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Welcome to the whack-a-mole coronavirus stage



germany coronavirus covid 19 meatpacking plant reproduction rate Pleitgen pkg intl ldn vpx_00000326

Instead, public health officials hope they will be able to withstand the outbreak by introducing more nuanced local measures and testing and tracking contacts. Their approach echoes similar stories from elsewhere.

This is a glimpse of what looks like a new normality – a game of constant creasing where authorities race to hold back viruses when they appear in new places.

“In the absence of a vaccine, the best scenario we can hope for is that there is a very low rate of spread of the virus in the general population, and that if there are local hotspots and epidemics, that local health authorities can work fast enough to contain it and prevent its spread,” said Dr. Thomas Kamradt, an immunologist and professor at the University Hospital at Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, Germany.

R number is very important?

Plague in Toennies meat plants in Guetersloh sparked fear in Germany in part because it pushed the country’s reproduction rate up. Unclear epidemiological concepts become household terms, with front pages throughout Europe reporting “A big surge in German R.” According to the German disease control center, the Robert Koch Institute, the number now stands at 2.76, which means that one infected person, on average, currently transmits the virus to 2.76 other people. Over the weekend, it rose as high as 2.88.

High reproduction rates show how easily the virus spreads when left unchecked. When it falls below 1, the epidemic fades. When it is higher than 1, it spreads. If this number stays above 1 for a long period of time, there may be a point where there are more sick people than the hospital can handle. That means some patients end up losing the critical care they need – for example because there aren’t enough ventilators – and therefore the overall number of deaths is much higher.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has repeatedly stressed that in order to defeat the virus, the number – widely known as R0 or just R – must remain below 1. He suggested that new restrictions might need to be imposed if the rate rises.

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But while the number R is important, it does not paint a complete picture. Levels in Germany jumped suddenly because 1,553 workers at the Toennies factory tested positive for the virus, even when other parts of the country saw very few new infections.

“R must always be seen in context,” said Marieke Degen, deputy press official at the Robert Koch Institute. “If your total infection is low – in Germany [it’s] “a few hundred per day – and some larger outbreaks, R can go up quite quickly, but this is not too problematic,” he said. It would be much worse if you had 50,000 cases daily and an estimated R of around 2 – 3. “

While the outbreak at the factory is already severe, authorities hope the virus has not been able to spread further. North-Rhine Westphalia’s Prime Minister Armin Laschet said on Tuesday that so far, only 24 people who had no connection with the factory were positive in the district. “The question is, how many people have met those who have been infected?” Laschet said at a press conference.

Detective work

Experts are now working against the clock to find out. The district has tested everyone connected to the factory, and sent 100 mobile testing teams to contact as many people as possible. A special diagnostic center has been opened in the district to ensure that anyone can get a free test. Dozens of soldiers, police officers, scientists from the Robert Koch Institute and members of the Red Cross have been mobilized to help.

Clemens Toennies, managing partner at the company, said on Twitter that the company would do it funding widespread coronavirus testing in Guetersloh to compensate the local community.

Speed ​​is the most important. “You are always behind the epidemic to some extent,” said Mike Tildesley, a professor at Warwick University. “We know people can be infected for several days before symptoms appear … when you get to the stage you realize there are problems, there are already more [cases] in the population. ”

Germany imposed new locks after the plague in a meat factory

Despite great efforts, epidemiologists are careful to say the epidemic is under control. “Twenty-four seems like a low number, but it is a sign that the outbreak is not entirely limited to workers and their families … there is enough time for it to spread outside,” Dr. Martin Stuermer, a virologist and director of IMD Labor, a coronavirus testing laboratory in Frankfurt.

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The Toennies factory closed last week, with all 7,000 employees and their families ordered to quarantine themselves, but the closure of the wider district and 360,000 residents was not announced until Tuesday.

Stuermer was worried that it might be too late. The German rule of thumb that was put in place when it began to reduce restrictions last month was that if an area records more than 50 new cases per 100,000 population in seven days, it should consider locking it up.

“From that point of view, it’s too late,” he said, adding that earlier serious outbreaks at meat-packing plants in Germany and elsewhere should be a warning sign. “Someone should be vigilant … Toennies start testing, they identify more and more cases, they identify herds of infections and they take steps to stop the spread, but overall, they fail to control the outbreak,” he said.

The German government ordered a new closure for the entire Guetersloh district on Tuesday.

Tildesley said that compared to previous pandemics, countries such as Germany and Britain were now better equipped to prevent local outbreaks from spreading further because they had succeeded in increasing contact tracing and testing.

But both Stuermer and Kamradt say that to succeed, every part of the system must work well: Health authorities must be able to move quickly, people must respect lockouts and companies must behave responsibly.

Germany reports 650 new cases at meat processing plants

Toennies, the company that runs the plant at the epicenter, has found itself under pressure. Clement Toennies has apologized for the outbreak and said the company assumed full responsibility, but the criticism did not stop.

CNN has repeatedly contacted Toennies to comment.

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“Cooperation from the factory is not very good, the authorities have to walk there to get data about employees to be able to track them and talk to them … it can be done faster,” Kamradt said. Local officials including Laschet even suggested that Toennies should be responsible for the outbreak.

Toennies said in a statement that it was “working all the time” to help the authorities. Responding to criticism from local authorities who said the company failed to provide employee addresses, Toennies said it was not negligent and did not hide any data. It blames German data protection laws. “We are in an extreme situation and have to consider the privacy and data protection of several thousand people. In the end, we weigh the consequences and make the data available.” But federal labor minister Hubertus Heil told German tabloid Bild that he had “almost zero” confidence in the Toennies.

Many of those infected are migrant workers from Romania, Bulgaria and Poland who work in narrow conditions and on temporary contracts, with low wages. German health authorities are now trying hard to reach this previously invisible community – the district employs 150 translators to help.

Stephanie Halasz from CNN, Hanna Ziady and Zamira Rahim in London and Frederik Pleitgen in Berlin contributed reporting.

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Prize for the Portuguese. Andre Silva is Champions League Player of the Week



Prize for the Portuguese.  Andre Silva is Champions League Player of the Week

BUTndre Silva won the competition and became the best player of the week in the Champions League, informed UEFAthis Thursday.

The former Porto striker scored in Jota’s 3-1 victory over Celtic Leipzig, scoring a brace in a match that was signed after his Portuguese compatriot equalized.

In addition, Andre Silva also provided the assist for Nkunku, scoring the first goal of this Wednesday’s game in which huge show of foreign fans.

In addition to the Leipzig striker, Di Maria (Juventus), Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund) and Di Lorenzo (Napoli) also fought in the fight for the prize, but it was the Portuguese who managed to smile after voting for the third round of the competition, the famous This Thursday is the fair.

Read also: Diogo Costa and Andre Silva named to Champions League Team of the Week

See also: Andre Silva among the nominees for the title of the best player of the week in the Champions League

See also: double dose. Andre Silva returned to celebrate and sentenced doubts

See also: Andre Silva took advantage of Hart’s colossal mistake and responded to Jota’s goal

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Eternal Portuguese deja vu – Renaissance



Eternal Portuguese deja vu - Renaissance

At the end of the summer of 1972, exactly half a century ago, SEDES – Associação para o Desenvolvimento Económico e Social (the most famous reformist think tank during Marseilles) issued a document for the country entitled “Portugal: The country we are, the country we want to be “. The Marseille spring had already turned into autumn: Américo Thomas had just been re-elected, the colonial war had dragged on, repression had intensified, and an economic crisis was already brewing. Seeing the general frustration, and at the same time willing to go against it, the signatories of CEDES began by asking “Where will we be and how will we be in 1980?” to criticize the obstacles that overshadowed Portugal in the early 1970s.

Among the “problems that are getting worse without a solution”, emigration stood out, indicating the country’s inability to offer better living and working conditions to those who left; the growing inflationary process, reflected in the cost of living; the inevitability of economic integration in Europe when the country is not ready for international commercial competition; “disaggregation of regional economies” with “continuous depopulation of municipalities and regions” within the country; or “deterioration of public administration” when the government fails to promote a “prestigious, moralized, revitalized and efficient public sector”. “No one will have any difficulty,” continued the text, “to add to a new list of urgent questions that seriously endanger national life, about which much has been said and which, year after year, continue to wait for a sufficient solution.” Therefore, “the prevailing feeling in the country” in contemplation of the recent past and present could not but be “annoyance at urgent battles, the need for which was endlessly discussed, at decisions that were changed or postponed, and at rejected goals” or which were not clearly formulated ” .

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Between “untapped resources” and/or “lack of organizational and decision-making capacity” there was “widespread anxiety” stemming from the inevitable observation that “we are very far from the results that we could achieve thanks to the progress of the Portuguese and Portugal”. This was the macro goal of the reformist, humanist and liberalizing technocrats that SEDES brought together. “Ultimately,” they reminded Marcelo Cayetano, “the real obstacle can only be associated with the low political priority of economic and social development in our country.” So, in short, there was an urgent need to “radically change our economic, social and political way of life”, since “a national balance based on general anemia, repression and weakening of various participants” is unsustainable and pernicious.

SEDES did not know that the Estado Novo would fall in April 1974, that democracy would come in 1976, and Europe from the EEC (after EFTA) in 1986 of repression, finally gained the freedom that was discussed between the lines of the 1972 manifesto ., there would be conditions for solving (almost) all economic and social problems of development and cohesion.

Fifty years have passed since this manifesto, and almost the same number has already been in democracy. However, if we compare the above quotes with the Portuguese present, the feeling of deja vu is indescribable. SEDES wondered what the country would be like in 1980 and is wondering today (in its recent study “Ambition: Doubling GDP in 20 Years”) where we will be in 2040. It may be a replay of a sad fate: knowing (some) where to go, but never getting there!

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Algeria interested in Portuguese companies investing in renewable energy – Observer



Algeria interested in Portuguese companies investing in renewable energy - Observer

Foreign Minister João Gomes Cravinho met this Wednesday with his Algerian counterpart Ramtan Lamamra, who expressed interest in Portuguese companies investing in Algeria’s solar and wind energy.

Speaking with Lusa, João Cravinho also said that for 2023 it was decided to hold a “high-level meeting chaired by the prime ministers” of the two countries, a meeting to be held in Algiers, in addition to the state visit of the President of Algeria. Algeria to Portugal.

The Portuguese foreign minister said today’s visit to Algeria, where he was with Ramtan Lamamra, whom he has known since 2005 when he was ambassador to Lisbon, is “based on old knowledge”, but also a visit to a country that “does not to be a neighbor”, shares “a lot of fears”. “Not being a neighboring country, it almost shares many concerns about the region, the Mediterranean, the European Union’s relationship with Africa and the Arab world. It was important for us to talk about what we can do together as part of the geopolitical and geo-economic transformation,” he explained.

João Cravinho stressed that the issue of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a factor “which could not but be the subject of dialogue”, and also added that “geo-economic issues related to energy, renewable energy sources and the opportunities that come with the digital transition” also were on the table.


“While Algeria is a major exporter of fossil fuels, it is also a country with huge potential in terms of solar and wind energy. We have very qualified companies in these areas, and the Algerian side has expressed interest in [ter] Portuguese investors in these areas,” the minister said.

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The official said that it would be a matter of working with the Portuguese Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade (AICEP), with the Secretary of State for Internationalization, as well as with a sectoral ministry, namely the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. A “high-level meeting chaired by the prime ministers” of the two countries is scheduled for 2023, a meeting to be held in Algiers, in addition to the Algerian President’s state visit to Portugal.

“We have a very busy calendar between the two countries. Now we will try to organize a mixed commission, where technical specialists from both countries will gather,” he said, stressing that there are “14 legal documents that are practically finalized and will be signed” in 2023.

João Gomes Cravinho was on a visit to Algiers today to assess bilateral relations in the economic sphere, as well as in terms of cooperation, language and culture, and to discuss international issues.

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