Tag Archives: Ministry

German Merkel draft bill for national lockdown rules, curfew | Nation | Instant News

BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition has drafted a bill that would divert the power to impose restrictions on COVID-19 on the federal government away from regional leaders to combat a spike in infections.

Merkel’s government plans to impose a curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. in areas where the seven-day infection rate exceeds 100 cases per 100,000 people for three consecutive days. All non-essential shops must close and companies will be required to test employees twice a week, according to a 13-page bill seen by Bloomberg. Schools will be closed again in areas with an incidence rate of more than 200.

Merkel moved forward with the controversial initiative after it became clear that the country’s 16 states could not agree on common ground. While the country’s leaders may try to soften a few steps before Tuesday’s cabinet approval, parliament could pass new laws as early as next Friday.

The proposal’s biggest hurdle is likely to be a vote in the upper house, where the state government is represented and Merkel’s Christian Democrat-led coalition government does not have a majority.

Merkel and regional prime ministers have clashed over lockdown restrictions since the start of the pandemic, and several failed to enforce the rules agreed with the chancellor. Regular meetings to set policies sometimes drag on, leaving citizens confused about which measures apply to their states.


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Covid-19 coronavirus: How soon will the Pfizer vaccine be ready for children aged 12-15 years? | Instant News


Watch: Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins receives first dose of Pfizer vaccine, as does Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall.

New Zealand may not be at the front of the queue for the data it needs before the Pfizer vaccine can be approved for children ages 12 to 15, the Health Ministry said.

The vaccine is currently approved by Medsafe for those aged 16 and over, but yesterday Pfizer and BioNTech released the results of their phase three clinical trial which demonstrated 100 percent efficacy for those aged 12 to 15 years.

Medsafe is expected to provide data on the trial in due time, a Health Ministry spokesman said, although New Zealand is not expected to be on the high priority list.

“It is likely they will prioritize countries with high levels of Covid-19 infection first,” said a ministry spokesman.

Extending vaccine approval to 12 to 15 year olds in New Zealand requires first an application from Pfizer.

“Medsafe needs to review the data to consider renewal approval,” said a ministry spokesman, adding that strict safety and efficacy standards had to be met.

The trials demonstrated a strong antibody response and tolerable side effects consistent with those seen in adults aged 16 to 25 years.

That includes 2,260 adolescents in the United States, with and without evidence of previous SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes the disease) infection. There were 18 cases of Covid-19 in the placebo group and none in the vaccinated group.

A strong antibody response was observed in most adolescents one month after the second dose.

Further clinical trials have started in children aged 5 to 11 years and are expected to start in children aged 2 to 5 years in early April, followed by ages six months to 2 years.

Vaccinating young people is considered important to achieve herd immunity. In New Zealand, more than 1 million people – 20 percent of the population – are under 16 years of age.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins receives first dose of Pfizer vaccine.  Photo / Mark Mitchell
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins receives first dose of Pfizer vaccine. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Immunization Advisory Center Clinical Director Dr Nikki Turner said the trial results were “very promising”.

“Hopefully, with this promising looking data, we won’t go too far from being able to expand New Zealand’s Covid-19 immunization program to children as well.

“By doing so we will ensure more New Zealanders are protected individually and also, with more New Zealanders being vaccinated, the more we will be in a position to reduce the risk of community spread.”

Covid-19 Secretary Chris Hipkins, who received his first dose of vaccine this week, agrees the signs are encouraging, but they are “early days”.

Hipkins said the Government had ordered enough Pfizer stocks to get the vaccine to everyone in New Zealand – across all age groups.

“If not [get approved], our base is covered because of the wide portfolio we have. For example, AstraZeneca could prove to be the right vaccine for younger New Zealanders, or Novavax [or Janssen]. “


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The maritime ministry cannot assist an unregistered seafarer: Zaidi | Instant News

KARACHI: The fate of six Pakistanis, stranded on the tugboat, Mehr, floating somewhere in the Red Sea for more than 20 days, continues to be in balance, as the Ministry of Maritime Affairs feels it cannot help unregistered seafarers and Tanzanians Owners of flag bearings the tug did not appear to save them.

The issue, apart from underscoring a serious humanitarian crisis, also puts forward the role of a rogue agent who takes advantage of desperate seafarers to join ships for a living. “They are unregistered seafarers. The ministry cannot help when people illegally sneak out of the country to board boats in international waters, ”Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi told The News on Saturday. “I don’t know when they will come back,” said the minister.

Six Pakistani nationals, crew of the tugboat, were stranded in the Red Sea after their engines broke down while traveling from Oman to Egypt. The Ministry of Maritime Affairs immediately took action by sending MT Khairpur PNSC to provide provisions (rice, flour, spices, meat, chicken, biscuits, nuts), mineral water and medicines. Their fresh water storage tanks are so dirty that they are cleaned and refilled with fresh water for their household use. According to a summary of the report by Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi, the crew of the Mehr tugboat refused to leave the ship because their eight-month salary was still unpaid.

According to ministry officials, not all seafarers are able to board ships due to an imbalance in demand and supply. “Some rogue agents take advantage of this to exploit seamen who are desperate to work on the ships.” Each year, a number of seafarers join merchant dispatches through unregistered crew agents. “Such bodies expose seafarers to a number of serious dangers – ships abandoned in international waters, unpaid wages, not counted for sea time, sometimes imprisonment as well for working on ships carrying illegal cargo.” The official said all these difficulties not only affected the sailors themselves but also put their families in chaos.

Federal Minister Zaidi said the tugboat owner “has carried out a crew rescue within days”. However, even though more than 20 days passed, the crew remained at the mercy of the sea, completely trapped by the devil in the deep sea. blue sea.

Ansar Burney, a well-known human rights activist who has highlighted their plight, said the crew remained adrift somewhere in the Red Sea. He worries that this situation could become precarious for the tug crew because without a functioning engine, an accident could occur or even the pirates could take them hostage. Burney said because this is a humanitarian issue that concerns their lives, they must be rescued first and then the illegality issue committed by the crew, their respective agents or related departments is addressed. “Several emergency actions need to be taken to resolve the problem, before God forbid, several disasters befall the crew,” he said. “The law must take its course, but since the lives of six Pakistanis are at stake, they must be protected above all.”

Being citizens of Pakistan, it is the duty of the government to look at the problems with empathy and compassion, save them and once they return to the country they must be thoroughly investigated and if they, or anyone else, is found guilty, they should be prosecuted. as far as the law to prevent this type of human trafficking from happening in the future.


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Another coronavirus surge is unlikely but the pandemic will not go away, says former head of the FDA | Headlines | Instant News

(CNN) – Mass vaccinations and natural protection from those already infected are likely to prevent the fourth wave of COVID-19 in the United States, said Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Sunday.

“We’re talking about some form of protective immunity in about 55% of the population,” said Gottlieb at CBS’s Face the Nation. “There’s enough bottlenecks in here that I don’t think you’ll see a fourth spike.”

About 81 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine, a number that is increasing significantly every day. In addition, about 29 million people have tested positive for the virus and recovered, and tens of millions more have had COVID-19 without a positive test result and have natural immunity.

However, the US will continue to see COVID-19 cases and deaths, Gottlieb warned, especially as a dangerous variant that was first identified in the UK is spreading.

“I think what you can see is a stagnation for a period of time before we continue the decline – in large part because (the British variant) is becoming more prevalent, in large part because we pulled back too quickly, in regards to removing our masks and lifting the mitigation,” he said.

Gottlieb also warned that the emergence of a virus variant could change the trajectory of the nation.

“The only thing that could be a real game changer here is if you have a variant that penetrates prior immunity, meaning it re-infects people who are already infected or who have been vaccinated,” he said.

Gottlieb’s comments come as the number of US COVID-19 cases has stabilized at around 50,000 new cases per day over the past seven days. Some experts have warned of another surge as the US races to vaccinate and stay ahead of variants.

“This is a time of crisis,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN Saturday. “This will be our toughest period at the moment in terms of seeing who wins.”

With about a quarter of all Americans having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine – and about 13% were fully vaccinated – Doubling current security measures is what could help curb another surge, experts repeatedly stress.

“If we can last another month, another six weeks, it will make a big difference,” added Hotez.

However, air travel reach pandemic era records and the spring break crowd was swelling. In Miami Beach, officials declared a state of emergency Saturday in response to the crowd, said the mayor had “more than we can handle.”

And at least a dozen governors and many local leaders have them restrictions are reduced this month, while some have get rid of the mask mandate at all.

Michigan cases and hospitalizations are increasing

In Michigan, where the governor announced a series of restrictions that were relaxed earlier this month, said the current officials the state could potentially be at the start of another wave.

“Our progress with COVID-19 is fragile,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive for the state of Michigan, in a news conference Friday. “While we are making great progress with our vaccination efforts and a lot of people are doing the right thing wearing masks and not gathering in large groups, what we see now are very concerning data showing that we are going in the wrong direction.”

The rate of cases has risen over the past month, Khaldun said, and increased by 77% since mid-February.

The percentage of the state’s COVID-19 tests positive has also jumped 177% since mid-February, Khaldun said. And the hospitalization rate has also increased over the past two weeks, added Khaldun.

Michigan has also reported the second-highest number of cases of variant B.1.1.7 in the country, after Florida, according to to CDC data.

“This is very worrying,” said Dr. Rob Davidson, an emergency room doctor in the state, told CNN Saturday. “We know in the past, cases increased, then hospitalized, then deaths followed.”

Davidson told CNN he is even more worried now that the variant is in circulation, and hopes the country can make enough progress to protect the population.

“It remains to be seen,” said Davidson. “We prefer not to wait and find out. We prefer to ask people to cover up, keep our distance and lower those numbers.”

Political gap in vaccination

More than 44 million Americans have been fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.

The growing numbers are encouraging, but experts say the country still has a long way to go to reach the levels needed to contain the spread of the virus – and must overcoming vaccine doubts as well as political division that gets in the way.

In Missouri, Governor Mike Parson said Friday that while he encourages everyone to get vaccinated and thinks it’s the right thing to do, he knows there will be “some people” who won’t take the vaccine, “and they have the right to do that.”

“We have to do a better job of making sure everyone understands the importance of vaccines, while maintaining respect for people who don’t want to use vaccines, and it will be a challenge to see how many people we have doable, but we will. do all we can, “said the governor.

A recent CNN poll conducted by SSRS, showing that 92% of Democrats say they have had a dose of the vaccine or plan to get it, that’s down to 50% among Republicans.

Former head of Operation Warp Speed, Moncef Slaoui, said he was deeply concerned about vaccine doubts being fueled by politics.

“I am very concerned that, for the sake of political motivation, people decide to really harm themselves and those around them by refusing to be vaccinated,” Slaoui said in an interview broadcast Sunday on Face the Nation.

Slaoui also rejected President Joe Biden’s criticism of the Trump Administration’s vaccine plan, defending last year’s Operation Warp Speed ​​efforts.

“I think we have a plan, and in fact, 90% of what is happening now is the plan we have,” Slaoui said.

“We contract specifically for 100 million doses of the vaccine, but also enter into a contractual option to get more vaccines, once we know they are effective. The plan is to order more vaccines when we know they are more effective,” he said. “What happened was, frankly, what the plan was – basically, what was the plan.”

CNN’s Pete Muntean, Carma Hassan, Mirna Alsharif and Alec Snyder contributed to this report.


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Latest: The Biden government sends $ 10 billion to the state | Business | Instant News

Libya has not received a vaccine against the virus,

The center announced Wednesday at least 1,054 confirmed cases and 16 deaths, bringing the country’s tally to 148,175 including 2,422 deaths.

However, the true number of COVID-19 cases, as elsewhere in the world, is thought to be much higher, partly because of limited testing.

JERUSALEM – The Israeli parliament has approved a law mandating an electronic bracelet for all arrivals to Israel who must be quarantined because of the coronavirus.

The new law states that people sent to home quarantine must wear a tracking bracelet to ensure compliance. If they refuse, they will have to quarantine at a state-run hotel.

The controversial terms passed the last vote in the Knesset 4-1 on Wednesday, with only five out of 120 lawmakers voting on the bill. Critics, including the only lawmaker who disagreed, said it violated individual privacy.

At the same time, the country’s Supreme Court canceled a series of measures restricting the entry and exit of Israelis from the country, saying the restrictions were illegal.

Regulations limiting the number of people entering the country per day to 3,000, and requiring those not vaccinated to receive approval from a committee to leave the country, expire on Saturday and cannot be extended.


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