours ago

5 hours ago

Consumption is still lagging behind, but we are positive about the future


The Dutch spent 10.7 percent less on goods and services in February than the year before.

That is better than in January, when consumption was 12 percent lower.

However, for the first time since December 2018, consumers are positive about the future economy again.

Consumer confidence rose to -14, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) reports 

Thursday

.


5 hours ago

EU would prepare for lawsuit against AstraZeneca


The European Commission is preparing to take vaccine maker AstraZeneca to court. This is reported by news site

Politico

, which has spoken with five EU diplomats.

The EU's relationship with AstraZeneca has soured, because the pharmaceutical company has been supplying far fewer corona vaccines than agreed for months. The purpose of the lawsuit would be to force the company to still provide the agreed amounts of vaccines, one of the sources told the news site.





The committee raised the possible legal procedure on Wednesday at a meeting of ambassadors.

Then there would have been a lot of support for a lawsuit among member states.

Two diplomats say there is a deadline later this week.

Then the EU countries must let them know whether they really want to take AstraZeneca to court.

6 hours ago

India reports a record number of more than 300,000 infections


In India, more than 300,000 corona

infections

have been registered in the past 24 hours.

That is the largest daily increase recorded worldwide.

As far as is known, 2,104 people have died from the effects of the virus in the Asian country.



The number of infections rose by 314,835 on Thursday.

The total number of confirmed infections now stands at 15.9 million in India.

The death toll has risen to 184,657.

6 hours ago

11 hours ago

US Janssen Vaccine


Plant Shuts Down

By Authorities

The US drug watchdog FDA has

shut down

a plant in the city of Baltimore, Maryland, where raw materials for Janssen's corona vaccine were made. A report shows that there were problems with, among other things, hygiene in the building and that poorly trained staff were working.



It can take months for all problems to be resolved at the factory, according to the FDA. Until then, there is only a factory in the Netherlands that can make the most important raw materials for the vaccine.



In the report, the FDA describes several possible contaminants.

For example, important inspections were not carried out and hygiene measures were not observed.

Paint was peeling off the walls and there were cracks in containers containing production materials.



The report also confirms reports from various American media that millions of doses of the Janssen vaccine became unusable because material from the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was also made there, got into the Janssen vaccine.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is now being produced elsewhere.

yesterday at 9:12 PM

Admission stops in hospitals Enschede and Rotterdam


Hospital dome Medisch Spectrum Twente announced an

admission stop

at its headquarters in Enschede on Wednesday evening. A spokesperson confirms this after reporting from 

RTV Oost

. All beds are taken, new patients have to go to hospitals in the area. Acute care is still provided. The admission stop is necessary due to the increased number of corona patients and the pressure at the emergency department, according to the hospital.



As of today, the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam can only operate emergency patients,

RTL Nieuws

reports

. The stop is expected to last at least a week.



Dutch hospitals are currently treating 2,614 corona patients.

In the past 24 hours, 343 new corona patients were admitted, one of the largest numbers since the end of last year.

There are 822 COVID-19 patients on the ICs, the largest number since April last year

yesterday at 9:12 PM

More than 200 million corona pricks placed in the United States


The United States passed the 200 million mark of corona pricks on Wednesday, according to President Joe Biden.

That happened within a hundred days of taking office.



Initially, Biden's plan was to inject at least 100 million injections within those hundred days, but that goal was reached on the 58th day.

He spoke at a press conference of an "incredible achievement" that now twice as many doses have been administered.



80 percent of people over 65 have had at least one injection.

The number of deaths in this population group has fallen sharply.

The millions of vaccinations may have saved tens of thousands of lives, Biden said.

In the US, more than 560,000 people have officially died from the effects of the corona virus.

There are many more than in any other country.



As of Monday, all Americans from the age of sixteen can be vaccinated.

The president emphasized at the press conference that the vaccine is free and that the vaccines are necessary to prevent serious illness and death among young people as well.

yesterday at 9:11 PM

Restaurants and museums in Denmark open again after months


In Denmark, cafes, restaurants and museums

have reopened

after months of closure.

Life in the capital Copenhagen seemed more or less as in the old days with filled terraces.



Denmark decided to reopen society early last week now that the spread of the virus appears to be under control.

Schools can provide physical education again for the first time in five months, but this is only partly done in secondary education.

Cinemas, theaters and concert halls still have to wait until May 6.

Many people still work from home.

yesterday at 9:11 PM

EU agency says that vaccinees concerted measures may slacken


If two people or households that have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 meet, it is 

not necessary

that they distance love each other or wearing masks, the European Center presents Disease and - control (ECDC).

They also do not have to hand over a quarantine or a negative test statement after a trip abroad, writes the EU agency.



The condition is that no dangerous corona variants are wandering around in the country to which you have traveled.

yesterday at 9:11 PM

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