2G or not 2G?That’s the problem

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Worrying data on rising rates of infections, hospitalizations and deaths in Europe have triggered a series of measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19 this week.

The tightening of restrictions, especially for those who refuse to be vaccinated or provide evidence of freedom from spreading the disease, has reopened the ugly rift between proponents of personal responsibility and critics of community coercion.

The Austrian government confirmed today that it plans to force all citizens to be vaccinated against the coronavirus beginning early next year, making it the first European country to do so. Prime Minister Alexander Schallenberg said it was time to “face reality” as he announced a new three-week blockade of all Austrians.

However, between the right and wrong of the political debate surrounding the increasing wave of austerity measures in Europe, the growing tension in health services and the austerity of economic activity before the holiday remind us that for many people, this Christmas will not be too much. I hope to return to the normal state of Christmas before the pandemic.

Dr. Hans Kruger, WHO Regional Director for Europe, warned yesterday that despite the success of the vaccination program, the relaxation of preventive measures and the economic release over the past year, the European continent is still facing a “difficult winter. “.

“But there are still too many people who have not been vaccinated, so we have some places where the virus continues to spread and put pressure on local and national health systems,” he told the BBC.

His speech was made after the outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that the fourth wave of Covid-19 was “attacking our country with all its strength” as the health agency announced a record The number of daily cases exceeds 65,000.

Most areas of Germany and Austria are now covered by a variant of the so-called 2G restriction-this is a reference to a German word Vaccinated with back to normal For vaccinated and recovered patients-this excludes a large number of unvaccinated people from non-essential stores and social activities. Members of the Dutch parliament also debated the move this week.

In recent days, other places such as Ireland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic have introduced similar restrictions on leisure activities, encouragement of working from home, and enforcement of “Covid Passports” to participate in activities.

According to a YouGov survey, vaccine passports have received strong support throughout Europe Published today in The Guardian.

The survey, which covers 10 countries/regions, shows that most people support mandatory vaccine passes for large-scale events and support the requirements of cafes, restaurants, and gyms in most regions.

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Need to know: economy

The plan to extend the stimulus package to help support the slow recovery of major economies has become the focus of this week.

American legislators today Vote through Joe Biden’s $175 million “Rebuild Better” bill aims to comprehensively implement early childhood education, public health care for pensioners, and plans to combat climate change after a major Republican’s obstruction speech invest Delayed approval last night.

The dispute broke out just a few days after Biden signed his agreement Flagship 1.2 trillion dollar infrastructure bill It became law after obtaining bipartisan support. The bill includes $550 billion in new expenditures for roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, broadband and other infrastructure improvements.

In Japan, the new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced 43.7 billion yen ($383 billion) Stimulus Nowadays. It includes generous cash relief for families and help for troubled businesses, and aims to support the country’s faltering recovery from the pandemic.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020, Japan has spent 88 trillion yen on fiscal stimulus, accounting for nearly 17% of GDP.

The latest UK and Europe

Early shopping surge before Christmas helps UK retail sales Resume growth After nearly half a year of contraction, last month.

According to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics today, monthly retail sales in the UK from September to October increased by 0.8%.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, clothing store sales have set a record.

The UK’s line chart, volume index, 2018=100 shows that retail sales have resumed growth

However, public borrowing in the UK has fallen Lower than expected In October, this reflected interest payments on public debt and increased costs of the Covid-19 vaccination program, although tax revenues increased due to strong economic activity.

The National Bureau of Statistics of the United Kingdom estimated that the net borrowing of the public sector last month was 18.8 billion pounds, while the Reuters survey of economists predicted 13.8 billion pounds.

Bar chart as a percentage of GDP, fiscal year showing that UK public debt has reached the level of the 1960s

At the same time, the President of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, warned Excessive tightening of monetary policy The entire Eurozone today.

Speaking at the Frankfurt Banking Conference, she said: “When faced with past or supply-driven inflation shocks, we must not rush to adopt premature austerity policies.”

Her remarks further suppressed the exchange rate of the euro against other major currencies and intensified expectations of widening interest rates between the euro zone and other major economies.

The dollar-euro line chart shows that the euro is falling, betting that the global monetary policy gap widens

However, boosted by news of new restrictions in Germany and Austria, the prospect that the European Central Bank’s policy will remain loose for a longer period of time has prompted the euro zone government bonds to rise.

The latest in the world

America’s largest retailer is weathering the country’s Supply chain storm, And according to the latest wave of earnings announcements, smaller competitors are working hard to ensure adequate supply.

Since the Covid-19 lockdown last year, demand has surged Make all importers nervous, Written by Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson and Obey Manayiti of the Financial Times. Soaring shipping costs, port congestion and shortages of materials, truck drivers and warehouse space have led to unprecedented supply chain challenges.

However, the most severely affected by the bottleneck caused by the rebound in global trade activities are the smaller, poorer countries. Harry Dempsey wrote.

The United Nations warned that the rising transportation costs caused by the tightening of global supply chains will further aggravate global inflation. Disproportionately hit developing countries‘ economy.

The surge in demand for goods caused by the pandemic, coupled with the disruption of the supply chain, has caused freight rates to soar to record highs, reaching about five times the average level of the past decade.

Developing countries bear the brunt of higher transportation costs; the impact of soaring freight rates on price levels is simulated (%)

Scientific review

Epidemic control: The British may admire their NHS system, while the Americans may admire their healthcare innovations and star doctors, but from the perspective of the coronavirus, other countries—from Taiwan to Norway—have Better serve the national health.

Zoologists are afraid Wild animals may be a source of infection That might spread to people. Two studies have shown that the high rate of Covid-19 infection in wild deer in the United States has once again raised concerns about the spread of the virus in animal populations.

Map showing the Covid-19 outbreak in animals

Genetic engineering research Some people worry that the next pandemic may be made in the laboratory.

vaccine: Pfizer is Seek regulatory authorization The Covid-19 antiviral pill in the United States has been proven in a later study to reduce the risk of adult hospitalization and death by nearly 90%.

Sandy Douglas, one of the scientists behind the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine Profitable decision Regarding the new supply transaction this week, because the partnership announced that more than 2 billion doses have been delivered.

treatment: The video team of the British “Financial Times” inspected the interior of British hospitals to assess the pressure on the health system caused by Covid-19.

Covid cases and vaccination

Get the latest global pictures through our website Vaccine Tracker


© Cat O’Neill

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