Summary COVID: German Finance Minister Lindner tests positive in the United States | News | DW

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said on Twitter in the United States on Wednesday evening that he had tested positive for COVID after his meetings with the International Monetary Fund and the G20 in Washington.

“After two years without COVID-19 infection, after a negative result yesterday at a testing center and another negative rapid test earlier today: Positive,” Lindner wrote. “Thanks to three vaccinations, only mild and already fading cold symptoms.”

Lindner was attending various appointments in the U.S. capital, focusing on the International Monetary Fund’s spring meeting as well as a G20 session he attended and a smaller meeting of G7 finance ministers he chaired. , Germany being the current holder of the G7 presidency. .

According to Finance Ministry officials, he had undergone regular tests, all of which were negative, until he recorded a positive rapid test late on Wednesday.

The 43-year-old had further dates scheduled for Thursday in the United States and then a late evening flight home. The impact on his travel schedule was not immediately clear.

Lindner chose not to join a group of politicians who walked out of a G20 session in protest when a Russian minister began speaking, though his team instead said he had sharply criticized Russia during the meeting.

Here are the latest major developments on the coronavirus from around the world:

Europe

Germany reported 186,325 new COVID infections on Thursday, bringing the total number of cases to 23,844,536, according to the latest figures from the Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases. The seven-day rolling average of cases per population of 100,000 was recorded at 720.

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has said he expects the country’s coronavirus situation to improve over the summer, but warned the country must prepare for a new one. wave of infections in the fall. He said there were probably twice as many coronavirus cases in the country as currently officially reported and expressed concern about the existence of new virus variants.

A labor court in the German city of Cologne has ruled that an employer was entitled to fire without notice an employee who presented false vaccination documents to comply with company coronavirus rules. The court ruled that the employee of a health consulting company had breached her obligations to customers and the company by ignoring her obligation to vaccinate. The employee presented a fake vaccination document to her supervisor after the company announced that only fully vaccinated people would be allowed to conduct personal consultations with customers.

the UK parliament has voted to investigate Prime Minister Boris Johnson to determine whether he lied about breaking his own government’s coronavirus lockdown rules. Johnson, who is currently under police and civil service investigation into what has become known as the “partygate” scandal, says he has nothing to hide and has refused to resign. Historically, contempt of Parliament has been a resignation offense if proven.

Asia

hong kong reopened gyms, beauty salons, theme parks and cinemas for the first time in more than four months as COVID infections fell below 1,000 in the past six days from a peak of more 70,000 on March 3.

The city also extended restaurant dining until 10 p.m. and lifted restrictions on group gatherings of up to four people. Several schools have also resumed in-person classes after months of online learning.

Taiwan approved a second COVID booster for people over 65, as well as a third booster dose for immunocompromised people, including dialysis patients and those who have received organ transplants.

Residents of long-term care facilities can also get their second reminder.

The government said those who receive their boosters should get them at least five months after their last shot, choosing from Moderna Inc, BioNTech-Pfizer, Taiwan-made Medigen or Novavax brands.

In a city China, an Associated Press (AP) review of the number of coronavirus deaths in Shanghai says official statistics have been clouded by the way health authorities tally COVID-19 deaths. AP says China has much tighter, less transparent and sometimes inconsistent standards than the rest of the world, resulting in a much lower death toll. While most countries, including the United States, must count any death in which COVID-19 is a factor or contributor as a COVID-related death, Chinese health authorities only count those who die directly from COVID. -19, excluding all others whose underlying conditions were aggravated by the virus.

Shanghai, a city of more than 25 million people, has reported 25 coronavirus deaths during a nearly two-month outbreak that has infected hundreds of thousands of people in the world’s third-largest city. In response to questions about COVID-19 figures in Shanghai, China’s National Health Commission said there was “no reason to suspect the accuracy of China’s epidemic data and statistics”.

Americas

the WE The Justice Department has appealed a federal judge’s decision that ended a mask mandate on public transportation and airplanes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the measure was always necessary.

Earlier this week, the district judge ruled that the 14-month warrant, which applied to planes, trains and other public transportation, was illegal.

the WE The Justice Department has charged 21 people as part of a national campaign to root out those who exploited the pandemic through health care fraud schemes. The cases involved about $150 million in false invoices and alleged thefts from federal pandemic relief programs.

In New York, a federal district judge sentenced a Chinese man to more than four years in prison after admitting to fraudulently trying to obtain $20 million (18.5 million euros) in federal coronavirus relief funds for companies in difficulty. The judge said the prison sentence was necessary because of the seriousness of the crimes and the need for others to be warned about abusing government programs designed to help people in times of national emergency.

Over $8 million in cash and other fraud proceeds have been seized in the past 10 days.

WE airlines say they have finally reached a turning point after years of slowing business following the coronavirus pandemic. Several carriers, including American Airlines, say they are seeing their highest passenger numbers since the coronavirus pandemic began.

On Thursday, American said that despite a loss of $1.64 billion (1.5 billion euros) in the first quarter, it had posted record sales in March, raising hopes the company would be on the mend. again profitable in the second quarter.

“The demand is as strong as we’ve ever seen,” said US CEO Robert Isom.

The Biden administration said Thursday it would expand the requirement for non-US citizens to cross land or ferry terminals to the United States-Mexico and United States-Canada borders are vaccinated against COVID-19. The requirements were first adopted in November when the United States reopened land crossings to foreign tourists. These had been closed to most visitors since March 2020. Unlike international air travelers to the United States, people traveling by land or sea do not need to provide a negative COVID-19 test.

Hospitals in Canada are canceling or postponing some medical procedures as the country prepares for a new wave of coronavirus infections. Health experts say it will take years to resolve a growing backlog of procedures and could cost many more lives as exhausted health workers themselves become sicker, leading to staff shortages .

js, see/wmr (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)