SVP-Rösti: “Federal Council has too much power”
According to SVP party president Albert Rösti, the Federal Council and the Federal Office of Public Health currently have too much power due to the corona crisis. The “sole rule of the Federal Council” must be ended immediately, Rösti said in an interview with the daily newspaper “Blick”. After the corona break, parliament was back in everyday political life, but it was a bad trap. There was even more money for particular interests than was requested by the Federal Council.
Rösti also calls for a return to federalism. If there is a second wave, the cantons should have more scope with which measures they want to react. “We can’t stand a second lockdown across Switzerland,” said Rösti.
Brazil recommends hydroxychloroquine for corona treatment
The Brazilian Ministry of Health now recommends the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of Covid-19 patients. The remedy could also be administered to people with only mild symptoms, it said in an updated guide for doctors published on Thursday. Compared to an earlier version of the document, the title was changed, a number of references were deleted and the person responsible for the text was named.
Most recently, Secretary of Health Nelson Teich asked for his release after throwing up with President Jair Bolsonaro over the use of the controversial drug.
Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat malaria and certain autoimmune diseases. It has not yet been conclusively clarified whether the drug is also suitable for the treatment of Covid-19 lung disease.
The number of corona deaths in Brazil continues to rise
The number of corona deaths in Brazil continues to rise. In total there are now over 20,000 people who died in Brazil in connection with the coronavirus. The South American country’s Department of Health confirmed that there were 1188 deaths in the past 24 hours alone.
The number of confirmed corona infections increased by over 18,500 to 310,000 in one day. Brazil is the country with the third most confirmed corona infections worldwide – behind the United States and Russia.
USA set flags at half mast
Because of the tens of thousands of deaths in the corona pandemic, US President Donald Trump has half-masted flags in the USA. “Flags on all public buildings and national monuments” would be set to half mast for three days, Trump announced via Twitter. On Monday, the United States celebrates Memorial Day, which traditionally commemorates war veterans and the fallen. Even then, the flag will be flagged at half mast, Trump said.
Leading Democrats in the U.S. Congress, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, asked Trump on Thursday to hang the flags on all public buildings in the country at half-mast once the death toll from the pandemic reached 100,000. “It would be a national expression of grief that everyone in our country needs so much,” said Pelosi and Schumer. In the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University, more than 94,500 people have died after being infected with the coronavirus.
Trump rules out a second lockdown
In the event of a second corona wave, US President Donald Trump does not want to subject the US to strict containment measures again. In this case, “we will put out the fires, we will not close the country,” Trump said on Thursday during a visit to a Ford car factory in Michigan. “Whether it’s an ember or a flame, we’ll put it out.”
Trump again urged governors to loosen protection measures in their states so that the US economy can pick up speed again. “To protect the health of our population, we need a functioning economy,” said Trump. “Certain governors should be further than they are.”
Zuckerberg: “Half will work from home”
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg assumes that the corona crisis has triggered a long-term change in the world of work – towards working outside the office. In an interview with the technology blog “The Verge”, Zuckerberg said that he expected around one in two employees of the online network to stop working in the office in ten years. Twitter had previously announced, among other things, that all employees could continue their jobs from home even after the end of the crisis, if their tasks allow it.
The figure of 50 percent is his estimate, Zuckerberg emphasized. In a survey, one in five employees had spoken in favor of working permanently from home, and another 20 percent had shown some interest in it.
China and the wildlife breeders
Because of the corona virus, the trade and consumption of wild animals is now prohibited in China. In many places, people breathe a sigh of relief – but this exacerbates the problem of poverty. 14 million people in China are dependent on wildlife breeding. For those affected, the ban is both a disaster and a contradiction. Until recently, wild animal breeding was partially subsidized by the state and was particularly important for poorer regions.
Frustration at the campsites
A long weekend with a lot of sunshine – that’s what it would look like in a normal year at the Swiss campsites. But they must remain closed – only hotel-like accommodations such as bungalows or chalets can be rented. Camping operators feel disadvantaged compared to hotels and youth hostels, some of which have never even closed.
Poland: fewer deaths thanks to Corona
The corona virus officially came to Poland on March 4 – fewer people have died since then than in other years; not like in Spain or Great Britain, where thousands more die than usual because of Corona. That sounds paradoxical, but can be explained.
The day on which Switzerland rediscovered leisure time
Long weekend, dream weather, packed destinations for excursions: Ascension day 2020 could be remembered as the day when the Swiss wanted to “forget the Zit e chli”, as a landlady says.
This refers to the two months during which the corona shutdown took away the desire (and the opportunity) for excursions.
People would be “fed up with staying at home,” says a police officer. “You can no longer be held back.”
Lufthansa deal before closing
The negotiations between the German government and the Swiss parent company Lufthansa are nearing completion. A rescue plan provides for tax money totaling nine billion euros to get Lufthansa through the corona crisis. In return, the state wants to take a 20 percent stake in the airline. Additional conditions include a waiver of dividends and restrictions on management remuneration.
Some questions are still unanswered, such as what share price the federal government wants to join. The deal must also be approved by the EU Commission. The group, which has around 138,000 employees, is on the verge of tens of thousands of jobs.
Serbia unconditionally opens borders
The Serbian government opens the country’s borders to foreigners without having to submit a corona test or quarantine. At the border crossings, travelers only receive information sheets that draw their attention to the dangers of the corona pandemic.
Until now, entry to Serbia was only possible for foreign citizens in exceptional cases. The new regulation will come into effect on Friday.
Further relaxation in Europe
The countries most severely affected by the corona pandemic announced falling numbers on the day of the ascent:
- Italy: The country reports 156 new deaths within 24 hours as a result of Covid 19 disease compared to 161 the previous day. The number of new infections fell from 665 to 642.
- Spain: For the first time since March 16, fewer than 50 people died as a result of Corona, namely 48. 482 people were infected.
- France: 83 deaths were reported within 24 hours in the country. The number of infected people increased by 318.
- Great Britain: The UK confirmed 338 new virus-related deaths within 24 hours.
London buys Roche antibody tests
The UK purchases a total of 10 million antibody tests from Roche and Abbott to test healthcare workers next week. Health Minister Matt Hancock said. In addition, patients and people in old people’s homes and nursing homes should be tested in this first phase.
Study: 35,000 deaths in the United States could have been avoided
Over 35,000 corona deaths in the United States could have been avoided if the authorities had locked down a week earlier. Researchers at Columbia University in New York appreciate this on the basis of simulations published on the science site medRxiv, Link opens in a new window were. As of May 3, 61 percent of infections (700,000 infections) could have been avoided.
According to the researchers, the results of the simulation underline that the measures for social distancing should not be relaxed too soon. The study has not yet gone through the peer review process.
Critics accuse US President Donald Trump of reacting too late and too little to the pandemic.
Zurich police intervene – “Bachelor” participants also affected
The Zurich police intervened several times during the night and on Thursday due to non-compliance with the Corona distance rules.
At night, the police broke up a grill party in Zurich-Affoltern with candidates for the TV programs “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette”. At a suspected follow-up party at the Waid viewing platform on Hönggerberg, the police intervened again and also used dogs. One person was taken to a police station for identification.
On Thursday afternoon, the Zurich City Police cleared various public parks, such as the Wipkingen Community Center, Saffa Island and the Landiwiese, due to the “unmanageable crowds”.
Ticino tourism crisis over in one fell swoop?
Whether B&B or five-star hotel: The Ticino hotels report a record number of bookings from Pentecost until August.
No entry into the Gaza Strip
After an increase in corona infections, Gaza-based Hamas has initially banned entry into the area. As a senior member of the Palestinian Islamist organization announced on Wednesday, the only two border crossings, Rafah and Erez, will be closed to travelers until the end of June.
Two million people live in precarious circumstances in the densely populated coastal strip. A large spread of the coronavirus in the area is therefore considered a horror scenario. Rafah is the connection of the Gaza Strip to Egypt, Erez to Israel.
Parks in Lucerne cleared
The Lucerne police cleared various parks during the night on Thursday. Visitors had not complied with the distance rules and made noise. On the day of the ascent, various parking spaces at excursion destinations were already occupied in the morning. In the city, the many people adhered to the protective measures. The night on Thursday was “intense”, said the Lucerne police. In total, more than 30 order buses were distributed throughout the canton of Lucerne.
Excursion traffic caused temporary traffic jams
At the start of the extended weekend of ascents, excursion traffic on the Swiss roads has increased noticeably. In several local recreational and mountain areas on the north side of the Alps, congested roads occurred.
Central Switzerland was hit hard. Day trippers on the A4 between Goldau and Sisikon were stuck in traffic for up to 45 minutes. In the afternoon the situation calmed down.
In the canton of Glarus, the police closed the access to the Klöntalersee because all parking spaces in the excursion region were occupied. On the Brünig route, traffic jammed on the Obwald side. Traffic was also high in the Bernese Oberland between Thun and Interlaken.
The feared traffic jam on the Gotthard did not materialize. Traffic on the pass road, which had been opened yesterday, was lively, but without congestion.