Telephone sickness notification extended again – Austria News

Actually, the telephone sickness notification should expire on March 31st. However, given the high numbers, it has now been extended again.

In the course of the pandemic, the option of reporting sick or incapable of work by phone was introduced. That regulation has already been extended several times. Most recently, the contactless sick note was actually valid until the end of March. But now it has been extended again.

The Austrian Health Insurance Fund (ÖGK) is extending the notification of illness by telephone to May 31 this time.

The ÖGK announced this on Wednesday. The reason: the still high number of infections. In order to protect both patients and doctors as well as possible, the decision was made to extend the term.

Since March 2020

As early as March 2020, when the pandemic broke out, the ÖGK had taken measures to ensure supplies for the insured. In addition to reporting sickness by telephone, this also included contactless medication prescriptions and the option of telemedical treatments, according to the ÖGK.

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Von der Leyen has to correct himself

Ursula von der Leyen

The President of the Commission had falsely reported that the WHO and Apple were working together.

(Photo: dpa)

Brussels The President of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has to correct herself. Apple isn’t talking to the World Health Organization about a digital vaccination record. The head of the EU executive claimed on Thursday evening after the first day of the EU video summit: “Google and Apple are already offering the WHO solutions. And that is sensitive information, so we want to make it very clear here that we are offering a European solution. ”

The problem: the statement is incorrect. “Apple has never discussed a possible vaccination app with the WHO or the EU,” the Handelsblatt learned from the American technology company on Friday afternoon. The commission also backed away from its president’s claim on Friday. Apparently it was a mix-up, as an EU insider said.

Von der Leyen not only received a denial on Friday from Apple, but also from the World Health Organization. A spokesman for the UN organization contradicted the representation that Google and Apple were involved in a process for a vaccination certificate.

Von der Leyen had used the reference to Google and Apple to increase the pressure on the 27 heads of state and government of the EU to advance the technical preparations for an EU-wide digital vaccination certificate in the next three months.

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The European Council agreed in principle on a European vaccination certificate at a virtual meeting on Thursday. The vaccination certificate should then be finally available in the summer. The head of the commission warned on Thursday evening after the council’s deliberations of the offensive by the American Internet giants in the health sector.

The false claim about Apple comes at an inopportune time for the head of the commission, who has been in office since December 2019. Because the 62-year-old has been under pressure in recent weeks because of the glitches in the EU vaccination strategy. It was only at the beginning of February that von der Leyen tried to get out of the negative headlines with a charm offensive in front of the European Parliament. In the European Parliament, she exercised self-criticism.

There is also resentment within the Commission

In addition, in view of the massive criticism of her work in dealing with the corona pandemic, von der Leyen sought talks with all four major groups in the European Parliament. The dialogue with the MEPs had paid off for von der Leyen. “Your charm offensive has carried,” said Jens Geier, chairman of the SPD group in the European Parliament, about the CDU politician after the conversation.

There was also behind-the-scenes displeasure within the commission. After massive protests in Great Britain, Von der Leyen reversed controls on vaccine deliveries from the EU to Northern Ireland. Her chief spokesman blamed the Latvian Commission Vice-President and Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis for this. That was felt to be unfair in their own ranks.

Von der Leyen had declared Europe’s digital sovereignty to be the Commission’s strategic goal. In particular, the data of European citizens should not be transferred to the big Internet companies from the USA, warned von der Leyen in her keynote address to the European Parliament last autumn.

Digitization is one of the top priorities of the head of the commission, who has been in office since December 2019. A total of 150 billion euros from the 750 billion euros Corona reconstruction fund – known as the “Next Generation EU” – should therefore flow into the digital transformation of the EU.

In the digital fight against the pandemic, however, the EU Commission has not yet been able to celebrate any major successes. Even one year after the outbreak of the pandemic, there is no Europe-wide Corona app. There are national apps for contact tracing in many European countries.

However, the data collected from all 27 member countries cannot yet be fully evaluated across borders. A gateway commissioned by the Commission from SAP and T-Systems, which brings together the data from the corona tests from various European countries, has so far not changed much.

According to the Commission on Friday, the data from 14 EU countries are currently being merged. Four more states are to be added in the near future. “The Europe-wide Corona app failed because some member states operate their national app with a decentralized server and others like France with a central server,” said the health policy spokesman for the FDP in the European Parliament and medical professional, Andreas Glück, the Handelsblatt.

More: EU fears digital vaccination records from Google and Apple


Economy, trade & finance: Study: Biontech vaccination reduces asymptomatic corona infections

During the study period, 0.80 percent of the non-vaccinated people received a positive test result In the study, which has not yet been published in a specialist magazine, in which scientists from Cambridge University were involved, several thousand symptom-free employees in the British health system were tested for the virus between January 18 and 31. The investigation focused specifically on the protective effect of just one dose. The Biontech / Pfizer vaccine is actually intended to have two doses a few weeks apart.

During the study period, 0.80 percent of the non-vaccinated people received a positive test result (26 of 3252). Among vaccinated individuals whose first dose was at least 12 days earlier, the figure was 0.20 percent (4 in 1989).

“This is great news, the Pfizer vaccine not only provides protection against Sars-CoV-2 disease, it also helps prevent infection and reduces the potential for the virus to be passed on to others,” said Mike Weekes , A specialist from Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH), according to a statement.

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Scientists link coronavirus to Parkinson’s disease and dementia

In some cases, infection with COVID-19 leads to acute inflammation of the brain, and also provokes the formation of protein tangles associated with Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

This conclusion was reached by neurophysiologists from the Center for Biomedical Research of Primates in Rijswijk (Netherlands), who observed the development of infection in monkeys.

Previous studies have shown that SARS-CoV-2 affects not only the lungs, but also the nasal mucosa, esophagus, blood vessels and heart. This may explain why many people who are sick lose their sense of smell, experience digestive problems and malfunctioning of the circulatory system.

Also, COVID-19 can cause serious disturbances in the brain, including delirium, which is expressed in confusion and fever delirium, temporary impairment of memory and mental abilities.

In a new study, neuroscientists have suggested a possible cause for these problems. They observed the development of infection in four rhesus monkeys and four cynomolgus monkeys.

Observations have shown that the virus entered the cells of the brain in different parts of it. In all cases, the brain of the monkeys developed inflammation and the so-called Lewy bodies – accumulations of proteins that usually occur in carriers of Parkinson’s disease and some forms of senile dementia – developed. These structures appeared even in those macaques whose disease did not manifest itself externally, writes TASS.

Scientists cannot yet say for sure how the virus provokes the formation of these protein clumps and contributes to the development of inflammation. However, they note that the existence of such side effects must be considered when assessing the possible long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Bankers move from New York to Florida

New York Daniel Alpert is on his way to Florida for “home shopping”. The investment banker spent most of the pandemic in his Manhattan apartment. From time to time he went to the office, “but only because I was there alone and could think well,” says the co-founder of the boutique investment bank Westwood Capital.

But now it’s over. “We haven’t had a single customer in the office for a year. At the same time, we made more sales during the pandemic than in the previous year, ”he explains. It is therefore quite possible to move his headquarters slowly but surely to the south.

This is a turning point for Alpert. He worked on Wall Street for 30 years. He saw the boom and burst of the tech bubble in 2000, as well as the financial crisis. New York has always been the center of the action. But he is convinced that the future will be different.

Alpert is late with his step. For almost a year now, dealers, portfolio managers and investment bankers have no longer been working in the glittering offices in Manhattan, but scattered everywhere: at the kitchen table in their apartment in Brooklyn, in the beach house or in the mountain hut in the Hamptons, in large houses in the suburbs or in Florida.

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This state, especially the Miami area, is about to become a “Wall Street of the South”. The bankers are attracted not only by the good weather, but also by the comparatively low taxes and the relative proximity to New York, in case you have to be there again in person.

Many bankers don’t want to go back to the old world

The “financial metropolis of the world,” which New York liked to see itself as before the pandemic, is at a crossroads. Now that the vaccinations have started, the end of the “work from anywhere” phase is in sight. But it is becoming apparent that many bankers do not want to go back to the old world that they suddenly had to leave last March.

The future of Wall Street is being discussed passionately in New York. How important is daily collaboration in the office really? How well do virtual trading floors work? And what does it mean for the city if the bankers don’t come back and even more institutes leave?

“We don’t all have to sit on each other here and pat each other on the back,” says Alpert with conviction, reflecting the attitude that can be heard everywhere on Wall Street. New York’s financial center won’t go away after Corona, but it will get smaller, with various outposts and plenty of freedom to work from other locations outside of the office.

A threat from Stacey Cunningham, head of the New York Stock Exchange (Nyse), the Wall Street institution par excellence, shows how tense the situation is at the moment. New York state politicians are considering introducing a financial transaction tax. The pandemic has torn a billion hole in the state coffers, which must now be filled with all means. But Cunningham goes too far. Should the tax become law, then “the center of the global financial industry may have to find a new home,” she wrote in the Wall Street Journal in mid-February.

Stacey Cunningham

The head of the New York Stock Exchange does not like the idea of ​​a financial transaction tax.

The city is in a difficult position. The closed offices have led to a serious crisis in the real estate market. At 15 percent, vacancies are higher than they have been in over 20 years. Real estate taxes are the most important source of income for the metropolis.

The crime rate has risen, garbage is no longer picked up regularly. The most expensive shops are empty. “New York is a shadow of itself,” says one money manager who reluctantly returned to the city. Plans to tax the rich and super-rich additionally make it even more obvious for many New Yorkers to turn their backs on the city.

Great emptiness in Manhattan also hits retailers

Wall Street houses like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Citigroup currently have just 15 percent of their employees in their offices. Deutsche Bank sent 95 percent of its New York employees home. Only the traders are still sitting in the great tower on Wall Street. The rest should come back in the summer at the earliest, when the new office in Central Park is ready to move into. The vast emptiness in Manhattan has also made it impossible for many restaurants, cafes, and retailers to survive.

Peter Tuchman is also not particularly optimistic. He has been a trader on the Nyse floor for 35 years, describes himself as “Einstein of Wall Street” and is actually a big fan of New York, of floor trading, of the tension and the energy that only arises when people meet exchange in the immediate vicinity.

“The floor is a symbol of the human element in the financial markets. It is the greatest financial institution in the world, “enthuses Tuchman, who speaks openly about his Covid disease and the long-term consequences. The business also worked remotely when the stock exchange temporarily suspended floor trading at the end of March due to the pandemic. “But it wasn’t the same. It’s kind of like driving a Toyota instead of a Mercedes, ”he says.

Peter Tuchman

The dealer speaks openly about his Covid disease and the protracted consequences.

(Photo: dpa)

The trading rooms are the most difficult to simulate at home. In London, UBS is experimenting with virtual reality glasses from Microsoft that are supposed to simulate the trading room at home.

This is still a future project. But Tuchman cannot ignore the signs of the times. Before the employees of the financial industry feel comfortable in their offices again, “it will take longer than many believe. I hope, of course, that we will rebuild the finance hub, but I fear that it will take years ”.

In Florida, however, there is a spirit of optimism. The market maker Virtu Financial opened a new office in Palm Beach Gardens in January, to which 30 employees from New York will be relocated – voluntarily, of course. The world’s largest private equity firm Blackstone has also signed new leases, as has the Citadel hedge fund. Ken Moelis, head of the New York boutique investment bank of the same name, has allowed around two dozen employees to stay in Florida for the long term.

According to a report by financial services provider Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs is considering moving parts of its asset management team to Florida. Paul Singer’s hedge fund Elliott Management and the private equity firm Colony Capital have relocated the entire company headquarters to the “Sunshine State”.

Even before the pandemic, a number of financial firms had moved to the state, which is also known for its high proportion of wealthy seniors, primarily for tax reasons. The trend is now accelerating. Miami’s Mayor Francis Suarez likes to point out the low crime rate and high quality of life in his city. Rents there have also risen significantly, but are still below those in New York on average.

Miami skyline

In addition to Wall Street of the South, there would also be space for a Silicon Beach.

(Foto: Universal Images Group/Getty Images)

“Bring your talents to Miami, Stacey Cunningham. Let’s talk, ”the Republican tweeted in response to the threat from the Nyse boss. He also wants to attract the tech scene to his city. In addition to Wall Street of the South, there would also be space for a Silicon Beach.

The employee of a large New York investment bank also hopes that he can stay in the sunny state for as long as possible. He moved into a house in Florida a year ago, where he has room for a home office and can be at the beach in a few minutes. He can afford a private school for his daughter here.

“That was unthinkable in Manhattan,” says the banker, who prefers to remain anonymous. He spends at least six hours a day in Zoom meetings, which works surprisingly well. He feels more productive than ever. “There’s nothing I miss about my life in New York,” he admits.

Goldman Sachs employees will be back at headquarters by the end of the year

It is still uncertain when the bankers will have to return to the New York office towers. David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs, now expects most of his employees to be back at headquarters by the end of the year. Deutsche Bank plans to start moving in July if the pandemic allows.

The Frankfurt Institute is the last bank that actually still has its New York headquarters on Wall Street. Five years ago, however, the bank decided to move to Midtown to be closer to customers.

A survey of employees worldwide found that 80 percent prefer a mixture of office days and home work. The new headquarters in Manhattan is set up in such a way that there is as much space as possible for meetings and collaborative work. Sensors in the ceiling will also measure the areas in which employees spend most of their time. This should show the cleaning staff where to clean and disinfect particularly thoroughly.

US boss Christiana Riley has already indicated that she wants to remain as flexible as possible in order to adapt to the new realities. If it becomes apparent that customers will not return to New York in the medium term, then a good half of the 4,500 employees there to date could also work in other cities in the next three to five years.

Video services like Zoom are very well received

The financial sector is in good company. Technology companies like Facebook, Google and Salesforce are already preparing for the “work from anyhwere” age to become the new normal. Also because video services like Zoom are very well received.

Investment banker Alpert is enthusiastic about how well so-called “zoom roadshows” work. Before Corona, it was a matter of course that investment bankers and their customers would personally open to interested investors before IPOs and bond issues.

“We rented planes for this so we could travel quickly from city to city. That was incredibly expensive, ”says Alpert. It works at least as well with zoom. “And our customers are not worn out from traveling too much.” Employers in all industries have recognized that working from home is “more efficient and cheaper. They won’t give that up again ”.

More: Corona prevents people from returning to the Wall Street offices


These companies pay the most

Nestlé plant in the Philippines

The Swiss group is the largest dividend payer in Europe.

(Foto: Bloomberg)

Frankfurt, Düsseldorf So far it doesn’t look like the all-clear: The spreading mutants of the Covid-19 virus ensure that people are mostly at home and that the economy does not take off as hoped. For shareholders this means: after a year 2020 with massive dividend cuts around the globe, companies will also reduce their distributions in the first quarter of 2021. This is what the British fund provider Janus Henderson found in a study available to the Handelsblatt.

According to the fund managers, the decline will be less than in the second half of 2020. And despite great uncertainty about how quickly the virus can be contained by vaccinations, there is hope that companies around the world will be able to distribute more for the year as a whole: at best, expect fund managers five percent higher dividend payments totaling $ 1.32 trillion. If the pandemic subsides more slowly, companies could also slightly reduce their distributions further.

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Acne on testicles – “I have pain in hell every day” – Health

Christoph (28) has suffered from acne inversa since his youth. To remove the abscesses in the genital region, he had to be operated on more than 30 times

Christoph (28) suffers from the chronic skin disease acne inversa. The illness wore off when he was in the 9th grade. The Swiss man has already had over 130 surgical procedures and hopes one day he will still be able to practice his dream job as a police officer.

Christoph, what makes you special?

I suffer from acne inversa. When you read about acne on the internet, you think it’s a not so bad ailment. Pus pimples, blackheads, we all know them. But acne inversa is different. My skin disease is very complex – it mainly affects my thighs, groin and testicles. I am in constant pain and there are days when I can barely get out of bed. It started around the age of 15, in the 9th grade. Today I struggle with it every day and every night. “

“The acne can come from one day to the next and stay for several weeks or even months. On some days it is so bad that I have to disinfect and completely bandage the areas after getting up. This restricts my freedom of movement . But there are also days when I have no new outbreaks and I am almost pain-free. I always have between 8-18 abscesses on my body. Unfortunately, it is not yet known for sure why this disease occurs. Obesity, poor diet and smoking suspected as part of the cause.

When and how did you notice that something was wrong?

I was in my room with a friend and casually asked him if he had puggeli (abscesses) on the inside of his thigh. He said no and wanted to see what I mean. I took off my pants to show him the four to five red, painful abscesses on my thigh. He was a little shocked and said I should definitely talk to my parents about it. I did that too – and they immediately drove me to the family doctor, who diagnosed me with acne inversa.

What happened next?

We got a second opinion from a dermatologist. But the diagnosis remained the same – including the very few treatment options. Every doctor tells me the same thing: a healthy diet, no alcohol, no nicotine have a preventive effect. Antibiotics and lasers also help, but none of them last long. I’ve tried it; acne inversa started again three months after my antibiotic therapy. Lasering away the hair initially worked very well in the groin area. I was left for several months, but then the knots returned. Currently, I am committed to a healthy lifestyle.

Acne inversa is a chronic skin condition that causes inflammation of the areas of the skin. These areas are mainly found on hairy areas of skin, the armpits and the groin area. Pea-sized lumps, abscesses, fistulas and scarring often form on the inflamed areas of the skin.

An abscess is an encapsulated collection of pus in tissue that is caused by inflammation. In Western Europe, around one percent of people are affected by this disease.

I worked as a roofer until 2017. At that time I was very overweight, smoked and drank alcohol. I stopped drinking at the end of 2017, which improved the acne a bit. In addition, I have lost more than 36 kilograms in the last two years. Since then, I have not had to operate as often as the abscesses are only superficial and no longer go that deep under the skin. But not much has changed in the number of abscesses despite my change in life.

How did your environment react to your illness?

My parents and siblings always supported me and encouraged me. I hardly talked about it with friends and work colleagues. Only my closest circle and my former boss knew about it. I had 30 operations during my apprenticeship. For my employer, that was certainly a hassle. At the end of 2017 I got the notice, I suspect that it was due to my illness and the failures.

How do the operations work?

While I’m under general anesthesia, the surgeon cuts open my abscesses, drains the pus, and rinses the wounds with a saline solution. The abscesses have to be opened, otherwise the pathogens they contain penetrate deeper and deeper into the tissue and infect muscles, organs or even bones. I’ve now had 36 operations under general anesthesia and around 100 procedures.

How are you today? What is your everyday life like with the illness?

Some time ago I had a horror experience while preparing for anesthesia, which triggered fears and a racing heart. After that, at times I was almost unable to leave the house. But I got myself up and about half a year ago the first improvement started.

It’s not easy with love. I was already in love, but nothing ever came of it. I need time to open up to someone because I am ashamed of the many scars. I always say that’s why I look like a gladiator.

My day always looks the same. I take a shower, take my medication and, depending on the circumstances, we have to disinfect and bandage the abscesses. In my free time, I spend a lot of time with cars. When I’m fine, I like to wash and clean them too. Another hobby of mine are police books and films. My wish is to become a police officer one day – but for that I have to get well first. I believe that one day something will be invented that can completely cure acne inversa and allow me to live a normal life.

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That’s why you should cut back on white flour consumption – health

If you eat too much white flour products, you are putting yourself at greater health risk. It can increase the risk of heart disease.

Previous studies have shown that consuming more whole grains is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and death. So far, there have been no clear associations for white flour products. Until now.

Now it became clear: Those who frequently consume white flour products run more of a risk of developing cardiovascular problems. This is shown by a long-term study by an international research team with 137,130 participants from 21 countries, aged 35 to 70 years. The evaluation of the data was published in the renowned specialist journal “BMJ”. The participants’ health was monitored over an average period of approximately 9.5 years.

Risk up to 33% higher

People who ate the most white flour products – such as toasted bread – (at least 350 grams per day) were 33 percent more likely to suffer from serious cardiovascular disease than those who ingested less than 50 grams. Frequent consumption of white flour also increased blood pressure and the risk of premature death was 27 percent greater.

But why? White flour products mainly contain simple carbohydrates and are very starchy. After consumption, blood sugar rises rapidly and leads to high levels of glucose in the blood. In the long run, these blood sugar fluctuations can lead to weight gain and, in the worst case, diabetes. Regular consumption of refined grains (but not white rice) increases the risk of mortality and serious cardiovascular disease.

Whole wheat instead of white flour

The researchers therefore recommend reducing white flour and eating more whole grain products instead. In wholegrain products, in contrast to white flour, the whole grain (shell, seedling and endosperm) is processed. This makes the products more nutritious, as most of the nutrients are contained in the two elements shell and the seedling, which in the case of white flour are not processed.

Whole grain products are richer in protein, fiber, B vitamins, and many other nutrients that can help lower blood pressure, reduce gum disease, strengthen the immune system, and control weight.

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Amazon offers employees $ 40 for vaccination +++ EMA wants to test vaccines against new virus variants particularly quickly

The CDC recommends that teachers give priority to vaccinations and has issued guidelines on how schools can reopen. The CDC does not speak out clearly in favor of school openings, but states that the available data no connection between classroom teaching and high infection rates was shown would have.

The guidelines include the correct wearing of masks, distances of two meters if there are high numbers of infections, strict classroom cleanliness, regular tests and quick contact follow-up.

Many students in the United States hadn’t been to school in almost a year.