Some 4,000 people opposed to measures to combat the coronavirus have manifested Saturday in Chur. Everything took place in peace. As in previous similar marches in other towns in Switzerland, it was the “Stiller Protest” association that called for a demonstration. The police had set strict conditions, including the wearing of a compulsory mask and police support. Many participants wore white overalls. “We don’t need a police state” or “Stopp Diktatur” read the banners brandished by the protesters.
■ EU negotiates vaccine components
The European Union will start talks with the United States on Monday to improve guarantee its supply of American components of anti-Covid vaccines, subject by Washington to severe export restrictions, a European source said on Saturday. European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton, in charge of the industrial aspects of vaccine manufacturing, will meet on Monday afternoon with Jeffrey Zients, coordinator of the team in charge of the fight against Covid-19 at the White House, this source close to the discussions told AFP. The idea is to “work in a coordinated manner so that there is no bottleneck” for European vaccine manufacturers, she explained.
■ Test rush in Germany
The Germans rushed to the supermarkets of the Aldi chain on Saturday to buy the first antigenic tests against the coronavirus sold in stores, stocks of which ran out within hours. Rival chain Lidl, for its part, saw its website saturated after putting home test kits on sale online. The German government is counting on the massive practice of antigenic tests to carry out its strategy of gradually unlocking the anti-Covid device, in the face of growing public discontent, while the pace of vaccinations remains slow.
■ Mass vaccination in France
The vaccination saw a boost on Saturday in France, while Pas-de-Calais is living its first weekend again confined to stem the Covid-19 epidemic, “still worrying”, according to Public Health France. Those over 75 were the first to be affected by vaccinations, who are more likely to develop severe forms of the disease. Across the Ile-de-France region, more than 100 vaccination centers were opened this weekend to sell more than 50,000 doses.
In Pas-de-Calais, more than two million people have been placed on the regime of the derogatory certificate for all travel, and travel restrictions to 5 kilometers and an hour around their home.
■ 60 million euros for French farmers
Jean Castex announced on Saturday the release of 60 million euros in emergency aid for breeders the most in difficulty, who earned less than 11,000 euros in 2020, while encouraging the sector to continue to restructure. This “exceptional financial support system will cover up to 80% of operating losses,” said the French Prime Minister. These 60 million will “be added to the envelope provided for in the stimulus plan of 50 million for the restructuring of the sector, actions that I want to link”, he added.
■ More than 2.5 million deaths
The novel coronavirus pandemic has kills at least 2,581,034 in the world since the WHO office in China reported the onset of the disease at the end of December 2019, according to a report established by AFP from official sources on Saturday at 11 a.m.
More than 116,031,470 cases of infection have been officially diagnosed since the start of the epidemic. The vast majority of patients recover, but a still poorly evaluated part retains symptoms for weeks or even months.
■ Gay Pride in Sydney despite the Covid-19
The Sydney Mardi Gras, one of the most important Gay Prides in the world, took place as planned on Saturday despite a change of location linked to anti-Covid health measures taken by the authorities. This Freedom Walk, which celebrates the LGBTQ (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans, queers) community and traditionally takes place in the city center, was held this year at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), Sydney’s grand stadium. Some 36,000 spectators were gathered in the enclosure to attend the parade of some 5,000 revelers forming a colorful procession and strong in music.
■ Evolution of cases in Switzerland