New York promotes anticovid vaccination program for tourists

After having reached the number of 7 million vaccinated against the coronavirus, the city of New York began with a program where invites tourists, who so wish, to apply the injection coping with the covid-19 pandemic.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the one that the authorities are offering, which requires a room dose. Around the city, the so-called ‘Vacunabus’ have been installed, trucks that inoculate without an appointment and remain open between 08:00 and 19:00 local hours.

With the percentage of positives hovering around 2 percent, the lowest in 6 months, and with the demand for vaccines also declining, businesses and organizations around the city offer tickets to those who have not yet come to receive their dose.

Participants include the ferry service, the City Aquarium, the Manhattan and Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, the Bronx Zoo, as well as the Lincoln Center, and sports franchises such as the New York Cyclones and the New York City Futbol Club.

The tourism vaccination service was announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio last weekend. With the offer, New York joins cities in Texas, Florida and California that launched the same promotion in recent days.

At this time, most of the Mexicans who have been vaccinated in the United States have done so in Texas. In February 95 thousand people traveled to that state departing from the Mexico City International Airport, a figure that increased to 207 thousand in April.

Just as organizations in defense of the use of cannabis were giving away marijuana cigarettes to New Yorkers who were vaccinated in the Union Square of Manhattan, in New Jersey a similar effort is being implemented with the offer of giving beers to those who before put their arm to receive the protection of a vaccine. In Alaska, Gov. Mike Dunleavy also said travelers could get free vaccinations at major state airports beginning June 1.

In the city where the Big Apple is located, the offer to vaccinate tourists is integrated into the campaign New York Wake up, announced by the mayor, who revealed a figure of 30 million dollars in advertising, this to bring back the visitors and the more than 400 thousand jobs linked to said activity.


Germany administers Johnson & Johnson vaccine to all adults without age limit

As of this Monday, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can be administered in Germany to all adults, thereby suspending the priority system that determines who receives the doses of the vaccine in the first place.

It should be noted that in Portugal the Janssen vaccine, from the Johnson & Johnson group, for single use, is recommended for people over 50 years old. However, children under 50 who want to take the drug only have to give consent.

“People under 50 years of age who wish to do so can be vaccinated with the Janssen vaccine, provided that they are properly informed about the benefits and risks, and that they expressly give their informed consent,” says the DGS.

In Germany, Health Minister Jens Spahn explained that, since most people over 60 should already be vaccinated by June, it was decided not to restrict the vaccine to older people because of the rare risks of thrombosis .

Instead, younger people can choose to have the vaccine after consulting the doctor, as indicated in Portugal by the Directorate-General for Health.

Spahn said that about 10 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are expected between June and July – when older people are vaccinated. In that regard, Germany has decided to lift the age restrictions for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine “so that everyone can have the possibility to get vaccinated after clarifications with their doctors and based on their individual decisions”, said Spahn.


Why corona tests can be positive for a long time after illness – healing practice

Corona: PCR test positive long after recovery

In the first few months of the Corona-19 pandemic, health care workers analyzing the test results noticed something strange: For patients who had already recovered from COVID-19, PCR tests sometimes inexplicably returned positive weeks or even months later out. Researchers now have an explanation for this.

Although people can be infected twice with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, this did not seem to be the case with these patients. No live viruses have been isolated from their samples, and some tests have produced these false positive results even when people were in quarantine. Also, RNAs generally have a short lifespan – most persist for only a few minutes – so it was unlikely that positive tests were the result of residual RNAs.

Those who have recovered remain positive

According to a recent release, a paper from researchers at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge could now provide an answer to why some patients continue to test positive after recovering from COVID-19.

In the article published in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” (PNAS), Prof. Rudolf Jaenisch and colleagues show that genetic sequences of the RNA virus SARS-CoV-2 are transformed by a process known as reverse transcription can integrate into the genome of the host cell.

These sections of the genome can then be “read” into RNAs, which could possibly be picked up by a PCR test.

Integrated into the genome

SARS-CoV-2 is not the only virus that integrates into the human genome. According to the experts, around eight percent of our DNA consists of the remains of ancient viruses. Some viruses, called retroviruses, rely on integration into human DNA in order to replicate themselves.

“SARS-CoV-2 is not a retrovirus, which means that it does not need reverse transcription to replicate,” explains the Whitehead Institute postdoc and lead author Liguo Zhang. “However, non-retroviral RNA virus sequences have been detected in the genome of many vertebrate species, including humans.”

With this in mind, Zhang and Jaenisch began to design experiments to test whether this viral integration with the novel coronavirus could take place. With the help of Alexsia Richards, the researchers infected human cells in the laboratory with the coronavirus and, two days later, sequenced the DNA from infected cells to determine whether it contained traces of the virus’s genetic material.

To ensure that their results could be confirmed by different methods, they used three different DNA sequencing techniques. In all samples, they found fragments of viral genetic material (although the researchers emphasize that none of the inserted fragments were sufficient to produce a live virus).

“Jumping Gene”

They then examined the DNA flanking the small viral sequences for clues about the mechanism by which they got there. The researchers found retrotransposons in these surrounding sequences.

Transposons are sometimes called “jumping genes,” and are pieces of DNA that can move from one region of the genome to another. They are often activated to “jump” in conditions of high stress, cancer or aging. A common transposon in the human genome is the LINE1 retrotransposon.

“There is a very clear footprint for the LINE1 integration,” says Jaenisch. “At the connection of the viral sequence with the cellular DNA there is a duplication with 20 base pairs.”

In addition to the duplication, a further feature as evidence of the LINE1-mediated integration is a LINE1 endonuclease recognition sequence. The practitioners identified these traits in nearly 70 percent of DNAs that contained viral sequences, but not all, suggesting that the viral RNA may integrate into cellular DNA through multiple mechanisms.

RNA transcripts from different sample types

To verify the integration of the virus outside of the laboratory, the scientists analyzed published datasets of RNA transcripts from various sample types, including COVID-19 patient samples.

With these data sets, Zhang and Jaenisch were able to calculate the proportion of genes that were transcribed in the cells of these patients and that contained viral sequences that could be derived from integrated viral copies.

The percentage varied from sample to sample, but for some a relatively large proportion of the viral transcripts appear to have been transcribed from viral genetic material integrated into the genome.

Instead of only counting transcripts that contained viral material, the researchers examined the direction in which the transcripts had been read. If the transcripts were the product of random viral integration into the genome, there would be a split of close to 50-50 – half of the transcripts would have been read forward, the other half backward, relative to the host genes.

“This is what we saw in some patient samples,” said Zhang. “It suggests that much of the viral RNA in some samples could be transcribed from integrated sequences.”

Possible continuous protection against the virus

Since the dataset they used was quite small, Jaenisch stresses that more information is needed to determine exactly how often this phenomenon occurs in real life and what it could mean for human health.

It is possible that very few human cells experience viral integration at all. In the case of another RNA virus that integrates into the host cell’s genome, only a fraction of a percent of the infected cells (between 0.001 and 0.01) contained integrated viral DNA. For SARS-CoV-2, the frequency of integration in humans is still unknown.

This proportion can be very small, says Jaenisch. “But even if it is rare, there are more than 140 million people who are already infected, right?”

In the future, Jaenisch and Zhang want to investigate whether the fragments of the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 can be processed into proteins by the cell. “If this is the case and triggers immune responses, it can provide continuous protection against the virus,” said Zhang.

They also hope to investigate whether these built-in stretches of DNA could be partially responsible for some of the long-term autoimmune sequelae that occur in some people with COVID-19. “At the moment we can only speculate,” says Jaenisch. “However, we believe that we can explain why some patients are long-term PCR positive.” (Ad)

Author and source information

This text complies with the requirements of specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.


  • Whitehead Institute: New research reveals why some patients may test positive for COVID-19 long after recovery, (Abruf: 08.05.2021), Whitehead Institute
  • Liguo Zhang, Alexsia Richards, M. Inmaculada Barrasa, Stephen H. Hughes, Richard A. Young & Rudolf Jaenisch: Reverse-transcribed SARS-CoV-2 RNA can integrate into the genome of cultured human cells and can be expressed in patient-derived tissues; in: Proceedings der National Academy of Sciences, (veröffentlicht: 06.05.2021), Proceedings der National Academy of Sciences

Important NOTE:
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.


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“Pyres prove that there is a crisis”

Corona tests are rare, oxygen bottles are priceless and the nearest hospital is often far away. No country is currently suffering as much from the pandemic as India, but the government is stopping all calls for help.

Photo series with 13 pictures

Brijesh Pandey spends hours every day getting oxygen for his brother-in-law who is seriously ill with Covid-19. “The government says there is enough medication and oxygen,” says the 42-year-old while queuing at an oxygen cylinder refill station in Moradabad in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. “But look how hundreds of desperate people fight to save the lives of their brothers, sisters and parents.”

Although Pandey’s brother-in-law has difficulty breathing, he is looked after at home. The Indian bureaucracy is to blame. “We were only able to have a rapid test done, which is not recognized by the hospitals,” reports Panday. “They ask for an RT-PCR-Test, and that is not available. “So the family had to raise the astronomical sum of 40,000 rupees (almost 450 euros) to get an oxygen bottle.

Two men transport an oxygen cylinder: many sick people are cared for at home by their family members. (Source: Sudipta Das / imago images)

The oxygen station in Moradabad is guarded by police officers. Only those waiting who can show a prescription from a doctor are admitted. According to their own statements, the authorities intend to use this to deter black marketeers. “We know that many people cannot be tested even though they are sick,” admits the head of the filling station. “You won’t get any oxygen then.”

Anyone who “spreads rumors and fears” will be arrested

The regional government does not seem to want to admit the extent of the crisis in the poor villages. At the head of the government is the Hindu monk Yogi Adityanath, who is traded as a possible successor to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He insists that there is no shortage of drugs or oxygen. Last week, the 48-year-old monk said that anyone who made “false” claims about alleged supply shortages in Uttar Pradesh could face criminal prosecution and expropriation.

The police are investigating at least two private individuals and a clinic who are said to have “spread rumors and fears”. One of the victims was arrested after he published a call for help for oxygen on the online service Twitter.

In Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, 830 corona deaths were officially registered in April. According to information from two crematoriums, more than 1,900 bodies were burned there last month alone, and another 500 dead were buried in the Muslim cemetery.

Relatives of a deceased: “The government is lying”

According to Vivek Awasthi, who runs an aid organization, many villagers treat the coronavirus like a normal cold. They do not take precautions to prevent spread. Often the nearest hospital is simply too far away. Ramchandra Nirmal, who works as a security guard at a hospital in Mumbai, comes from a village in the vicinity of which there are only small clinics. “But if you need oxygen, you have to go to a hospital about 110 kilometers away.”

Men walk past the wood fires to cremate: Hundreds of thousands have died from the corona virus in the past few days.  (Source: dpa / Manish Rajput / SOPA Images via ZUMA Wire)Men walk past the wood fires to cremate: Hundreds of thousands have died from the corona virus in the past few days. (Source: Manish Rajput / SOPA Images via ZUMA Wire / dpa)

There are many other reasons for the dramatic increase in the number of infections in Uttar Pradesh: Migrant workers and returning pilgrims brought the virus from the cities to their home villages. At the Kumbh Mela pilgrimage festival, millions of people huddled together until April, most of them without a mask.

When the virus was already spreading rapidly, local elections were still being held in Uttar Pradesh. Pavan Singh’s brother, a schoolteacher, became infected while working as an election worker and died. “My brother would be alive if the government used their wits,” says Singh. Other bereaved relatives who burn their dead on the banks of the Ganges agree with him. “The government is lying when it says there is no crisis,” says Sanjeev Yada, whose sister-in-law died at home. “These pyres show that there is a crisis and the government is only trying to cover it up.”


Crowds on the street, crowded bars and celebrations for the end of the state of alarm in Spain

Spain had been in a state of alarm for more than six months, the second decreed by the Government of Pedro Sánchez due to the covid-19. At midnight on Sunday, May 9, restrictions ended, such as curfews and a ban on movement between regions, and tens of thousands of people took to the streets, from that time on, to celebrate the return to some ” normality”.

Open and crowded bars, thousands of people on the street, most of them young, with bottles in bags, drinking and celebrating carefree, without guaranteeing social distance and not always wearing a mask. The scenario was repeated in some of the main Spanish cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Málaga or Salamanca.

“Alcohol, alcohol, we came to get drunk and we don’t care about the result [dos testes à Covid-19]”, affirmed a young man to the The country.

At half past one in the morning, a crowd gathered at Madrid’s famous Puerta del Sol and started shouting “freedom”, in euphoria for the end of restrictions.

In Barcelona, thousands of people gathered at various points, including at the door of the Superior Court of Justice, drinking and dancing without masks or distance. The Spanish press also reports parties on the beach with bottles of sparkling wine and fireworks, in the style of New Year’s Eve.

In Seville, nightclubs opened after midnight, and unlike Cinderella, many went out at that hour to enjoy themselves as in the days before the pandemic.

“Knowing that we don’t have to look at the clock to go home is a relief”
, said a student to the Spanish newspaper.

The images of a partying Spain, lively, with streets full of people, almost identical to a time of true normality, ran through social networks. Although the night was a party and there was no longer a curfew, drinking alcohol on the street is still prohibited and the authorities of several cities had to disperse the crowds, ask them to keep their distance and wear a mask, end parties for complaints due to disturbances and there were still a few hundred arrests.

The catering and hotel sectors are also anxious about the end of the general tightening of restrictions.

“People want to go back to their old routines. I myself am very nervous about going back to work at night”, described Carlos Domingo Morla, owner of the Negronix hamburger shop, in the Navas neighborhood of Barcelona. “I still remember the day that everything stopped. Nothing was the same again. We continued to open a few days until noon, but we did not earn even five percent of what we had earned before. Now is the time to put everything on track. “.

In fact, the Spanish press reports that reservations for restaurants in Spain have increased and are practically full for the next few days.

However, there is also fear that the pandemic has changed people’s habits and that there are not as many customers as before.

“There is a lot of expectation of how it will work going forward, if the pandemic will have changed habits only temporarily“, he also explained to the newspaper Eduard Urgell, general director of Angrup, a group with 17 restaurants in Barcelona.

“Freedom” to move and visit the family

Spain has been, since the beginning of the pandemic, one of the countries in Europe and the world most affected by the covid-19. But in recent weeks the incidence rate of cases has been decreasing, at the same time that national vaccination has advanced, which has allowed most of the 17 regions to end the state of emergency, curfews and a ban on movement.

There are, however, four regions that maintain these limitations: Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Navarra and Valencia.

In addition to being able to be on the street without time constraints, Spaniards can return to travel between restrictions and visit families, friends, book holidays and weekends away. With the easing of restrictions, many families expect to be able to meet again and enjoy their second homes in other regions.

“We will cross the regional border as soon as it is midnight, fulfilling all the rules”, revealed on Saturday Carolina Tricio, who lives in Vitoria but has a second home, family home, in Burgos.

I was tired of not being able to leave Madrid “, Blaca Valls told AFP, echoing the relief of many in the country by easing restrictions.

“I felt frustrated, stuck, without freedom”, he added, assuming that he intends to travel to Galicia, in northwest Spain, next weekend to celebrate a birthday.

Argentina Enriquez, a 37-year-old Mexican student, also said that she wants to go, from now on, enjoy barbecues with friends, play the guitar and go for a walk.

“Just being together. There are a lot of emotions”, said.

Although the end of the state of emergency provides more freedoms, the responsibility for ensuring control of the pandemic and public health is now with the 17 regional governments of the country.

The state of emergency provides them with a legal framework to impose measures again measured, such as a night curfew or a ban on non-essential travel between regions, if necessary.


Italy wants to allow EU vacationers entry without quarantine

Red zones removed from May 10th

A vacation on the Adriatic is within reach. Italy’s Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said that entry will be made easier for citizens from the European Union from mid-May.

To stimulate tourism, Italy wants to allow entry in May without the previous short quarantine. Italy’s Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio announced on Facebook on Saturday that travelers from Europe who are fully vaccinated should be able to enter the country more easily from mid-May. Together with the Minister of Health, he is also working on abolishing the “mini-quarantine” for EU citizens, British and travelers from Israel who have tested negative, vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19.

So far, visitors to Italy from the EU have generally required a negative test before traveling, they have to be quarantined in the country for five days and then undergo a second corona test.

US tourists should also be attracted

Di Maio announced that the rules for visitors from the USA should also be relaxed in June. “Tourism is an important building block for the new start in Italy,” wrote the politician of the five-star movement. The exact regulations and dates for the new regulations have not yet been set by law.

In the Mediterranean country, the corona numbers had dropped in the past few weeks. On Saturday, over 27 percent of the population was vaccinated against corona at least once. Health Minister Roberto Speranza also signed a decree according to which there will be no more red zones with particularly strict corona locks in Italy from Monday (May 10).


Puente Alto, Maipú and La Florida are the communes with the most active cases in the country

The Department of Health Statistics and Information (DEIS) published the Epidemiological Report number 118, prepared with the data available until May 6, 2021.

The report showed that 1,464,992 people have been infected with COVID-19 (1,235,779 with laboratory confirmation and 229,213 without laboratory confirmation).

The median age of those infected is still 38 years, where 7.70% corresponded to persons under 15 years of age, 25.97% to persons aged 15-29 years, 29.07% to persons aged 30-44 years, 27.61% to persons aged 45- 64 years, while the remaining 9.65% to adults 65 and over.

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The total of Deaths from COVID-19 rose to 34,583. Of these, 27,101 are confirmed deaths and 7,482 are suspicious.

The deaths that occurred between March 2020 and January 2021 by COVID-19 represent the 20.07% of deaths of Chile since the pandemic began (172,289), according to observations and recommendations of the WHO / PAHO for the coding of deaths resulting from SARS-CoV-2, the DEIS indicated.

Regarding active cases, the country reached 48,955 contagious. Of them, the majority are in the Metropolitan region (19.940), Valparaiso (4.254), Biobio (4,167) and Maule (3.827).

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Meanwhile, the communes with the most active COVID-19 cases son:

  • High Bridge: 1,904
  • Maipú: 1,075
  • Florida: 1,012
  • Saint Bernard: 960
  • Santiago: 924
  • Peñalolén: 918
  • Temuco: 862
  • Los Angeles: 842
  • Arica: 825
  • Viña del Mar: 814
  • Valparaiso: 782
  • Curicó: 755
  • Pudahuel: 709
  • Renca: 691
  • La Pintana: 683

See the full report here:


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