Science

Authorities and WHO are looking for contact persons for those infected with cruise ships

Authorities are looking for “Westerdam” passengers

Because at a Passenger of the US cruise ship “Westerdam” subsequently the new corona virus was found, the authorities are now desperately looking for other occupants of the ship. The ship operator Holland America says it is in close contact with the authorities of Asian countries as well as the World Health Organization WHO and the US health regulator to find possible contact persons for the woman .

After days of wandering the “Westerdam” had entered the Cambodian port Sihanoukville on Thursday – meanwhile the inmates have flown to countless countries .

“We expected breakdowns, but not to that extent,” said William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at the University of Vanderbilt, who “New York Times”. The fact that so many passengers on the ship are already on their way home makes it even more difficult to limit the coronavirus epidemic to China. “This could be a turning point” , Schaffner told the newspaper.

The doctor Peter Rabinowitz from the University of Washington also warned. “It is really disheartening to have to control a situation like this because now so many people have spread all over the world “, he told the New York Times.


83 – year old was infected

According to the authorities, a ship's occupant was stopped on Saturday when she landed in Malaysia because her fever was measured to be high. Tests later showed that the 83 – year-old US citizen is infected with the novel corona virus. With the woman were more than 130 Passengers of the “Westerdam” on board the plane to Malaysia. They are almost without exception now Line machines flown on to other countries.

The “Westerdam” was in Hong Kong on February 1st with 2257 passengers and crew on board to one 14 – day East Asia-K reuzfahrt set out to sea. But Japan, Guam, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand rejected the ship out of fear of the new corona virus. Finally, Cambodia declared itself ready to run in the “Westerdam”. No case of the virus had been detected on board at that time. Most of the passengers have left the ship since then.

However, on Monday there were still 233 passengers and 747 crew members on board the “Westerdam”. You should actually leave the ship little by little. However, inmates of the AFP news agency reported on Monday that they should not be allowed to leave the ship for the time being. The Cambodian authorities said that only when all tests for the virus had been negative were the remaining inmates allowed to leave. (AFP, Tsp)

At this time, no other guests or crew, either on board or on their way home, have reported symptoms of the illness. Guests who have returned home will be contacted by their local health department and be provided further info. (3/3) Full statement: https://t.co/uzo86 HyoQQ

– Holland America Line on Twitter (@halcruises) https://twitter.com/HALcruises/status/1229035082775592960

Passagiere gehen in Kambodscha von Bord der „Westerdam“
Passengers disembark the “Westerdam” in Cambodia Image: AFP / Tang Chhin Sothy

According to WHO, the number of new infections is declining, but all scenarios are still conceivable

The number of new infections with the new coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 in China is likely to decrease, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). That indicated data to 44. 000 cases that China had made available to the WHO, said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday in Geneva. “It is too early to say that this decline will continue. All scenarios are still possible. “ In addition, the data showed that Covid – 19 is probably not as deadly as comparable diseases like Sars or Mers.


The WHO emphasized again that the novel virus affects only a very small proportion of people outside of China. The UN agency rejected calls for more drastic measures such as general travel bans. “All measures must be appropriate to the situation,” said Tedros. WHO expert Michael Ryan added: “There is no zero risk in the world – for nothing.” (Dpa)

Cruises to Asia are canceled

The Covid – 19 – Epidemic in China is now affecting cruises from various providers in Asia. Ports in China are no longer approached, ships were rerouted accordingly . Aida Cruises prematurely ended the season in the region after the “Aida Vita” was banned in a port in Vietnam .

The cruise ship “Norwegian Spirit” of the shipping company Norwegian Cruise Line was supposed to be sailing in Asian waters in summer – now it will be used instead in the Mediterranean.


The shipping company announced that because of the new corona virus from 15. April to December 7th all Asia trips are canceled . The guests get their money back. Instead the ship undertakes 19. April several seven-day trips from Piraeus, Greece. Destinations in Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Israel are approached. (dpa / tmn)

Report: Passengers from “Diamond Princess” should be able to go to Germany

According to information from “Spiegel”, German passengers should be on the cruise ship “Diamond Princess” quickly to Germany .

Discussions are currently underway with the Italian government, which plans to pick up its citizens by plane from Japan. The Germans could possibly be taken to Europe. (Tsp)

New recordings of the corona virus from the USA

Diese rasterelektronenmikroskopische Aufnahme zeigt eine Ansammlung von Exemplaren des neuartigen Coronavirus in einer Zellkultur in den USA. Das von einemPatienten in den USA isoliete Virus (orange) tritt aus der Oberfläche von im Labor kultivierten Zellen (grün). Der Erreger trägt die wissenschaftlichen Namen SARS-CoV-2 oder auch 2019-nCoV.
This scanning electron micrograph shows a collection of specimens of the novel corona virus in a cell culture in the USA. That from one Patients in the United States isolated virus (orange) emerges from the surface of laboratory-grown cells (green). The exciter bears the scientific names SARS-CoV-2 or 2019 – Ncov. Image: Photo: NIAID-RML / AP / dpa

Woman should be forcibly instructed after fleeing quarantine in Russia

A court in St. Petersburg has ordered compulsory admission of a woman who had previously fled a coronavirus quarantine center . Alla Iljina must be returned to the Botkin hospital in the Russian metropolis immediately, the judges ruled on Monday. The 33 – One-year-old had justified her escape from the clinic in the online service Instagram with, among other things, “inedible” food and the lack of hygiene products on the isolation station.


On Russian television it was possible to see how bailiffs used the 33 – Years after the verdict was delivered to an ambulance , Her lawyer announced that Iljina would appeal the verdict.

The judge upheld the lawsuit filed by the Botkin Hospital chief after Iljina fled the patient. According to the verdict, the woman must at least 19. Stay in hospital in February . Before her discharge, two laboratory tests for the coronavirus must be negative.

Iljina was on the 1st of February by plane came back from the Chinese holiday island of Hainan. A little later she suffered from mild fever and sore throat . She was examined several times and finally quarantined on February 6 with the diagnosis of “viral disease”, where she should stay for two weeks.

The diagnosis has not ruled out that it could be the new type of corona virus, the health authority explained. Iljina, on the other hand, said the doctors had told her that her tests had shown no signs of the coronavirus. In an Instagram video, Iljina complained about poor food. In addition, there is no ventilation in her room.

Against another woman who also had escaped from the isolation ward of the Botkin hospital , the clinic also filed a lawsuit on Monday. According to reports, two other patients have escaped from the hospital, but returned voluntarily. (AFP)

7 of the 14 Coronavirus patients discharged in Bavaria

Of those registered in Bavaria 14 coronavirus patients half of them can now leave the hospital. There were four patients from the hospital in Trosterg and three patients from the clinic in Munich -Schwabing was released home, the Bavarian Ministry of Health announced on Monday in Munich. The basis for the layoffs were the criteria of the Robert Koch Institute.

As the Bavarian Ministry further announced, there were no new confirmed corona virus cases until Monday noon in Bavaria. The Bavarian cases were employees or relatives of employees of the automotive supplier Webasto who had contracted a colleague from China. (AP)

Das Klinikum München-Schwabing.
The Munich-Schwabing Clinic. Image: Sven Hoppe / dpa

Family cured from Trostberger Klinik discharged

A family from the Traunstein district in Bavaria is now healthy from the hospital after being infected with the coronavirus been released in Trostberg. All members of the family were cured and no longer contagious, the management of the clinics in Southeast Bavaria announced on Monday. The parents with their children had left the hospital on Friday. The quarantine was particularly psychologically stressful for the children. Three other patients have since been discharged from the Munich Clinic Schwabing. So now seven of the total 14 infected people back home in Bavaria.

The Trostberg patients were initially with found to be the father who works for the Bavarian automotive supplier Webasto. All 14 Coronavirus cases in the Free State were related to the company. A Chinese colleague had unknowingly introduced the pathogen during a business trip. A first employee of the company was able to leave the clinic in Schwabing on Wednesday, two more followed on the weekend.

“Who officially released us will be able to return to everyday life without being blocked, ”said Clemens Wendtner, chief physician of the clinic for infectious diseases in Schwabing. Most of his patients would have in the course of the disease of Covid – 19 – that's the scientific name – only showed mild flu-like symptoms.

The requirements for dismissal include several negative tests for the virus. The criteria were determined by the Robert Koch Institute. (AP)

Tests, vaccines and therapies: where is the research carried out?

Research is carried out in three major areas: fast and reliable Tests to detect the virus , vaccines and tailored therapies against Covid – 19. The major institutes involved include the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of the USA, the Paris Pasteur Institute or the University of Melbourne in Australia.

The Institute of Virology at the Philipps University in Marburg, Hesse announced at the end of January that it was participating in the worldwide search for a vaccine against the novel coronavirus. According to its own information, it has “one of the few high security laboratories for research on dangerous viruses in Germany”.

Also biotech companies like the US – Companies Moderna Therapeutics and Inovio Pharma as well as the Tübingen company CureVac are looking for a vaccine. They are supported by the international vaccine alliance Cepi, which has brought together state and private sector actors.

The US company Gilead is investigating with the Chinese authorities whether Remdesivir, which was developed against Ebola , can help against the new coronavirus.

Pharmaceutical giants have offered their cooperation in different areas. For example, the British group GlaxoSmithKline wants to contribute its know-how with additives that can increase the immune response when using vaccines.

In In the United States, Johnson & Johnson plans to work with government agencies on vaccine development. (AFP)

Get Germans from cruise ships?

The federal government is considering taking German passengers from cruise ships The Foreign Office's crisis team dealt with the cases on Monday of the “Diamond Princess” off Japan and “Westerdam” off Cambodia, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said.

It is also about a return of Germans who wish that. One is in contact with the European partners. Two Germans from the “Diamond Princess” are infected. There are no other cases among the Germans there. (Reuters)

Passagiere auf den Balkonen der „DiamondPrincess“.
Passengers on the balconies of the “Diamond Princess”. Image: Kyodo / dpa

Casinos in Macao are allowed to reopen

After a two-week break due to the corona virus, the casinos in Macao, the gambling paradise, will soon be able to reopen. As announced by the government of the Chinese special administrative region on Monday, the casinos will be allowed to gradually start operating again on Thursday. With the closure of the casinos, the city temporarily lost its main source of income. Revenues from the gaming industry in the former Portuguese enclave are larger than in Las Vegas. Many Chinese in particular travel across the border to Macau to play there. Portugal gave Macau 1999 returned to China. Since then, the territory, like Hong Kong, has been governed autonomously within its own borders under the sovereignty of one country, two systems, under Chinese sovereignty. (AP)

Tokyo marathon for elite runners only

The outbreak of the corona virus also affects the Tokyo marathon, which starts on March 1st. The race will not be a mass run with 40. 000 participants. The organizers announced on Monday that only elite runners and wheelchair users, but no amateurs, were allowed to start. So the field will be limited to a few hundred participants.


You apologize to those affected, “but these restrictions are necessary,” said Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike. Japan, where more than 510 Cases of the new pathogen are confirmed, of which 454 on a cruise ship quarantined in neighboring Yokohama, tried a six months before the Olympics to prevent spreading.

The Tokyo Marathon is also a qualification competition for those of 24. Games scheduled July to August 9. The field of top athletes includes 176 runners and 30 Wheelchair athletes. Despite the spread of the novel corona virus, Japan plans to host the games as planned. The head of the Japanese Olympic Committee, Yoshiro Mori, recently confirmed at a meeting with the International Olympic Committee in Tokyo that planning for the games was not due to the new lung disease Covid – 19 will be affected. “I would like to clarify once again that a cancellation or postponement of the Tokyo games was not considered” (Tsp, dpa)

The Tokyo Marathon 2020 will be held only for the marathon elites and the wheelchair elites. For registered runners of Tokyo Marathon 2020, please access the link below for more information. https://t.co/jV76 KOhWfS

– Tokyo Marathon Foundation on Twitter (@tokyomarathon_e) https://twitter.com/TokyoMarathon_E/status/1229365175335059457

Bundesbank: Virus likely to dampen exports

The Bundesbank sees the coronavirus epidemic as a new threat to the already weakening German economy.

Economic risks exist with regard to the coronavirus outbreak in the People's Republic of China”, warns she in her monthly report published on Monday. “A temporary decline in overall economic demand there should dampen German export activity .”


In addition, global value chains could be adversely affected by the security measures. “ Delivery bottlenecks in individual sectors in this country would be the consequence,” emphasized the Bundesbank .

“The growth losses could be noticeably higher than during the SARS epidemic of 2002 / 2003, in which the number of infected was significantly smaller and the authorities had reacted less rigorously, “wrote the Bundesbank. “Nevertheless, it should also apply to the current wave of diseases that economic activity will normalize again quickly after it has been contained.” The financial markets are currently “concerned about the possible consequences of the corona virus”. (Reuters)

Eine Außenaufnahme der Bundesbank.
An exterior shot of the Bundesbank. Image: Silas Stein / dpa


China's head of state knew early about the outbreak of the coronavirus

China's propaganda has been trying since the outbreak of the coronavirus, Head of State Xi Jinping as a tireless fighter against lung disease and to portray concerned leaders for the well-being of his people.

Criticism of the reaction of the authorities The outbreak of the corona virus, insufficient information or the slow start of aid measures has so far been passed on to decision-makers far below the top government. The mayor of Wuhan , the city of the first outbreak, publicly admitted that the warnings of the virus were not enough. “On the one hand, we did not publish important information in good time and, on the other hand, we did not use the available information sufficiently to improve our work,” Zhou Xianwang was self-critical on state television. Officials from the health authorities had to vacate their posts.

Xi Jinping himself remained untouched, the government in Beijing was able to image the prudent leader who has everything under control. At the 20. In January, Xi officially spoke for the first time about the coronavirus and gave instructions on how to contain the epidemic . Later, Xi also appeared in public.

But at the weekend the Chinese Communist Party's magazine, Qiushi, published a speech by Xi Jinping before the Politburo Standing Committee , China's center of power, where he gave instructions on how to fight the corona virus. The speech is from February 3. But a date that Xi mentions in his speech is interesting. There he says that he gave instructions for combating the coronavirus on January 7th .

The question now is: What is in the 13 days between the 7th and the 20. Happened in January? If Xi knew about the coronavirus outbreak so early, why didn't the central government react more resolutely? Wasn't it rather the government in Beijing that hesitated to fight the disease – and not the lower authorities at provincial or city level who later had to admit mistakes in a self-critical manner? Or has Xi lost track of what really happened in the country?

In an interview with the “South China Morning Post” the political Commentator Wu Qiang, who analyzes Xi Jinping's speeches, published the publication of the manuscript “rare and interesting.”

“It sounds like defending he declares that he has done everything in his power to lead the fight against the epidemic, “said Wu the newspaper.

The fact that Xi's internal speech from the beginning of February has now been published acts as Attempt to justify . However, the publication could have the opposite effect: Because it exposes Xi to criticism, knowing about the virus early on, but then not acting decisively enough, or even losing track and control in the fight against the epidemic. The last allegation in particular would weigh heavily on a Chinese leader who has as much power as state founder Mao Zedong . (Tsp)

Chinas mächtiger Mann Xi Jinping
China's powerful man Xi Jinping Image: dpa / Xinhua / Xie Huanchi

Panic buying: thieves steal toilet paper worth 120 Euro

Toilet paper has been in short supply in the Chinese special administrative region of Hong Kong for around ten days.

Rumors on the Internet had triggered panicked hamster purchases given the spread of the corona virus. Supermarket shelves were often swept empty shortly after the store opened. In addition to toilet paper, there was also a rush for basic foodstuffs such as rice and pasta as well as for disinfectants and other cleaning products.

In the midst of these hamster purchases, armed thieves have now stolen hundreds of toilet paper rolls. “A delivery truck driver was attacked by three men who threatened him with knives and toilet paper worth more than a thousand Hong Kong dollars (round 120 Euro) stole, “said a police spokesman.

Police circles reported the stolen toilet paper was arrested after a search and two suspects were arrested. A third is still on the run.

The Hong Kongers reacted to the incident with a mixture of amazement and amusement. “I would steal respirators, but not toilet paper” , a visibly amused passer-by told Hong Kong television station iCable News. (AFP)

First plane with cruise passengers landed

A first flight with US citizens of the cruise ship “Diamond Princess”, which was quarantined in Japan, is in the USA landed.

The one in Japan's capital Tokyo-launched plane arrived late Sunday evening (local time) at Travis military base in Fairfield, Calif., Northeast of San Francisco, as local broadcaster CBS SF reported.

On board are also 14 Passengers who had tested positive for the corona virus in the past two to three days previously had the US – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health in one joint n Explanation communicated. They were therefore isolated from the other passengers on the plane. (AP)

China Postpones Meeting of People's Congress

Once a year the National People's Congress meets in China to approve the decisions of the state leadership, round 3000 Delegates come to the capital Beijing. However, apparently because of the corona epidemic in the country, this year's parliamentary meeting is being postponed, various Chinese media report. The meeting of the Consultative Conference of the Chinese People, which usually takes place almost simultaneously with the People's Congress, is also affected.

The standing committee of the People's Congress will discuss the relocation of this year's meeting, the reports said. According to the South China Morning Post, this is clear evidence that the meeting is being postponed.

The risk of infection for thousands of delegates and the employees in the Great Hall of the People is too great, the newspaper quotes one with the matter familiar, but not named source of the reason for the relocation. The People's Congress was supposed to begin on March 5.

The leadership of the Standing Committee considered the postponement of the People's Congress to an appropriate time as “necessary.” “Reported the official Xinhua news agency. The committee should formally decide on it next Monday.

The “Global Times”, the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, writes that many of the 3000 expected delegates in their home provinces were fighting front line against the corona virus. Therefore, the postponement of the People's Congress was necessary. (Tsp)


Now is a critical moment to contain the #COVID 19 outbreak. There are some 3, 000 NPC deputies, including provincial and city officials, and many of them are fighting on the frontline of epidemic controls. It's therefore necessary to delay the NPC meeting: Xinhua report https://t.co/PB6G9a8H3o

– Global Times on Twitter (@globaltimesnews) https://twitter.com/globaltimesnews/status/1229318324716068864

Japan cancels birthday party for Emperor Naruhito

Due to the spread of the new corona virus, the Japanese Imperial Palace has canceled the celebrations for Emperor Naruhito's birthday. As the Imperial Palace announced on Monday, the palace grounds in Tokyo will not be open to visitors next Sunday. Naruhito will therefore not appear in public and there will be no book for congratulations. Usually tens of thousands of well-wishers flock to the palace on the birthday of the Japanese emperor.

In Japan, at least 60 People infected with the novel corona virus from China. On Sunday, the government therefore advised the Japanese to avoid “non-urgent and not absolutely necessary gatherings of people” from now on. Older and sick people in particular should be careful. Health Minister Katsunobu Kato spoke of a “new phase” of the coronavirus epidemic.

Emperor Naruhito had the chrysanthemum throne in May 2019 to climbed his father's abdication Akihito. His solemn enthronement with state guests from all over the world took place in October. At the 23. February was the first time since his accession to the throne that his birthday was to be celebrated. (AFP)

VW extends production break in China

Volkswagen continues to feel the consequences of the new corona virus in China. There were problems in the supply chains and logistics as well as limited travel options for production employees, Volkswagen said on Monday in Beijing. Therefore, production in the factories of the joint venture with Shanghai Automotive (SAIC) should only take place on 24. February to be resumed. So far this was for the 17. Planned in February.

The other plants, which are operated with First Automotive Works (FAW), would have partially restarted production or should all run again “in the coming days”. The production capability in each plant is checked individually, which leads to different start times, the message says. Without the outbreak of lung disease, production would have started again after the Chinese New Year holiday on February 3. China is the most important market for the car manufacturer.

In order to take the circumstances into account, the company wants to focus more on marketing, for example, online. Lay channels. (AP)

Why the corona virus particularly affects the automotive industry

According to consultants, the corona virus in China could hit the global auto industry sensitively . In the particularly affected Hubei province alone, almost two million cars are manufactured at a dozen locations each year, according to a study by BCG consulting company. That is about eight percent of China's vehicle production.

For light commercial vehicles, Hubei is the country's most important production site after the Guangdong province on the border with Hong Kong. However, plants were shut down not only in Hubei for days, but in a number of provinces. For comparison: The global market leader VW has 2019 Good 10, 9 million cars sold.

The corona virus has affected many industries, according to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). “But the car industry stands out as one that feels the effects quickly and deeply given the crucial role of China.” So the country is the largest sales market for new cars and at the same time an important location for manufacturers and suppliers . “The auto industry will be affected locally and around the globe,” write the consultants with a view to disrupted supply chains.

Overall, there are over 700 foreign and Chinese suppliers in the province with its sealed-off capital, Wuhan. Foreign automakers are also heavily involved in Hubei: A large part of the production of joint ventures with Chinese companies is in the province, according to BCG. Joint ventures of the Chinese manufacturer Dongfeng with Honda, PSA and Renault, for example, have their headquarters in Wuhan.

A production slump could have global consequences for supply chains because China is one of the largest exporters of vehicle parts – for example brakes, electronics, chassis and wheels. Each of these categories represents $ 5 to $ 6 billion in exports, BCG said. Over half of these exports go to the United States and the EU. The consequences of disrupted supply chains would “be felt in company headquarters around the world,” they predict. Car companies with large China business should prepare their supply chains for turbulence or activities to other countries. (AP)

United States Fly Cruise Ship Passengers Home

The United States has brought hundreds of its citizens from the cruise ship “Diamond Princess”, which was quarantined in Japan. 40 US passengers had been infected with the corona virus and would have to stay in hospitals in Japan, a representative of the US health authorities told CBS on Sunday. The remaining passengers are flown to the United States, where they are quarantined for two weeks.

The US authorities announced on Saturday that around 400 people would be flown out. However, some passengers from the United States refused to leave the ship. All others were brought from the ship in groups at night on Monday and driven to the airport in buses.

The “Diamond Princess” has been going on since Quarantined at the port of Yokohama in early February for the corona virus. On the huge ship with more than 3700 People on board were killed on Sunday according to the Japanese Ministry of Health 355 infections detected. If she 40 US – Citizens included in this count were initially unclear.

Until Sunday, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health 1219 Passengers tested. Due to a lack of materials and personnel, not all people on board have been tested so far. The passengers on the “Diamond Princess” come from a total of around 50 countries. Hong Kong, Canada and Italy have also announced that they will bring their citizens to safety on board the ship. (AFP)

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