Belgium took drastic new containment measures on Monday due to a worrying rise in corona infections. A curfew was imposed in the province of Antwerp. Residents are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible and not to receive visitors. Bars and restaurants have to close at 11 p.m. There is a curfew at night from 11:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. If possible, employees should work in the home office. In addition, a mask requirement applies in public spaces for all people over the age of twelve and in places where a distance of 1.5 meters cannot be maintained. Contact sport is prohibited again.
47 percent of new infections registered in Belgium the previous week are due to the province of Antwerp. There, 108 infections per 100,000 inhabitants were last counted per week. In other parts of the country, more stringent corona regulations are now in effect. “We are very concerned,” said Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès. The measures affected everyone’s freedom. “This is hard news.” A general shutdown should be avoided. The Belgians are asked to limit their personal contacts to five people for the next four weeks. Private events such as weddings or birthdays may not exceed the maximum of ten participants.
UN: Corona kills children
According to UN estimates, the corona crisis and associated restrictions will lead to starvation of more than 10,000 children per month in the first year of the pandemic. Regions in the world affected by food shortages are affected anyway, the United Nations warned on Monday. In their bleak forecast, four UN agencies referred to farms with meager yields that were cut off from markets and villages that could not be reached by food and medicine deliveries.
The increasing malnutrition will have long-term consequences, it said. Individual tragedies are in danger of becoming a generational catastrophe.
In addition, more than 550,000 children are affected by wasting syndrome each month, the UN said. This is malnutrition, which manifests itself in spindly limbs and extremely bloated bellies. Wasting syndrome and stunting can cause permanent physical and psychological damage to a child.
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“The impact of the Covid crisis on food security will be seen in many years to come,” said Francesco Branca, chief nutritionist at the World Health Organization (WHO). “There will be a social impact.”
Trump’s security adviser infected
President Donald Trump’s security adviser, Robert O’Brien, has contracted the corona virus. O’Brien is the highest-ranking person in the US government to have been infected to date. He is in quarantine in a safe place, said the US President’s Office. From there he also works.
According to the White House, O’Brien has mild symptoms. The Bloomberg news agency first reported on O’Brien’s illness. He got infected at a family event.
The President’s Office gave the all-clear for US President Trump. “There is no risk that he (O’Brien, editor’s note) infected President or Vice President Mike Pence,” the White House said. The office of the National Security Advisor is located near the President’s office. However, US media reported that O’Brien had not worked from his office for several days.
Senior staff in the White House and people who are in close contact with Trump and Pence are regularly tested for the virus. In May, a military officer who works in the White House was infected with the virus. The Pence press officer had also contracted the pathogen. In total, there are more than four million positive cases in the United States.
Google employees are expected to work from home by July 2021
Google is preparing for another year of homework in the corona crisis. The move should allow employees more flexibility for the next twelve months, company boss Sundar Pichai wrote after one Wall Street Journal– Report to employees in an email. Pichai made the decision last week after an internal debate, the newspaper wrote, citing informed people.
The Internet company with around 119,000 full-time employees is one of the first large companies to commit to a very late return to the office. At the same time, some tech companies such as Twitter already gave their employees the freedom to continue working from home without restrictions even after the corona crisis ended.
Mass tests after the Corona outbreak at Lake Wolfgangssee
After a corona outbreak, the Austrian holiday resort of St. Wolfgang am Wolfgangsee (in the Upper Austrian Salzkammergut) reacts with mass tests. As a spokesman for the Upper Austrian state government wrote on Twitter, all 628 tests from Saturday have now been evaluated. The results of 419 further tests were still missing. According to the Minister of Health of the State of Upper Austria, Christine Haberlander, the people affected are 52 employees and one guest. In the past few days, 1,600 employees and guests have been tested at the specially set up Corona test station, she said on ORF radio on Monday.
Residents, guests and tourism workers were asked to stay in their accommodations on Saturday. The curfew was set at 11 p.m. Many of the infected are young employees in tourism companies, a holiday guest has so far been tested positive. The head of the Gmunden district authority, Alois Lanz, defended the behavior of the interns on Saturday, who had celebrated in several restaurants and could have contracted there. “We all liked to do that in our youth,” he told radio station Ö1. However, two bars were closed on Friday to prevent further infections. The tourism association launched an information campaign to raise awareness among young people about the dangers of Covid-19. According to the spokesman for the tourist office, neither company closings nor the closure of the town are currently being considered.
The outbreak evokes memories of the Austrian ski and party town of Ischgl in Tyrol, which was a center of corona spread throughout Europe in the initial phase of the pandemic. In total, more than 1,500 people are currently infected with the virus in Austria. The focus of new infections is on Vienna and Upper Austria.