Host Nation Update, Mon, Feb. 15, 2022
Every county in Baden-Württemberg reports incidence above 1000
While the seven-day incidence in most counties in Baden-Württemberg has recently stagnated, the state capital recorded a significant increase in recent days: while the value was below 700 a week ago, it recently rose to 1406. The lowest value was reported in Ludwigsburg (1165). None of the 44 urban and rural districts was below the 1000 mark.
Nationwide, the seven-day incidence continues to fall. For all values relating to the number of new infections, the significance of the data is currently limited. The decline in incidence may not reflect the actual incidence of infection, but may be the result of an overburdened reporting and testing system. The incidence is highest in Brandenburg (1814). (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, February 15)
Gradual relaxing of Corona ordinances
Stuttgart/Berlin In a first step, according to the resolution paper, the upper limit of ten people for private meetings of vaccinated and recovered should be relaxed. In addition, access to retail stores should no longer be restricted at all.
As of March 4, the “3G” rule will apply in restaurants and hotels. This means that even unvaccinated people with a current test would again be able to eat in restaurants or stay in hotels. Clubs and discos are to be allowed to reopen, but only for vaccinated and recovered persons who can also present a test. In addition, more audience will be admitted at large events.
In a third and final step, all more far-reaching protective measures are to be dropped as of March 20 – including mandatory home office regulations. Employers, however, are to be allowed to continue to offer home office work by agreement with employees.
The panel considers Corona relaxations possible in the coming weeks under certain conditions and assumes that the increase in Corona numbers will come to an end in the next few weeks. In doing so, the council urged a prudent approach. Opening too early would risk a renewed increase in the disease burden.
FDP faction leader Hans-Ulrich Rülke considers a wide-ranging opening at the calendrical beginning of spring to be reasonable. “On March 20 at any rate – at the beginning of spring – people in Baden-Württemberg must once again regain all of their civil rights,” Rülke said. The mask requirement could still apply afterwards in some places where there was a compelling justification for it. (February 14, 2022)
Corona vaccine from Novavax – benefits and side effects
U.S. vaccine manufacturer Novavax says it has successfully tested its vaccine against Covid-19 – Nuvaxovid (NVX-CoV2373) – in adolescents aged 12 to 17. The efficacy of the agent was 82 percent, according to the results of a Phase 3 study, the manufacturer announced Friday.
The two-dose vaccine was tested in more than 2,200 adolescents during clinical trials in the United States. The delta variant was predominant during the study period. In the pivotal study, there were no indications that severe side effects may occur as a result of vaccination with Nuvaxovid.
According to the manufacturer, the vaccine’s efficacy is 90.4 percent, based on the results of a study conducted late last year. The possible side effects could be: tenderness and pain at the injection site with redness and swelling, headache or fatigue, nausea or vomiting, muscle and joint pain, fever and chills.
The Novavax preparation is protein-based and differs from other vaccines previously approved in the European Union, which are either so-called mRNA or vector vaccines. Authorities and policymakers hope it could be of interest to people who are skeptical about vaccinations with the other vaccines.
Here’s how the vaccine works: with Nuvaxovid, the body is exposed to tiny particles of the corona pathogen. In the case of the Novavax agent, it is the so-called spike protein of Sars-CoV-2. The coronavirus uses this protein to dock with the body’s cells and mediate uptake into the cell. Like the mRNA vaccines, Nuvaxovid is given in two doses three weeks apart for basic immunization. Booster vaccination is also possible. The vaccine is approved for all persons 18 years of age and older. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 15)
Coronavirus in Baden-Württemberg – Sickness among staff worsens situation in clinics
Because more and more employees are absent due to Corona infections, many hospitals in the southwest can use fewer beds for patients. “Even in “normal” times, around 10 to 15 percent of the bed capacities in hospitals in the state can not be occupied due to the general shortage of skilled workers alone,” said the chief executive of the Baden-Württemberg Hospital Association (BWKG), Matthias Einwag, in Stuttgart. “This situation is now being exacerbated throughout the state by the high level of sick leave due to Omicron.”
The managing directors of hospitals in the state have increasingly reported sick leave among employees in recent days, Einwag said. Both intensive care and normal wards in all regions of the country are affected. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 15)
NON-COVID related news:
Flash mob at Elbenplatz in Böblingen – Women dance against violence
Böblingen – women and girls were dancing on the Elbenplatz in Böblingen yesterday drawing attention to the issue of violence against women.
This was part of a worldwide movement “One Billion Rising”, which was initiated in September 2012 by the New York artist and feminist Eve Ensler. The one “billion” refers to a UN statistic that one in three women worldwide will be victims of violence in their lifetime: Women are beaten, raped or otherwise abused.
With thousands of events in more than 150 countries around the world, the global campaign calls for an end to violence against women – also in Böblingen. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 15)