While some countries are starting to slacken off the anti-Covid-19 restriction measures. Others are about to tighten the screw. In Germany, schools reopened their doors on Monday, and the United Kingdom, the country in Europe most affected by the pandemic, presented a deconfinement plan. In France, while some departments are causing concern, like the Alpes-Maritimes where confinement for the next two weekends has been decreed, others are softening certain measures, such as in Haute-Savoie where the prefect has relaxed restrictions on shopping centers.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the epidemic continues to wreak havoc. The United States is on the way to crossing the barrier of 500,000 deaths from Covid-19. They remain the country with the most deaths, ahead of Brazil and Mexico. In total, the pandemic has killed more than 2.46 million people around the world since the end of December, out of more than 111 million confirmed infections. Update on the pandemic around the world.
- The Alpes-Maritimes re-defined at weekends
Containment measures will be implemented for the next two weekends in the municipalities of the Alpes-Maritimes coast to fight against the spread of Covid-19, the prefect Bernard Gonzalez announced on Monday. One-hour outings will be authorized within a radius of 5km from Friday 6 p.m. to Monday 6 a.m. in an area extending from Théoule-sur-Mer to Menton, the most populated urban areas.
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And for 15 days from Tuesday, businesses of more than 5000m2, except pharmacies and food stores, will also be closed in the department, and border controls reinforced, especially at airports.
- Sanofi to help Johnson & Johnson manufacture vaccine in France
Sanofi launched this Monday a new so-called “phase 2” clinical trial for its main candidate vaccine against Covid-19 developed with the British GSK, after the disappointment of the first version in the fall, hoping to make it available to fourth quarter, the French laboratory announced on Monday.
“This new phase II study will assess the potential of a refined formulation of antigens to achieve an optimal immune response, particularly in older adults,” the group said in a statement.
The previous phase I / II study, for this vaccine, initially scheduled for summer 2021, concluded in December that it was insufficiently effective in people over 50 years old. This vaccine is recombinant protein with adjuvant, a more traditional technology than the messenger RNA vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna.
- Haute-Savoie: the prefect eases restrictions on shopping centers
Stores attached to a shopping center that is administratively closed but accessible from the outside may reopen in Haute-Savoie, the prefect announced on Monday in a press release.
For two weeks, the manager of a sports store located in a shopping center of over 20,000 m2, closed by decree, had been on a hunger strike to demand the opening of his business.
“It’s a bit of a personal victory, after 17 days of strike”, reacted Monday the manager Pierre Bavoux, who called for the opening of his store in a shopping arcade of Publier, near Thonon-les-Bains, on the shores of Lake Geneva.
- The Moselle, a high-risk area?
The Moselle (North-East of France), already classified as a “risk zone” by Germany, could go up a notch, being considered as “high incidence zone”, even “zone affected by the variants of the virus “, during a meeting scheduled for Monday around Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to the regional press group Funke.
So far, this department, like all the French metropolitan territory, is classified a notch below in the German scale of risks, in simple “zone at risk”.
- Schools reopen in Germany
Schools and daycares reopened Monday, after two months of closure, in much of Germany despite fears of a third epidemic wave caused by the spread of the British variant.
The children returned to daycare or school on Monday morning in 10 of the 16 German region states. They had already taken over in two other Länder, Lower Saxony and Saxony.
“It is good that many schools in Germany are gradually resuming face-to-face teaching,” Education Minister Anja Karliczek told DPA. “Children, especially the youngest, need each other”.
- A “cautious” deconfinement plan in the United Kingdom
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson presents a plan for a very gradual exit from confinement in England on Monday, in the hope that it will be the last, with the reopening of schools starting on March 8.
Country in Europe hardest hit by the coronavirus with more than 120,000 dead, the United Kingdom confined itself for the third time in early January in the face of an explosion of the epidemic due to a more contagious variant that appeared in Kent , which has brought hospitals to the brink of submersion.
The effects of containment and the mass vaccination campaign being felt, with a drop in the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths, Boris Johnson can outline deconfinement measures. He will present them to Parliament in the afternoon before a press conference in the evening.
- The United States approaches 500,000 dead
The United States is approaching the threshold of 500,000 deaths from Covid-19, at a time when many indicators, foremost among which the rhythm of vaccinations, offer real glimmers of hope.
“It’s terrible, it’s horrible,” reacted Sunday immunologist Anthony Fauci, adviser to Joe Biden. “We haven’t seen anything like it for over a hundred years, since the 1918 pandemic.”
According to figures from the benchmark Johns Hopkins University, the tally stood at 498,879 deaths on Monday.