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De Jonge: We are concerned about the omicron variant, but how much remains to be seen.

Outgoing minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) is concerned about the omicron variant, also discovered in the Netherlands, because according to the WHO, it is more contagious than the delta variant. However, it will only become apparent next week "how much we should be concerned".

According to the minister, it will then become clear whether it is also more sickening and whether the vaccines still work for the variant. "That is simply not yet known," said De Jonge on Sunday during an inserted press moment. He wants to consult with RIVM and his European colleagues about whether additional restrictions are necessary.



Sunday that at least thirteen infections with the omicron variant were discovered among the travelers who returned from South Africa on Friday.

All travelers returning from southern Africa must be tested twice (in Africa and upon arrival in the Netherlands) and must be quarantined.

RIVM also calls on people who returned on or after Monday 22 November from South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe to be tested, even if they have no complaints.

A special telephone number (0800-5005) has been opened for these people where they can make a test appointment.

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The inserted press moment with De Jonge about the omicron variant is over.

Shortly before the press moment, RIVM confirmed the presence of at least thirteen infections with the omicron variant in the Netherlands.




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The quarantine hotel is intended for the people who arrived on Friday.

The people who are on repatriation flights in the coming days can in principle be quarantined in their own home.

De Jonge trusts that people will comply with their quarantine obligation.

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De Jonge: It is not possible to ban all flights from southern Africa, because European residents always have the right to return.

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Since Friday, people from southern Africa have been subject to a double test obligation and a quarantine obligation in the Netherlands, De Jonge emphasizes.

If the quarantine obligation is not complied with, a fine will be imposed.

According to De Jonge, this quarantine obligation will be checked for compliance.

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De Jonge: Our researchers are in contact with international researchers.

The travel movements in Europe are also very intensive, so it is difficult to stop the variants at the borders.

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De Jonge: It is not inconceivable that there are several infections with the omicron variant in the Netherlands.

It is conceivable that additional cases will become known.

We now know of thirteen that have been confirmed.

We are concerned about the omicron variant, because according to the WHO, the variant is more contagious.

But next week it should become clear whether he is also more sickening and whether our vaccines work for this variant.

We just don't know how much to worry about right now.

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De Jonge: We have called on everyone who has been to southern Africa to report to the GGD to make an appointment and go into isolation.

A quarantine obligation applies to people who come from a very high-risk area.

It will be checked for compliance.

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De Jonge: Thirteen of the 61 infected people who returned from South Africa on Friday have been diagnosed with the omicron variant.

These people have been quarantined.

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RIVM confirms the presence of the omicron variant in the Netherlands.

Thirteen infections have been detected among returning travelers from South Africa.

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Special corona test street at Schiphol for travelers from South Africa

Travelers flying from South Africa to Schiphol can have themselves tested for the corona virus immediately after arrival at the airport.

GGD Kennemerland has set up a special test street at the airport for this.

Read more



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Swiss behind corona pass in referendum

The majority of the Swiss support the law that makes it possible to use the corona pass. Opponents had forced a referendum, but exit polls show that the pass for access to restaurants and events, among other things, can be maintained as expected.

The certificate showing whether someone has been vaccinated, recovered or tested negative amounts to an obligation to vaccinate, according to critics. Polls previously showed that about six in ten Swiss are behind it. The law, approved earlier this year, allows the government to introduce exceptional measures to combat the corona epidemic.

Fearing protests, police have blocked the area where the government and parliament are located in the capital Bern.

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Short explanation De Jonge on omicron variant At

1.15 pm


minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) will give a brief explanation of the omicron variant.

The exact content of the press moment is not yet known.

RIVM is also expected to announce on Sunday whether and how many infections with the omicron variant have been registered among the more than six hundred passengers who returned from South Africa on Friday.

RIVM suspects that a number of those travelers have become infected with the new variant of the virus, but has not yet given a definitive answer.

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Germans summoned to limit contacts

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier calls on Germans to limit contacts as much as possible. This is necessary to prevent the fourth corona wave from escalating further after the first omicron infections were identified yesterday.

"It is important that we all act together now," Steinmeier wrote in an open letter to 


, the country's largest newspaper. "Let's stick to the rules and let's limit our contacts again." The president emphasizes the importance of keeping schools and childcare open and not allowing public life to come to a complete standstill.

In some German regions, the ICs are full of corona patients.

This weekend, several dozen patients will be transferred to less affected states.

Regular, planned operations have been postponed in more than three quarters of German hospitals.

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Golfers in South Africa: 'The world is in a panic, but nothing seems to be wrong here'

Despite the global unrest surrounding the new coronavirus variant omicron, Dutch golfers Darius van Driel, Daan Huizing and Lars van Meijel remain ahead of South Africa for the time being the Joburg Open.

They say they don't notice much of the panic.

"It's chaos. We don't know what to expect when we go back to the Netherlands, so that's why we're staying," says Van Driel.

"Everything goes on here as if nothing is wrong, that's what makes all that panic so weird." 

Read more here.

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Australia also reports omicron variant infections

Two travelers in Australia have tested positive for the coronavirus and appear to be infected with the omicron variant.

Both passengers arrived in Sydney on Saturday from southern Africa via Qatar and were immediately tested.

The two have been quarantined in special accommodation, health authorities in the state of New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital, report.

Twelve others who had been to southern Africa were on the flight from Qatar.

She also has to quarantine for fourteen days in a special hotel.

The other passengers and cabin crew, a total of about 260 people, must be in self-isolation.

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Israel closes borders to foreigners for omicron variant

Foreigners are not welcome in Israel for the next two weeks.

Fearing the omicron variant, the country is the first in the world to close its borders.

Israel will use technology from the internal security service Shin Bet to detect possible corona infections via telephone data.

Israel's borders will close on the night from Saturday to Sunday.

The country has so far had one infection with the omicron variant and seven suspected cases are under investigation.

The country hopes that more will be known about the mutations within two weeks.

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Tens of thousands of Austrians protest against the lockdown Tens of

thousands of people took to the streets in Austria on Saturday to protest against the corona measures and the proposed vaccination obligation.

According to police, some 30,000 protesters marched through Graz, Austria's second largest city.

"Peace, freedom, no dictatorship" was one of the slogans they chanted.

Protests have also taken place in Sankt Pölten, Klagenfurt and Innsbruck.

Due to the rising infection figures, Austria went into a strict lockdown again last Monday.

The nearly nine million Austrians are only allowed to leave their homes for a valid reason.

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Bizarre match in Portuguese league: Belenenses starts with nine players

Belenenses started the league match against Benfica on Saturday with nine players, including two goalkeepers.

Due to a corona outbreak, the Portuguese club can no longer field players in its own Estádio Nacional.

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Police halt illegal vaccination campaign at German airport

Police in Germany ended a vaccination campaign at an airport near the northern city of Lübeck on Saturday.

A large group of people had come to the campaign.

The vaccine that was used is not registered with the German health authorities and its administration is punishable by law.

About fifty people may have received an injection on Saturday.

In and in front of the concourse of the airport, more than two hundred people were waiting.

The airport is owned by German scientist and entrepreneur Winfried Stöcker, who has developed his own vaccine against COVID-19.

In April last year, his company announced that Stöcker was working on a vaccine and that he was trying it out on himself, among other things.

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New virus variant omicron is appearing in more and more European countries

The new omicron variant of the coronavirus is emerging in more and more countries in Europe.

After previous reports of infections with the new virus variant in Belgium and England, cases have now also been detected in Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic.

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WHO did not want to call new virus variant 'xi'

The health organization WHO did not want to call the new variant of the coronavirus from southern Africa "ksi variant". The letter ksi (in English


) from the Greek alphabet was skipped because Xi is a common name in China, a WHO spokesman told 

The New York Times

. Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst also reports that for the WHO this name was "diplomatically delicate", because the Chinese president is called Xi Jinping.

The letter nu (which comes before ksi in the Greek alphabet) was also skipped by the WHO. The letter would be too similar to the English word



The WHO uses the Greek alphabet for naming new virus variants, so that the names are easier to distinguish in daily use.

According to the WHO spokesperson, it is best not to offend "cultural, social, national, regional, professional or ethnic groups" when naming diseases.

In order not to offend anyone and not to create confusion, the WHO therefore chose omicron, the fifteenth letter of the Greek alphabet, for variant B.1.1.529.

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Almost certainly several infections in the Netherlands with a new virus variant from southern Africa

Several infections with the omicron variant of the coronavirus have almost certainly been identified in the Netherlands, RIVM reports on Saturday evening.

This new variant, which was first found in the southern part of Africa, is more contagious than the existing coronavirus variants.

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Hugo de Jonge calls on travelers from southern Africa to be tested

Outgoing minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) calls on people who have traveled from countries in southern Africa to the Netherlands since last Monday to be tested for contamination with the new omicron variant of the coronavirus . This variant is more contagious than existing variants and was first discovered in the southern part of Africa.

From Sunday they can make an appointment via the special number 0800-5005. They are not obliged to quarantine, but are urgently advised to do so, according to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health.

RIVM also calls on travelers from Africa to be tested.

On Saturday evening, the institute announced that "almost certainly" people in the Netherlands are already infected with the new virus variant.

Calling on people who returned from southern Africa on Monday 22 November 2021 or after: ️ Get tested: make an appointment from tomorrow 08.00 via the special phone number 0800-5005 ️ Stay home and go into quarantine ➡️ https://t. co/oCfmrJCElE #Omicron


Author Hugo de JongeMoment of places18: 53 - November 27, 2021

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Test and quarantine obligation in Switzerland for Dutch

citizens Dutch people who want to travel to Switzerland must from today show a negative test certificate and be quarantined for ten days upon arrival in the country, regardless of the result of the test.

The measure also applies to vaccinated and recovered persons.

The test and quarantine obligation mainly affects people who want to go on winter sports in Switzerland.

The measure came into effect on Saturday at 8 p.m.

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More known on Sunday about possible omicron infections in the Netherlands. It

will be

announced on

Sunday whether infections with the omicron variant of the coronavirus have been detected among the 61 positively tested passengers of two flights that landed at Schiphol yesterday.

RIVM reports this to the 



"Of course everyone wants to know quickly whether omicron variants are also found in the 61 positive corona tests. We also do," said a spokesperson for the RIVM.

"We are working really hard on it in the lab, but we won't know more until tomorrow afternoon."

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UK tightens entry rules and corona measures

The United Kingdom will introduce stricter entry rules for all travelers from abroad, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Saturday evening during an added press conference. People arriving in the UK are required to have a PCR test on the second day after arrival and remain in isolation until they have a negative result.

People will also have to wear face masks again in shops and public transport. The measures will be reviewed in three weeks.

The tightening of the measures will take place on the day that the first two infections with the omicron variant are identified in the UK.

Johnson said that much is still unclear about this new variant from southern Africa.

"But scientists know more and more," said the prime minister.

In any case, he says it is clear that the variant can be spread by people who have been fully vaccinated.

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More than a hundred people who did not meet test requirements KLM flight remained behind in Johannesburg

On a KLM flight from Johannesburg to Schiphol, more than a hundred passengers were left behind in South Africa on Friday evening because they did not meet the test requirements for the flight, according to the airline. About 160 people were allowed to board the plane.

The travelers who were allowed on the flight to Schiphol met the requirements set by the Dutch government. The GGD checked them on arrival, KLM reports. The airline checked the negative test statements of the passengers, because South Africa has been designated as a country with a very high risk of corona infection.

Despite the flight ban for countries in southern Africa, Dutch and EU citizens are allowed on flights to Schiphol.

They must be able to show a negative rapid test of a maximum of 24 hours old, in addition to a negative PCR test with a maximum validity of also 24 hours upon entering the airport or a maximum of 48 hours after arrival in the Netherlands.

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Germany moves thirty corona patients on IC due to crowds in hospitals

In the southern German state of Bavaria, a total of thirty seriously ill corona patients on ICs in hospitals will be moved to other parts of the country this weekend. In many southern and eastern hospitals, the pressure from large numbers of corona patients is very high.

Several patients have already been brought to the north and west of Germany on Saturday. They have been admitted to hospitals in the cities of Hamburg, Cologne, Düsseldorf and Dortmund. Patients are also being driven by bus to the southwestern states of Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate, a spokesman for the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior said.

On Friday, a military device already brought six corona patients who were in intensive care in Bavaria to other parts of the country.

The aircraft will also fly six corona patients to the north of Germany on Sunday.

Germany is currently also receiving Dutch corona patients, now that the pressure in Dutch hospitals has increased.

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A no-fly zone will also apply to Malawi from Sunday.

The no-fly zone that has been in effect for seven countries from the southern part of Africa since Saturday will be extended during the night from Saturday to Sunday.

In addition to South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, the ban will also apply to Malawi from midnight.

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management announced this on Saturday.

There is an exception to the no-fly zone for Dutch and EU citizens who are stuck in the area.

Medical personnel needed to fight the coronavirus are also allowed on repatriation flights to the Netherlands.

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Premiere ONE de Musical continues despite corona measures

The premiere ONE de Musical in Studios Aalsmeer will continue on Sunday despite the corona measures.

The performance was to start at 3 p.m. and finish around 5:30 p.m.

According to a spokesperson for the show, the performance will now start at 13:30 due to the measures.

The website of the musical states that a limited number of invitees are welcome.

They will receive a personal email.

In addition, the public is 1.5 meters away from each other.

Afternoon performances are played every Saturday and Sunday, and the organization wants to do this on Wednesday as well.

The evening performances from November 29 to December 18 are cancelled.

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Aantal nieuwe coronapatiënten in ziekenhuizen onverminderd groot
Een dag voordat de nieuwe maatregelen van het demissionaire kabinet in werking treden, is de instroom van coronapatiënten in de Nederlandse ziekenhuizen onverminderd groot. Het afgelopen etmaal kwamen er 354 besmette personen op de verpleegafdelingen binnen.

In totaal liggen er zaterdag 2.624 mensen met het coronavirus in de ziekenhuizen, waarvan 2.069 op de verpleegafdelingen. Op de ic's werden tussen vrijdag en zaterdag 51 nieuwe mensen opgenomen. Op die afdelingen liggen momenteel in totaal 555 mensen met COVID-19, de ziekte die door het coronavirus wordt veroorzaakt.

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Twee besmettingen met omicronvariant in Engeland geconstateerd
In Engeland zijn twee besmettingen met de omicronvariant van het coronavirus vastgesteld. De twee Britse gevallen zijn aan elkaar gelinkt en er is een verband met een reis naar zuidelijk Afrika, meldt de Britse minister van Volksgezondheid Sajid Javid.

De twee besmette personen zijn in zelfisolatie gegaan met hun huishoudens in Nottingham en Chelmsford. Ondertussen wordt onderzocht met wie ze contact hebben gehad.

De omicronvariant werd ontdekt in Zuid-Afrika en is ook in onder meer België en Israël aangetroffen.

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Verkoop zelftests stijgt bij supermarkten
De verkoop van zelftests voor het coronavirus stijgt flink bij supermarkten, laat het Centraal Bureau Levensmiddelenhandel (CBL) weten. Op de persconferentie van vrijdag riep demissionair premier Mark Rutte mensen op zichzelf te testen voordat ze bij iemand op bezoek gaan.

De bevoorrading gaat goed, laten de leden aan het CBL weten. "Supermarkten doen er alles aan om de voorraden op peil te houden", aldus een woordvoerder. Het CBL denkt dat meer mensen de komende tijd zelftests zullen kopen. "Daar zijn we op voorbereid."

Het CBL benadrukt dat als mensen klachten krijgen, ze niet met klachten naar de supermarkten moeten komen, maar anderen een zelftest voor hen moeten laten halen.

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Wedding industry: Bridal couples in a panic due to new measures

Due to the new corona measures, panic is starting to increase among engaged people, Stichting Trouwbranche Nederland notices. Weddings planned next year in particular are being cancelled.

"Most cancellations are from weddings in the first and second quarter of next year. Those bridal couples are now the most panicked," says chairman Frederiek Klop. "The couples who have their wedding planned in the shorter term have been working on a different interpretation for a few weeks to continue their day."

"Instead of a dinner and evening party, they bring it forward by organizing an extensive lunch, or they start with a party at 3 p.m. That goes very well if that is allowed until 8 p.m., but now the end time is 5 p.m. becomes a lot less attractive."

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Nieuwe variant vermoedelijk ook in Tsjechië en Duitsland
De nieuwe variant van het coronavirus, de omicronvariant, heeft "zeer waarschijnlijk" ook Duitsland bereikt. Dat meldt een regionale minister in de deelstaat Hessen, waar zich de drukke luchthaven van Frankfurt bevindt. 

Of de reiziger echt is besmet met de nieuwe variant, moet blijken uit verder onderzoek. De WHO heeft de omicronvariant als 'zorgelijk' bestempeld.

In Tsjechië is ook een verdacht geval gesignaleerd. Het gaat om iemand die in Namibië is geweest, meldt het nationale instituut voor volksgezondheid. De variant dook vrijdag voor het eerst op in Europa, in België. In Nederland is de omicronvariant nog niet opgedoken. 

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More countries ban flights to and from southern Africa

More and more countries are banning flights to and from southern Africa because of the contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The United States only admits American citizens from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.

President Joe Biden called the decision "a precautionary measure."

Canada imposes similar travel restrictions.

Also Japan, Australia, Thailand, Oman and Sri Lanka, among others, are banning flights from the African countries where the omicron variant has been identified.

Earlier, the EU Member States, including the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom imposed a no-fly zone.

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New York roept noodtoestand uit
De Amerikaanse staat New York roept per 3 december de noodtoestand uit vanwege zorgen over de coronapandemie. Gouverneur Kathy Hochul meldde eerder dat nauwlettend in de gaten wordt gehouden of de nieuwe omicronvariant opduikt in haar staat. Het is niet bekend of er al een geval van de nieuwe variant is waargenomen.

De autoriteiten zeggen dat de druk op ziekenhuizen in de afgelopen maand fors is toegenomen. In de circa twintig miljoen inwoners tellende staat worden dagelijks weer zo'n driehonderd coronapatiënten opgenomen in het ziekenhuis. New York was eerder al een van de zwaarst door corona getroffen Amerikaanse staten.

Het uitroepen van de noodtoestand geeft de autoriteiten meer mogelijkheden om in te grijpen als de situatie verslechtert, zoals het beperken van niet-spoedeisende medische procedures in ziekenhuizen. Ook kunnen mogelijke personeelstekorten in de zorg effectiever worden aangepakt.

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Sint-Maarten meldt fors minder positieve tests
Voor het eerst in ruim vier maanden tijd is op Sint-Maarten sprake van 'maar' twintig geregistreerde coronabesmettingen. In de afgelopen maanden lagen de aantallen beduidend hoger, met als dieptepunt 345 besmettingen op 14 augustus.

Op 12 juli kende het eiland negentien besmettingen. Op dat moment waren er in totaal 34 coronagerelateerde sterfgevallen, inmiddels is dat aantal opgelopen tot 75. Vrijdag lagen er geen coronapatiënten meer in het ziekenhuis. Elf mensen zitten momenteel in quarantaine op het eiland, twintig personen moeten in thuisisolatie verblijven.

De overheid benadrukt dat de bevolking nog steeds in publieke ruimtes een mondkapje moet dragen en sociale contacten zo veel mogelijk dient te vermijden. Verder wordt iedereen aangeraden vaak de handen te wassen.

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COVID-19-pil MSD minder effectief dan gedacht
De anti-COVID-19-pil van farmabedrijf MSD blijkt in een laatste evaluatie minder effectief dan gedacht. Uit de recentste klinische studies blijkt dat de pil 30 procent bescherming biedt tegen sterfte of opname in het ziekenhuis, meldt het bedrijf vrijdag. Eerder leek dat in 50 procent van de gevallen zo te zijn.

MSD vroeg eerder deze week goedkeuring aan het Europese geneesmiddelenbureau (EMA) om de pil in Europa op de markt te mogen brengen. Het EMA moet de aanvraag nog beoordelen, maar gaf Europese overheden alvast toestemming het middel voor te schrijven.

De MSD-pil heet molnupiravir en wordt op de markt gebracht onder de naam Lagevrio. Het middel is bedoeld voor mensen die net positief zijn getest op het virus en risico lopen daar heel ziek van te worden. Binnen vijf dagen na de eerste symptomen moeten mensen beginnen met het slikken van de pil. Die nemen ze vervolgens twee keer per dag, vijf dagen lang.

Ook Pfizer heeft het EMA om een beoordeling van zijn anti-COVID-19-pil Paxlovid gevraagd.

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Eerste vaccins voor kinderen worden voor het einde van het jaar geleverd
Hoewel er nog geen officieel besluit is genomen over het vaccineren van (groepen van) kinderen in de leeftijd van vijf tot en met elf jaar, wordt eind volgende maand al wel de eerste voor kinderen bestemde levering van het coronavaccin van Pfizer/BioNTech verwacht. Het gaat om 42.000 doses met een aangepaste kinderdosering, schrijft demissionair minister Hugo de Jonge (Volksgezondheid) vrijdagavond aan de Tweede Kamer. Lees hier verder.

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Avond na coronapersconferentie ondanks oproepen tot rellen rustig verlopen
De avond na de coronapersconferentie lijkt in het hele land zonder ongeregeldheden te zijn verlopen. De politie hield aanvankelijk rekening met onaangekondigde demonstraties, ongeregeldheden en rellen na de persconferentie van vrijdag waarop de coronamaatregelen opnieuw werden aangescherpt.

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OMT adviseert kabinet opnieuw om langere kerstvakantie te overwegen
Het OMT heeft het demissionaire kabinet opnieuw gevraagd om te overwegen de kerstvakantie van scholen te verlengen om zo het aantal coronabesmettingen terug te dringen. Dat staat in het laatste OMT-advies aan het kabinet. Lees hier verder.

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More closures due to failure to check corona admission ticket

Over the past week, 35 companies were

reprimanded for not checking

the corona admission ticket (CTB). Fifteen cases were threatened with a penalty. In addition, seven companies had to close their doors, according to the latest enforcement figures on Friday, outgoing minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) reported to the House of Representatives on Friday.

A corona ticket is required for everyone aged thirteen or older in the catering industry, at events and other activities. Visitors can use the corona pass to demonstrate that they have been vaccinated, have undergone a negative test or have had a corona infection. In addition to the pass, proof of identity must also be presented. Last week, outgoing Ferd Grapperhaus (Justice and Public Health) reported to the House that there is no sector where more than roughly a third of the visitors are really checked according to that rule.

The outgoing cabinet is considering expanding the use of the corona ticket to non-essential shops and services.

In the event that this expansion continues, the "cabinet is working with the sector to work out a plan to organize the checks of the entrepreneurs in such a way that it is adequate, feasible and manageable", according to De Jonge.

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