The Federal Task Force calls for a certificate strategy. Protest in Aargau. Soon 2.5 million deaths linked to covid, more than 200 million doses of vaccines administered. The rich countries far ahead in the countryside.
■ 1,500 people protest in Aargau
About 1,500 protesters demonstrated against authorities’ anti-covid measures on Saturday in Wohlen (AG), according to Keystone-ATS. The gathering was authorized by the regional police under certain conditions, in particular the wearing of a mask.
Only one in two people respected this obligation, noted the correspondent of the press agency.
Organized by the Silent Protest association, the demonstration opposes the measures taken by the authorities against the spread of the coronavirus. Two weeks ago, the association called for a demonstration in the city of Zug. According to the police, 800 people participated.
■ The Task force requests a policy on certificates
Possible future guarantees of greater freedom, test or vaccine certificates must be the subject of a clearly defined strategy by the Federal Council. This is the opinion of the Scientific Task Force of the Confederation who let it know on Twitter on Saturday.
Switzerland is currently pursuing a pragmatic approach to personal documentation of vaccination.
We recommend a national strategy on digital certification of vaccinations and PCR and serological test results.
– Swiss National Scientific Working Group on COVID-19 (@SwissScience_TF) February 20, 2021
For the working group, the health, economic, legal, ethical and societal implications must be established before a possible introduction. He underlines that these certificates should be reliable and their use regulated.
The Task Force expects that they will soon play an important role and can be used to put economic and social life back on track while controlling the risks of coronavirus transmission.
The travel, events and sports sectors have already called for the introduction of such certificates. But, according to the task force, there is no policy that defines their legitimate use for non-medical purposes. The legal bases are also lacking in Switzerland.
■ Three clubs celebrate despite the ban
In the canton of Aargau, three clubs violated the restrictive measures linked to the pandemic on Friday evening. The police amended around 50 people and denounced four officials.
The revelers were mostly men aged 26 to 61, according to law enforcement. An illegal slot machine was also seized in Aarburg. The prosecutor opened a criminal investigation.
Police monitored several clubs throughout the township overnight from Friday to Saturday. It carried out checks in several municipalities but found no other violation of this type.
■ Soon 2.5 million deaths linked to Covid
The novel coronavirus pandemic has killed nearly 2.5 million people worldwide since its appearance in China at the end of December 2019. According to AFP, more than 110 million cases of infection have been officially diagnosed since the start of the disease. epidemic, of which at least 68 million are now considered cured.
The United States remains the most affected country in terms of both deaths and cases, with nearly half a million deaths for 28 million recorded cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University count.
After the United States, the countries most affected are Brazil with 244,765 dead, Mexico with 178,965 dead, India with 156,212 dead and the United Kingdom with 119,920 dead.
Among the hardest hit countries, Belgium is the one that deplores the highest number of deaths in relation to its population (189 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants).
■ More than 200 million doses of antiCovid vaccines
According to an AFP count, more than 200 million doses of antiCovid vaccines have been administered to date in at least 107 countries or territories. Nearly half (45%) were in the rich G7 countries. However, these only house 10% of the world’s population.
To date, more than nine out of ten doses have been administered in high- and middle-income countries, as defined by the World Bank. Among the 29 low-income countries, only Guinea and Rwanda have started to vaccinate.
Israel is by far the most advanced country, with almost half of its population having received at least one injection. One in three Israelis even received the second dose, completing the vaccination process. Switzerland passed the milestone of 100,000 people this week having received their second dose.
Other countries which have passed the 10% mark of the population having received at least one dose include the United Kingdom (25%), Bahrain (16%) and the United States (13%).
Based on official figures, AFP’s record is however underestimated. Two large countries, China and Russia, have not communicated new data for ten days.
■ Moscow intends to provide a third vaccine
Russia announces that it has registered its third vaccine against Covid-19. This is the step prior to the final phase of clinical trials. If this last milestone is crossed, some 120,000 doses will be put into circulation as of March, according to the Kremlin.
Called Kovivak, this third vaccine was designed by the Choumakov Research Center in Moscow. Unlike the first two, the latter uses an inactivated virus, a more conventional technology. According to the Prime Minister, it is only recommended for people between the ages of 18 and 60.
Russia has already registered the vaccine Sputnik V, in August, and EpiVacCorona, licensed in October. The first vaccine, the early announcement of which has raised doubts within the scientific community, recently received recognition for its effectiveness in a study published by the medical journal The Lancet, validated by independent experts. It is now authorized in more than twenty countries.
■ The G7 is committed to strengthening aid for immunization in poor countries
G7 leaders announced Friday evening to double their collective support for anti-Covid vaccination. Their commitment now amounts to 7.5 billion dollars. It is intended in particular for the UN Covax program, led by the World Health Organization (WHO). In addition to the United States, the European Union has doubled its contribution to one billion euros while Germany has released new funds.
This program aims to provide vaccines this year to 20% of the population of nearly 200 participating countries and territories. But above all, it includes a financing mechanism that allows 92 low- and middle-income economies to have access to precious doses.
French President Emmanuel Macron also proposes that Europe and the United States deliver “as quickly as possible” 13 million doses of vaccines to Africa. The operation would aim to help the continent to vaccinate its 6.5 million caregivers.
■ New Zealand launches its vaccination campaign
New Zealand launched its Covid-19 vaccination program this Saturday. She warns, however, that this is only a small step in the long fight against the pandemic.
The vaccination campaign starts with the population at risk and those exposed to the virus. The program will gradually be extended to the rest of the population.
Pfizer / BioNtech’s vaccine was the first approved by New Zealand health authorities. The vaccination program begins just days after authorities lifted a three-day lockdown in Auckland.
The country has been widely praised for its handling of the epidemic and has seen only 26 deaths out of a population of five million. Despite the vaccination campaign, the New Zealand government says it was unlikely that foreign tourists would be allowed to return this year.
■ Israel could vaccinate Palestinian workers
The Palestinian Authority announced on Friday an agreement with Israel to vaccinate some 100,000 Palestinians working in Israeli territory against Covid-19. A vast vaccination campaign is being carried out there. Objective: to seek to limit the spread of new variants of the coronavirus.
Asked by AFP, the Israeli authorities did not immediately confirm this agreement. The Israeli Ministry of Health only confirmed in a statement that a meeting was held in Ramallah. He says he is aware of the fact that Israel and the Palestinians share a common geographic reality. and that the spread of the virus in Palestinian territory “may have an impact on the morbidity of Israelis”.