[En continu] In Lucerne, the covid puts the carnival to sleep

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The debate these days is about the first appearances of the virus: December in China and not before according to Chinese officials, November, even September, according to French and Italian researchers.

In Switzerland as elsewhere, contaminations by variants increase: 4,785 infections with variants of the coronavirus have been discovered, the FOPH said on Wednesday, about 68% more than a week ago.

Find our follow-up of the day on Wednesday, and all our follow-ups since October

■ In Lucerne, the covid brings down the carnival

The ban on demonstrating to fight against Covid-19 was widely respected this Thursday in Lucerne, the day the carnival was launched. Only a hundred people had gathered at 5 a.m., when the start of the festivities usually attracts thousands.

A journalist from the ATS agency on site has between 20 and 30 disguised. Last year, 13,000 people attended the arrival of the Fritschi family and the orange throwing that follows. It was shortly before the outbreak of the pandemic.

■ Better two masks?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) on Wednesday released a study that found wearing two masks on top of each other or a tight-fitting surgical mask provides enhanced protection against the airborne spread of the coronavirus.

In January, the CDC did lab simulations of reducing leakage with a fabric mask overlaid on a surgical mask, and then with a surgical mask with elastic bands tied near the edges that are folded inward. While the non-tied surgical mask and the cloth mask block only 42% and 44.3% respectively of the aerosols dispersed by a cough, the combination of the two rises to 92.5% protection.