The most important stories related to Covid-19 that you may have missed on this Friday.
Starting with Luxembourg
- The latest figures from the Ministry of Health show that 197 new cases of coronavirus were discovered yesterday from 9,172 tests, a positivity rate of 2.15%. There were no further reported deaths.
- Covid measures will be extended until 15 May, after which some restrictions may be loosened or lifted, according to PM Xavier Bettel and interim Minister of Health Romain Schneider. Starting next week, people aged between 30 and 54 will be able to register for the AstraZeneca vaccine on a waiting list. Bettel said he himself intended to volunteer for the jab. Read the full summary of the presser.
- After a prolonged absence due to health problems, Minister of Health Paulette Lenert will return to her post on Monday 19 April.
- PCR, antigen, self-tests: Which tests are required when travelling to or from Luxembourg? Our colleagues from 5minutes provide a little overview.
- According to figures provided by the National Employment Agency (Adem), 463 young people were looking for an apprenticeship as of 2 November 2020. 243 young people found apprenticeships thanks to an extended deadline.
- Following the announcement that 120,000 rapid tests will be used in parallel to PCR tests in Luxembourg schools, the president of the OGBL's Education and Science Union (SEW) has expressed uncertainty about how effective this measure will ultimately be.
- A number of final year classes from 12 secondary schools have written a letter to Minister of Education Claude Meisch, asking for their school year to end two days early to reduce the risk of infection ahead of exams.
- While the hospitality industry was hit hard by lockdown in 2020, many businesses continue to struggle in 2021 due to the strict travel restrictions still in place in many countries, explains the Luxembourg City Tourist Office (LCTO).
- Schrassig Penitentiary is currently in a "partial lockdown" following a sudden spike in Covid-19 infections. So far, 15 prisoners from two blocks have been tested positive.
And around the world
- The number of people killed by Covid-19 in France climbed past 100,000 on Thursday, with the virus claiming a further 300 lives in the past 24 hours, the country's health authority said.
- The European Union is very unlikely to renew its Covid-19 vaccine contracts with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, a French minister said on Friday.
- The head of Pfizer said in an interview aired Thursday that people will "likely" need a third dose of his company's Covid-19 shot within six to 12 months of vaccination, while elsewhere defending the relatively higher cost of the jab.
- Germany on Friday removed Britain and Northern Ireland from the list of risk zones for coronavirus infections, meaning that travellers will no longer need to quarantine upon arrival. Meanwhile, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel received the AstraZeneca jab to rally support for the vaccine.
- Worrying figures from Belgium: 95% of intensive care beds are currently occupied in Belgian hospitals. On average, there would be less than one bed available per hospital.
- Two Indonesian hackers have been arrested over an international scam in which $60 million was stolen from a Covid-19 aid programme helping Americans left jobless by the pandemic, authorities said.
- With infections again on the rise and Europe's vaccine rollout delayed over clotting concerns, the Spanish government is under pressure to extend a state of emergency. It is due to expire on 9 May.
- A Hindu seer has died from coronavirus and 80 other holy men have tested positive after attending a vast Indian religious festival where millions of pilgrims have been ignoring Covid-19 advice despite a national surge in infections.
- Portugal will push ahead with a phased exit from its virus lockdown on Monday with the reopening of restaurants, shopping centres, theatres, high schools and universities, the government announced.
- Australia is considering allowing its hundreds of Olympic athletes and support staff to jump the queue and get the coronavirus vaccine before heading to the Tokyo Games, a report said Friday.