NewsOmikron: "Spaniards are ahead of us on one point"...

Omikron: "Spaniards are ahead of us on one point" – virologist gives details

Rapidly increasing numbers of corona cases and the Omikron variant determine the situation in Europe.

Update from Monday, January 3rd, 2021, 1:45 p.m.: Virologist Ulrike Protzer compared the Corona situation in Spain with the situation in Germany in the ARD’s “Morgenmagazin” in view of the Omikron variant that was circulating. The scientist, who conducts research at the Technical University of Munich, explained that one aspect in particular is more pronounced on the Iberian Peninsula. “The Spaniards are ahead of us on one point. You just have a lot more people with pre-existing immunity, ”she said in the morning magazine.

Virologin Protzer über Omikron


Virologist Protzer from the Technical University of Munich in the “Morgenmagazin”. (Screenshot)

On the one hand, the higher vaccination rate in Spain is responsible for this. In Germany, too many people are still “unprotected” from Omikron and other corona variants. On the other hand, Spain went through tougher corona waves than Germany, which means that more people have recovered from Covid-19 and that immunity is available in this way.

Virologist Christian Drosten also recently addressed the aspect of the too low vaccination rate. He spoke of a German “special problem”.

Corona infections on board: Aida cancels cruise prematurely

+++ 4:01 p.m.: The cruise of the Aida Nova of the German shipping company ends unplanned in Lisbon due to numerous corona cases among the crew members. Because more than 50 crew members tested positive for Corona, the ship had already been in the port of the Portuguese capital for several days. The guests spent New Year’s Eve on the mainland (see update from 01/01/2022).

All infected people would have only mild symptoms, “due to the current situation, however, we cannot continue the trip with Aida Nova to the Canary Islands as planned until January 5, 2022,” said Aida Cruises on Sunday (02.01.2022) in Rostock. The company has already started to organize the journey home for the guests. You should return by plane to Germany, Austria and Switzerland on Monday (January 3rd, 2022).

Corona: France relaxes quarantine rules

+++ 8.10 a.m.: Despite a record number of new corona infections, France is shortening its quarantine periods. Health Minister Olivier Véran announced that fully vaccinated people only have to be quarantined for seven days from Monday (03.01.2022) onwards. The quarantine can be shortened to five days with a negative rapid test or PCR test. For those who are not or not fully vaccinated, there is a quarantine of ten days, which can be shortened to seven days with a negative test.

Contact persons who are not or not fully vaccinated must continue to be in quarantine for seven days. Fully vaccinated contacts, on the other hand, no longer have to be quarantined in France from Monday, provided they test themselves every other day within six days. The corresponding tests are available free of charge in the pharmacy.

Already more than a hundred million infections in Europe

Update from January 2nd, 2022, 3:15 a.m.: The number of corona infections since the beginning of the pandemic has exceeded the mark of one hundred million in Europe up to the Caucasus. In the 52 countries and areas from the Atlantic coast to Azerbaijan and Russia, 100,074,753 infections with the corona virus were reported by the evening of New Year’s Day, according to a calculation by the AFP news agency based on information from the authorities.

That is more than a third of the 288,279,803 corona infections worldwide that have been reported since the outbreak of the pandemic in late 2019. In the past seven days alone, more than 4.9 million infections were reported in the Europe region – 59 percent more than in the previous week. 17 of the 52 countries and territories exceeded their previous highs for corona infections within a week.

Länder in ganz Europa haben strengere Maßnahmen ergriffen, um eine neue Welle von Corona-Infektionen mit der Omikron-Variante einzudämmen.


Countries across Europe have taken stricter measures to contain a new wave of corona infections with the Omikron variant.

Corona: Infected crew members – cruise ship Aida Nova is stuck

+++ 2.45 p.m.: Because of more than 50 crew members who tested positive for Corona, the cruise ship Aida Nova, which has almost 3000 mainly German guests on board over the turn of the year, has been in the port of Lisbon for days. According to the shipping company, the onward journey is currently delayed due to the arrival of important crew members who would have to replace the failed colleagues.

The infected employees were noticed early on during routine checks and were accommodated ashore in coordination with the authorities in Lisbon, the German press agency quoted a message from Aida Cruises in Rostock. How to proceed will be decided when the additional crew members have arrived and possible travel options have been checked. According to the shipping company, none of the 2,844 tourists on the ship were infected. According to the information, the cruise guests should leave the ship without restrictions. Many of the passengers spent the turn of the year ashore in the Portuguese capital.

Rising Corona Numbers in Great Britain: Learning to Live “Side by Side” with the Virus

+++ 12.05 p.m.: Despite new record numbers of corona infections in Great Britain, the British Minister of Health Sajid Javid described the introduction of new corona measures as a “last resort” in an interview with the British newspaper Daily Mail. Instead, you have to learn to live “side by side” with the virus. While there are currently stricter corona rules in Scotland and Wales, people in England celebrated New Year’s Eve largely without restrictions in clubs, bars and pubs.

On New Year’s Eve, a total of 189,846 new corona cases were reported in Great Britain, an extremely large proportion already going back to the Omikron variant. Statistics expert Prof. David Spiegelhalter from Cambridge University warned the BBC of an “unprecedented wave of infections”. According to his calculations, the actual numbers could currently be much higher – possibly up to 500,000 new infections per day.

Rising corona numbers in Europe: Italy and Malta are becoming high-risk areas

Update from January 1st, 2022, 7.15 a.m.: The popular holiday countries Italy and Malta have been high-risk areas since Saturday (January 1st, 2022) because of their high number of corona infections. Canada and San Marino in north-eastern Italy have now also been classified by the federal government in this way. Anyone who enters from a high-risk area and is not fully vaccinated or recovered has to be in quarantine for ten days and can only get rid of it with a negative test five days after arrival at the earliest. The island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, on the other hand, has now been removed from the risk list.

Associated with the classification is a travel warning from the Federal Foreign Office for unnecessary tourist trips. It makes it easier for tourists to cancel trips that have already been booked free of charge, but it does not mean a travel ban.

Trotz einer hohen Impfquote von rund 80 Prozent klettert auch in Spanien die Zahl der Corona-Infektionen weiter rasant.


Despite a high vaccination rate of around 80 percent, the number of corona infections continues to climb rapidly in Spain.

Countries and regions with a particularly high risk of infection are classified as high-risk areas. However, it is not only the infection numbers that are decisive for this. Other criteria are the speed at which the virus is spreading, the burden on the health system or a lack of data on the corona situation.

Corona in Spain: Incidence exceeds 1000 mark for the first time

First report from Friday, December 31, 2021, 10.15 a.m.: Madrid – Spain says goodbye to the year 2021 despite a high vaccination rate of around 80 percent with one of the highest corona incidences in Europe. The number of newly recorded infections per 100,000 inhabitants within 24 hours climbed to 1086, as the Ministry of Health in Madrid announced on Thursday evening. This was the first time that the 1000 mark was exceeded. For comparison: In Germany this value was 214.9 on Friday.

In mid-October Spain still had an annual low of around 18. The authorities meanwhile assert that the situation in the hospitals is still largely under control thanks to the high vaccination rate, since the vaccine in most cases ensures infection without symptoms or with a milder course of the disease. Most recently, 8.8 percent of all hospital beds and 19 percent of all intensive care beds in Spain were occupied by Covid patients. These numbers are also climbing, but rather slowly.

Corona: People in Spain want to celebrate a mass party despite more and more new infections

Because of the rapidly increasing number of cases, Spain shortened the duration of isolation this week after an infection with no symptoms and also with mild symptoms from ten to seven days. This also applies to suspected unvaccinated cases. The reduction had been requested by several regional governments and business owners. The aim is to prevent impairment of basic services in hospitals and public transport, for example.

To contain the pandemic, the requirement to wear masks outdoors was reintroduced nationwide. In nine of 17 regions there are 3G rules, curfew or nightly exit restrictions, in others – such as in the capital – there are hardly any restrictions. In Madrid, despite Corona, around 7,000 people wanted to gather in the Puerta del Sol square on Friday evening to welcome the New Year at the most traditional New Year’s Eve mass party in the country. (skr / ktho / ska with dpa / AFP)

Header list image: © ARD

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