Despite the British mutation of the coronavirus spreading more and more in the EU, a look at the figures for Great Britain show that new infections will not necessarily increase significantly again anytime soon. The infection rate there is now even lower than in France, Italy or the Netherlands, for example.
In the UK, the number of new infections reported continues to decline. The 7-day average yesterday fell to below 19 per 100,000 inhabitants. In the USA, the infection curve is also trending steeply downward.
There is more positive news from Israel, where almost half of the population has now been vaccinated against the coronavirus at least with the first dose of the two-step vaccination process. In Israel, the 7-day average for new infections fell by 20 to less than 54 per 100,000 inhabitants within less than a week.
In the EU, the Czech Republic is currently particularly hard hit by the pandemic. The number of new infections has risen again since the beginning of February. In Portugal and Spain, on the other hand, the further spread of the virus seems to be at least contained, with local authorities even considering easing travel restrictions to boost their battered tourism industries. The situation in France and Italy, where the number of new infections is remains flat, little has changed.
In Germany, 10,207 new infections were reported yesterday, as many as a week ago. The 7-day infection average per 100,000 inhabitants is still just under 9.
The situation in German hospitals continues to improve. Yesterday, 3,251 corona patients required medical treatment in intensive care units, the lowest figure recorded since mid-November 2020.
The vaccination process is making rapid progress in Israel, the UK and the USA. The situation is different in the EU, where there is still very little supply of vaccine doses available, with the EU coming under intense criticism for the overall planning of their approval programmes and sourcing procedures.
Vaccination schedules in most EU member-states looks to be lagging expectations by several weeks at least.
According to a survey by the Ifo Institute, almost every third company in Germany has had part of their workforce on short-time work since the beginning of the year.
In the USA, the central bank still sees itself as a long way off its goals of full employment and price stability.
US retail sales rose 5.3% in January compared to December, and growth was significantly higher than expected. The special payments of 600 dollars to many Americans from the December stimulus package played a major role in this increase.
In China, retail and hospitality sales during the Lunar New Year holiday were about 30% higher than in the same period in 2020 and 4.9% higher than in 2019, according to preliminary data from the Department of Commerce. What the effects of the massive movement of people during the festive season will be remains to be seen over the coming weeks.
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