New corona infections at the highest level: Steinmeier in quarantine

A bodyguard for the Federal President tested positive for Sars-CoV-2, a first test at Steinmeier is negative. The Belgian foreign minister tested positive.

Better to keep your mask on: Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is going into quarantine Photo: dpa

BERLIN dpa / rtr | Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier went into quarantine on Saturday. As a spokeswoman for the Office of the Federal President in Berlin announced, a bodyguard for the head of state has tested positive for the corona virus. A first corona test with the head of state was negative, as a spokeswoman for the Office of the Federal President announced. Steinmeier will be tested again in the coming days.

The Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes has been infected with the corona virus. She had tested positive she shares on Twitter. The infection presumably took place within her family. Already on Friday, she announced that she would isolate herself because there was a suspicion of Covid 19 symptoms. Wilmes took part in talks with the other EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on October 12th.

Sharp measures threaten in Berlin

Due to the increasing number of corona infections, a drastic tightening of the contact restrictions is under discussion in Berlin. According to information from Daily mirror A draft of the new Infection Ordinance provides that from next week a maximum of five people may be in public space – or several members of two households. Sports activities are excluded from this. So far, the five-person limit applied between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

But that has not yet been decided, the new rules are on the agenda of the Berlin Senate on Tuesday. Neither the Senate Chancellery nor the health administration commented on the paper on Saturday.

The background is the rapidly increasing number of cases in the capital. The number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants rose in the past seven days to 83.2 (as of Friday evening). Berlin is thus well above the critical threshold of 50.

According to the draft, a mask requirement should be introduced in markets and other busy public places, the paper reported. According to the plans, the previous maximum number of people at events should remain in place: until the end of the year, outdoor events with up to 5,000 people are allowed, and up to 1,000 people indoors.

Furthermore, private events and celebrations with up to 50 people outdoors and up to ten people in closed rooms should also be possible. For this a hygiene concept must be available and attendance documentation must be kept.

Health Senator Dilek Kalayci, SPD, disagreed with the idea that the current increase in infections in the city is primarily due to increased testing. The rate of positive tests in Berlin – after values ​​of less than 1 percent in summer – has risen to around 4 percent. “In the districts in which a particularly large number of contact persons were tested, we are even at 8 percent,” she said.

The City Councilor for Health at the Corona hotspot Berlin-Neukölln believes it is no longer possible to contain the virus, as in the summer in his district. “The fact that we can catch it again like in the middle of the year, I don’t think anymore,” said the CDU politician Falko Liecke: “We are in absolute crisis mode.” to protect – for example, by restricting the possibilities of visiting old people’s and nursing homes and regularly testing staff there.

Night curfew in Paris and other cities

Due to the drastically increasing corona numbers, a night curfew is now in effect in Paris and other French cities. The new regulation came into force on Saturday night at midnight. The curfew is in effect for several weeks between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. At this time people are only allowed to be in front of the door for a valid reason. A health emergency has also been back in force this Saturday. With it, the government can enforce restrictions by regulation.

France has been struggling with rising corona numbers for weeks. On Thursday, more than 30,000 new corona infections were reported within 24 hours for the first time, on Friday there were around 25,000. France has around 67 million inhabitants. More than 33,000 people have died so far in connection with Covid-19. There is particular concern about the utilization of intensive care units in large cities such as Paris. More and more Covid-19 patients are occupying the beds there.

The Paris Ministry of the Interior published a form on Friday evening that anyone who has to go to the door during the curfew should carry with them. The following exceptions can be specified, among other things: commute to work, medical emergencies, care of relatives or care of children or the way to the airport or train station for long-distance travel. Walking the dog is also allowed – but only within one kilometer of the apartment.

New infections worldwide at a high level

The Robert Koch Institute reports a new high in Germany with 7,830 new infections. This increases the number of infected people to 348,557. More than 39 million people worldwide have been shown to have contracted the corona virus. More than 1.1 million people died with or from the virus. In terms of infections, the United States is still hardest hit with over eight million, followed by India (7.43 million), Brazil (5.16 million) and Russia (1.36 million).

Poland also reports a record increase of 9,622 new corona infections. In the Czech Republic, the number of new corona infections has passed the 11,000 mark for the first time; according to the Ministry of Health, there were 11,105 infections in the past 24 hours. Ukraine has a record 6,410 new corona infections. The National Security Council announced that 109 patients had died in the past 24 hours. This is also a maximum.

Austrian Foreign Minister Schallenberg infected

The Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg was infected with the corona virus. A spokeswoman for his ministry confirmed that Schallenberg had tested positive. The minister is symptom-free. He attended the cabinet meeting on Wednesday. All members of the government wore masks, but are now also being tested as a precautionary measure. It is possible that Schallenberg was infected on Monday. On that day, he and Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas attended the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

Merkel warns in the podcast: “Stay at home.”

In view of the continuing increase in the number of corona infections in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged citizens to help contain the pandemic. “We now have to do everything we can to ensure that the virus does not spread uncontrollably. Every day now counts, ”said the CDU politician in her weekly podcast published on Saturday. “I ask you: Refrain from any trip that is not really necessary, any celebration that is not really necessary. Please stay at home wherever possible, at your place of residence. “

Angela Merkel in her podcast

“That is exactly my appeal to you today: meet significantly fewer people, whether outside or at home”

Germany is in a “very serious phase,” said Merkel. “The number of new infections increases by leaps and bounds every day.” The pandemic is spreading rapidly again, faster than at the beginning more than half a year ago. “The comparatively relaxed summer is over, now we are facing difficult months. How winter will be like our Christmas will be decided in the coming days and weeks. We all decide that through our actions. “

In order for the virus not to spread uncontrollably, the contact persons of every infected person would have to be notified in order to break the chain of infection, said Merkel. “The health authorities are doing great things, but where the number of infected people is too high, they can no longer keep up.”

Merkel asked: “So what can each of us do to ensure that the numbers go down again? A lot, most of it simply because each and every one of us consistently maintains the minimum distance, wears mouth and nose protection, and complies with hygiene rules. “

Science clearly states that the spread of the virus depends directly on the number of contacts and encounters everyone has. “If each of us now significantly reduces our encounters outside of our own family for a while, then we can succeed in stopping and reversing the trend towards more and more infections,” says Merkel: “That is exactly my appeal to you today: Meet deal with significantly fewer people, whether outside or at home. “

Dissatisfied with the results of the federal-state summit

You know that not only sounds harsh, it is also a difficult waiver in individual cases, said the Chancellor. “But we only have to do it temporarily and we ultimately do it for ourselves: for our own health and that of all those who we can save a disease. To ensure that our health system is not overwhelmed, that our children’s schools and daycare centers remain open. For our economy and our jobs. “

That is why Germany got through the first six months of the pandemic so comparatively well because “we stood together” and adhered to the rules. “This is the most effective remedy we currently have against the pandemic. Now it is more necessary than ever. “

The federal and state governments tightened measures to contain the virus in Corona hotspots last Wednesday. In the controversial ban on accommodation for vacationers from risk areas, however, there was no uniform line. In several countries, courts have now stopped the accommodation ban.

According to information from the German Press Agency, Merkel had shown that she was dissatisfied with the decisions during the consultations with the Prime Minister in the Chancellery. “The announcements from us are not tough enough to avert the disaster from us,” said the CDU politician, according to participants who agreed. “It’s just not enough what we’re doing here.”

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Corona: “Solitude kills” – politics

The coronavirus can be particularly dangerous for older people, which is why the old people’s and nursing homes are protected. The Robert Koch Institute recommends a whole range of measures, such as hygiene. In the event that visits are permitted, these should be kept to a minimum and limited in time. The latter is implemented differently in the homes. For Fritz Schroth, 78, chairman of the Evangelical Senior Citizens’ Union in Germany, things are going wrong here.

SZ: Mr. Schroth, what is your experience with retirement and nursing homes?

Schroth: I am the contact person for the Protestant congregations, which is why I keep receiving terrifying reports. An example: A 93-year-old man has five sons, plus many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. But he can only be visited by one person for one hour in his retirement home once a week. The sons have to take turns; each is only allowed to see the elderly father once in five weeks. Such residents feel like they are in solitary confinement without being ordered by a judge. Where that happens, all courage to face is taken away. This pressure can increase to the point of longing for death. Solitude kills.

Is that an isolated case or the rule?

There are a number of homes in which things are different and better. I don’t want to denounce the industry in general here. In a home in Würzburg, residents are allowed to meet one person for 45 minutes once a day. This is much better than once a week, but still not enough. People need social contact, especially with their families. Here one pays too much attention to hygiene regulations. These have to be, but the question is how to interpret and implement them.

The public learns little from the homes. Why is that?

The old people’s and nursing homes are in the shadow of the public. You take things slowly. In addition, the home residents are dependent on staff and home administration. That’s why many old people prefer to remain silent when something goes wrong. And suffer. I know a woman who lost ten kilograms in the first three months of the pandemic, she only weighs 48.2 kilograms.

There have been many deaths in nursing homes related to Corona. If more visitors come, the risk of someone bringing the virus increases. Isn’t it necessary to be careful here?

You have to take certain precautionary measures. But there is always a residual risk that cannot and must not be eliminated. If everything should be hygienic, everything sterile, the result is no longer human. This is where the old person becomes a thing. I was happy that the President of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Schäuble, corrected the following: It is not health that is most important, but human dignity.

Fritz Schroth, 78, was a member of the regional synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria for 30 years.

(Photo: private)

Do the residents of the home share this view in view of the current pandemic?

Many voices suggest it. One of the residents of the home told me: Death will come sooner or later, but as long as he is alive he does not want to have to do without his family. Such a statement is of course borderline, but it is an expression of great despair. What good is their health when they die of loneliness?

Can’t the care provided by the nursing staff make up for something?

Unfortunately, there are increasing reports of irritable employees. I don’t want to accuse anyone of malicious intent, the nursing staff have to do even more tasks in this pandemic than before, and are more challenged by disinfection, for example. You’re just overloaded. This sharpens the tone. An 87-year-old woman in Lower Franconia has complained to her pastor that she will communicate with her in a command tone. That starts with the speech in the clumsy you, although the woman did not consent to it. For them it is degrading.

You accuse the staff in the homes of not treating the residents appropriately?

I see the problem more in the system. The reputation of care workers in society is roughly on par with a construction worker. The payment is accordingly. To do this, the forces work under enormous time pressure. You hardly hear anything about further training or self-reflection in the homes. There is probably no time for that at the moment. In any case, the cordiality often falls by the wayside.

The number of new infections is currently increasing sharply. Are you afraid of renewed strict restrictions?

It is a different situation because you have now learned to deal with the virus better. Now is the time to fundamentally reassess the situation in old people’s and nursing homes.

What exactly should change?

This question is difficult to answer. This requires a thorough inventory. Money alone does not solve all problems. Someone can have a lot of money and still be inhuman. And vice versa. In contrast, values ​​such as honesty, honesty and reliability play a far too little role. But what is clear: it has to get across in politics and the health authorities that loneliness is also a bad story. This must be included in the planning and implementation of the corona measures, not just the hygiene regulations.

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Corona worldwide: Trump wedges against science – politics

US President Donald Trump has defended his opposition to the advice of scientists in the corona pandemic. “If I had listened completely to the scientists, we would now have a country that would be in a massive depression,” said Trump during a campaign appearance in Carson City, Nevada. “Instead, we’re like a rocket ship.”

Trump also made fun of his Democratic challenger Joe Biden – he has promised to take advice from scientists in the fight against the coronavirus. Trump accused Biden of imposing an “unscientific lockdown” to contain the coronavirus if he was elected. In the November 3rd election, Americans would have a choice between a “Trump super recovery” of the economy and a “Biden Depression,” said Trump.

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The pandemic is still out of control in the US. More than 8.1 million infections have been detected since the beginning, and almost 220,000 people died after being infected. An increase in new corona infections per day can currently be seen again. Regardless, Trump called on the states to open completely on Sunday.

The prominent US health expert Anthony Fauci said in an interview broadcast on Sunday with the broadcaster CBS: “I think deep down the president believes in science. If he didn’t, his health wouldn’t have the very competent doctors at Walter -Reed Military Hospital. ” Trump had tested positive for the corona virus in early October and was then treated in hospital for three days.

Italy’s Prime Minister calls for “maximum caution”

For the third time in less than two weeks, Italy is tightening the regulations on corona protection for around 60 million citizens. Because of the steep rise in contagion curves, the government in Rome is further restricting gastronomy. Exercising is also considered risky. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte called on the Italians to “exercise maximum caution” in order to protect themselves and their fellow human beings from infection. He spoke of a “critical situation” on television on Sunday evening.

According to the new regulations, a maximum of six people can sit at the table in restaurants, as Conte said. The curfew for restaurants and bars with table service remains at midnight. However, restaurants without seats would have to stop serving after 6 p.m. Mayors are encouraged to close popular places in the evenings where many people gather. Offices should accelerate work at home. Sports competitions by amateurs should be restricted. In addition, Conte gave the sports studios a week for stricter anti-corona measures. Otherwise there is a threat of closure. The decree itself will be presented shortly.

On October 7th, Rome passed a national mask requirement that also applies outdoors. A little later, a party ban and curfew at midnight followed. In the course of October, the increase in the number of infections accelerated dramatically. Around 2,500 cases a day at the beginning of October have grown to almost 12,000 infections in 24 hours by Sunday. According to the Ministry of Health, the comparable value, which records infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days, was 46.8 cases in Italy in mid-October.

Record values ​​in several European countries

Not only in Germany, with 7840 cases, the confirmed new infections within 24 hours are higher than ever before. The number of infections in the corona pandemic is rising steeply worldwide. Several countries reported highs again on Saturday.

In Italy the Ministry of Health registered 10 925 new infections within 24 hours – more than ever before. In addition, 47 other people died in connection with the corona virus. In response to the new figures, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that he would announce further measures on Sunday in the fight against the spread of the corona virus.

Also France reports a record of new infections. The Ministry of Health announced that there were 32,427 new cases on Saturday. The number of deaths rises to 33,392.

The Netherlands registered 8114 new infections within one day. This is another record, according to data from the National Public Health Institute. Also Poland reports a record increase of 9,622 new corona infections. In Austria there are 1747 new cases on Saturday. The previous record on Thursday was 1552. The Ukraine With 6410 new corona infections, it has over 400 cases more than on Friday when the country reported its last record numbers. The situation is particularly bad in Czech Republic: The number of new corona infections there just exceeded the 11,000 mark for the first time. The total number of cases is more than 160,000. The Czech Republic was most recently the country in Europe where the number of cases rose the most in relation to the size of the population.

Almost 40 million infections registered worldwide

More than 39.29 million people worldwide have been shown to have contracted the coronavirus. This is the result of a Reuters survey based on official data. More than 1.1 million people died with or from the virus. In terms of infections, the United States is still hardest hit with more than eight million, followed by India (7.4 million), Brazil (5.2 million) and Russia (1.4 million).

Austria’s foreign minister and Belgium’s foreign minister infected with coronavirus

The Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg was infected with the corona virus. A spokeswoman for his ministry confirmed that Schallenberg had tested positive. The minister is symptom-free. He attended the cabinet meeting on Wednesday. All members of the government wore masks, but are now also being tested as a precautionary measure. It is possible that Schallenberg was infected on Monday. On that day, he and Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas attended the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

The Belgian Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès also tested positive for the corona virus. The infection was presumably carried out in the family circle, the politician announced on Saturday. The reason for the assumption are the precautionary measures that she followed outside of the household. Wilmès did not comment on possible symptoms. The 45-year-old politician had last been both executive and full prime minister for almost a year.

In Austria, the number of proven corona infections has recently risen sharply. Again Standard reports, the 19-person Corona Commission identifies four cities and regions as high-risk areas.

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EU summit in Berlin canceled due to Corona

The European Union has canceled its China policy summit planned for November in Berlin due to the dramatic increase in the number of corona infections. “In terms of contacts, I believe that this is a necessary message,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel in Brussels on Friday.

The heads of state and government of the European Union wanted to meet on November 16 for a special summit on China policy in Berlin. The date was only decided at the last EU summit in early October. An EU-China summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping was originally planned in Leipzig in September. However, it was canceled a long time ago because of the corona pandemic. Instead there was only a video conference between Merkel and the EU leaders and the Chinese president.

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Corona worldwide: almost 40 million infections – politics

More than 39.29 million people worldwide have been shown to have contracted the coronavirus. This is the result of a Reuters survey based on official data. More than 1.1 million people died with or from the virus. In terms of infections, the United States is still hardest hit with over eight million, followed by India (7.4 million), Brazil (5.2 million) and Russia (1.4 million).

Austria’s foreign minister infected with coronavirus

The Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg was infected with the corona virus. A spokeswoman for his ministry confirmed that Schallenberg had tested positive. The minister is symptom-free. He attended the cabinet meeting on Wednesday. All members of the government wore masks, but are now also being tested as a precautionary measure. It is possible that Schallenberg was infected on Monday. On that day, he and Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas attended the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

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All reports on the current situation in Germany and worldwide as well as the most important news of the day – twice a day with SZ Espresso. Our Newsletter brings you up to date in the morning and in the evening. Free registration: sz.de/espresso. In our News app (download here) you can also subscribe to the espresso or breaking news as a push message.

In Austria, the number of nearby corona infections has recently risen sharply. Again Standard reports, the 19-person Corona Commission identifies four cities and regions as high-risk areas.

The city of Innsbruck and its surrounding area should be classified as “red” on the four-color Corona traffic light. Wels-Stadt is affected in Upper Austria and the Hallein district in the state of Salzburg. Previously they had Small newspaper and the tabloid media Austria consistently reported from five other possible districts that should have been considered for a “red” classification before the meeting of the Corona Commission – but the committee decided otherwise.

The infection process also means that the traffic lights in other regions of Austria will light up at the second highest, orange warning level (link to the corona map of the Austrian federal government).

Overall, the number of new infections registered in Austria rose to a record 1552 cases within one day. Compared to Germany, the numbers – taking into account the number of inhabitants – are roughly twice as high.

In the state of Salzburg, the village of Kuchl is being quarantined due to a drastic increase in new corona infections. The municipality is located in Tennengau, the now “red” district Hallein, which borders the Bavarian district of Berchtesgadener Land. With a few exceptions, entry and exit from the municipality of Kuchl with its approximately 6600 inhabitants is no longer allowed from Saturday to November 1, said Salzburg Governor Wilfried Haslauer on Thursday.

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EU summit in Berlin canceled due to corona

The European Union has canceled its November summit in Berlin on China policy due to the dramatic increase in the number of corona infections. “In terms of contacts, I believe that this is a necessary message,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel in Brussels on Friday.

The heads of state and government of the European Union wanted to meet on November 16 for a special summit on China policy in Berlin. The date was only decided at the last EU summit in early October. An EU-China summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping was originally planned in Leipzig in September. However, it was canceled a long time ago because of the corona pandemic. Instead there was only a video conference between Merkel (CDU) and the EU leaders with the Chinese president.

Several countries report new record highs in infection numbers

The confirmed corona numbers are not only higher than ever in Germany. The number of infections in the corona pandemic is rising steeply worldwide. On Thursday, several countries reported more cases in one day than ever before.

For example, health authorities in the Netherlands reported 7,500 new infections with the coronavirus within 24 hours. In order to stop the spread of the virus there has been a partial lockdown since Thursday.

The neighboring country of Belgium also has a new record high in the number of infections. Authorities reported 7,481 registered cases in one day on Thursday. The number of infections is particularly high in Brussels: there have been more than 880 registered cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past two weeks.

Meanwhile, the situation in the Czech Republic is dramatic. The authorities there reported 9544 new infections on Wednesday. Since Wednesday the schools there have switched to distance learning, restaurants, pubs and bars are closed. According to the EU authority ECDC, an average of 581.3 people per 100,000 inhabitants were infected in the Czech Republic within 14 days – this is the highest rate across the EU. In Germany this value is 54.6.

In Lithuania, 255 have been infected with corona in the last 24 hours. The health department in the capital Vilnius is also reporting a record high in the number of infections. Almost half of all new cases were registered in Vilnius.

In the USA, too, the number of infections is at a record high. 59,500 people tested positive for the virus on Wednesday, according to a report from Johns Hoppkins University in Baltimore. The increase is particularly strong in the states of North Dakota, South Dakota and Missouri in the Midwest. Since the beginning of the pandemic, around 7.9 million have been infected with the corona virus in the USA, and around 217,000 people have died with or as a result of the disease.

Czech Republic: “We have a try”

Corona alert level increased for London

To contain the corona virus, London banned residents from meeting in closed rooms with members of other households from the weekend. The British Minister of Health Matt Hancock announced in the House of Commons. Quick action is needed to get the virus under control, he said.

The second strictest level of virus containment rules will apply from Saturday. While contact with members of other households is prohibited in apartments, restaurants and other public places, they are permitted in green spaces. Schools and retail shops remain open. The incidence rate in London is 97 per 100,000 people. For comparison: In Liverpool and Manchester the value is more than 550.

Red Cross fears hunger crisis in Africa due to corona pandemic

In a study, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warns of a new hunger crisis in Africa due to the effects of the corona pandemic. “Rising food prices and layoffs due to the Covid-19 pandemic lead to fears that food insecurity and malnutrition are on the rise in Africa’s low-income communities,” the organization reported in Geneva on Thursday. Border closings also contribute to the critical situation. According to the report, regions in East and West Africa are particularly affected.

In Somalia in East Africa, for example, 17,000 malnourished young children and mothers were dependent on humanitarian aid in the first six months of this year. In 2019 as a whole, this number was just under 12,000. In South Sudan, according to the organization, around half of the eleven million inhabitants need help.

According to the ICRC, 94 percent of the 2,400 study participants in ten African countries reported increases in food prices and 82 percent reported income losses.

In Africa, the catastrophe expected by some observers with many corona deaths has not yet materialized. On Thursday, the continent with 54 states recorded around 1.6 million cases and 39,000 deaths. However, the measures imposed and the economic losses hit the continent hard.

Portugal declares a disaster

Portugal declared a nationwide disaster on Wednesday. After the country has come through the Corona crisis relatively well, the number of infections is now increasing sharply. The situation is “serious”, said Prime Minister António Costa. The number of new infections registered within 24 hours rose to 2072 on Wednesday. This is the highest value since the beginning of the pandemic. The total number of cases is more than 91,000. 2,117 people have died as a result of the coronavirus. The number of Covid 19 patients treated in hospitals has risen from a good 300 to just under 1000 in just over a month. The north and the greater Lisbon area are particularly hard hit.

The disaster applies from Thursday for an initial 15 days. The order enables the government to impose restrictions on freedom of movement and other drastic measures if necessary, said Costa after a meeting with his cabinet in Lisbon. A maximum of five people should be allowed to gather in public. The number of participants allowed for private holidays is limited to 50. It should be mandatory to wear a mask outside of your own home. At work and in schools, the use of the Corona warning app “Stay Away” is mandatory. Parliament still has to approve the measures. 10.3 million people live in Portugal. The federal government warns against unnecessary tourist trips to the Lisbon region.

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Corona: This is how Europe’s governments deal with the virus – politics

No kiss, no dinner: the Spaniards have to change their habits tremendously

Many Madrilenians are ready to do their part to ensure that the high corona numbers fall again. Despite the best weather, they decided not to go on a trip on the long weekend for the national holiday this Monday. They wear masks as soon as they close the apartment door behind them and don’t even put them off when walking in the park. And they stopped kissing and hugging each other in greeting, which was a pretty deep invasion of the soul of the Spaniards, who like to express their mutual affection so loudly and physically.

Now the corona measures in Spain’s capital also have consequences for the daily routine and feeling of satiety. The Spaniards, who traditionally go to sleep on a full stomach, are supposed to move their dinner forward. Usually in Spain you don’t sit down to eat until around 10 p.m. Children are not put to bed earlier either, but of course stay up.

About two weeks ago, the central government cordoned off the capital, in the course of which the curfew of the restaurants was set at 11 p.m. Now the restaurateurs are sounding the alarm: 75,000 fewer dinners were served on the first weekend, according to the industry association. The first innkeepers have started to open their kitchens earlier – only the guests are missing. Because hunger can obviously not be prescribed. By Karin Janker, Madrid

Relaxed risk: Despite the high number of infections, the Swiss government is calm

Almabtrieb in Switzerland

Relaxed: There are generous rules for events in Switzerland.

(Photo: Laurent Gillieron / dpa)

No need to panic, Switzerland is well organized. An appearance by Interior and Health Minister Alain Berset this week made it clear that little has changed in the stressedly relaxed tone of the Swiss crisis compared to the first wave of corona. Since October 1st, events with up to 1000 people can take place again. The number of cases in Switzerland is exploding. In the past week, the daily new infections exceeded the maximum values ​​from spring for the first time, on Wednesday the health authority reported 2823 new cases within 24 hours.

After all, significantly fewer infected people are so seriously ill than in the spring that they have to go to hospital, and the number of deaths is low. The Swiss government is therefore sticking to its assessment. The situation is not yet as extraordinary as it was in spring, and so (with a few exceptions) the cantons and not the federal government decide on measures to prevent the spread of the virus. So it happens that, similar to Germany, there is a patchwork of regulations, but citizens often cross the borders of the small cantons in everyday life. You can only rely on the nationwide mask requirement in public transport and at rallies. By Isabel Pfaff, Bern

“Don’t rule anything out”: Major restrictions are expected in France before a Macron speech

You could “no longer rule out anything” if you look at the current situation in the hospitals, said French Prime Minister Jean Castex on Monday. About a third of the beds in the country’s intensive care units are currently occupied by Covid 19 patients, in the metropolitan region of Paris it is 44 percent. If the wave of infection does not level off, the hospitals will exceed their load limit by October 24th at the latest, the clinic management said at the beginning of the week. Five months after the end of the first 55-day exit bans, France is faced with the question of whether new, stronger restrictions are needed to contain the virus.

Paris bars to close as French capital placed on maximum COVID alert

Will it be closed soon, as are many bars? Bistro in Paris.

(Photo: Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters)

France is in the “second wave” of the coronavirus and is “in a phase in which action must be taken,” President Macron said in a television interview on Wednesday. In the metropolitan region of Paris and in eight other French cities, a night curfew between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. will apply from Saturday night.

The lockdown in the spring was one of the strictest in Europe, and at the same time the government is failing to develop efficient means of reconstructing the chains of infection. Not even the Prime Minister used the flopped Corona app, which France single-handedly developed as a national prestige project. In the meantime, tests are carried out in chord, but it takes up to a week before results are available. By Nadia Pantel, Paris

All indicators on red: the situation in Belgium is deteriorating dramatically

The headlines keep getting darker. It was headlined a week ago The evening: “All corona indicators are red.” “Brussels: The party is over” followed because cafes and bars in the capital have had to close for a month since Thursday. On Tuesday the front page was about “scenarios for a second lockdown”.

In Brussels people wear masks voluntarily: workers at the famous “Manneken Pis”.

(Photo: Francisco Seco / AP)

He could “guarantee nothing,” says Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke, who has only been in office for a week and a half. Everyone would have to restrict themselves so that schools could remain open, companies could continue to work and hospitals could treat all patients.

The appeals are not yet effective: 4450 infections were reported nationwide between October 3rd and 9th daily, an increase of 78 percent. In Molenbeek, a densely populated part of Brussels, the incidence value for the last 14 days at the beginning of the week was 1300 – 26 times higher than the limit value of 50. According to media reports, 600 students have registered on the university campus of Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve infected. This corresponds to a share of two percent of the students enrolled there. Belgium’s federalism makes the rules confusing.

The worst is in the capital region, which has 19 mayors in addition to a government. Masks were compulsory in Brussels until October. That it was lifted when infections were still rising is as confusing as the fact that restaurants are still open. The situation is serious in all provinces. In Walloon Brabant, for example, there are now curfews between one and six in the morning. By Matthias Kolb, Brussels

“We have an attempt and it must be successful”: The Czech Republic could impose restrictions like in the spring

It is as if the pandemic had reached the Czech Republic with a delay. Due to strict exit restrictions in the spring, the country had hardly any cases to record until late summer. The numbers are now high: On Thursday, 9,544 new Sars-CoV-2 infections were reported in a single day. The risk warning level of the RKI of 50 infected people per 100,000 people has exceeded all Czech regions by at least five times for weeks.

People in isolation or quarantine because of COVID-19 can vote in second round of Senate elections at drive-in points.

350 infected people per 100,000 inhabitants: scene from Prague.

(Foto: Michal Kamaryt/imago images)

The politicians no longer want to rule out a new lockdown. Late on Monday evening, the government announced new measures, including a ban on alcohol in public. In addition, all students from the fifth grade should study at home again, bars and restaurants have to close.

“We have an attempt and it has to be successful,” said Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. He is accused of ignoring the danger for far too long. Doctors also contributed to the carelessness by petitioning the government not to spread panic. Doctors from the Covid stations then called on their colleagues from other disciplines to keep such theories to themselves and to tackle them. The number of infected hospital employees is also alarmingly high. Ten percent of the doctors and 17 percent of the nurses have already become infected. From Viktoria Großmann

Mask, no thanks: many Russians are not so concerned with protective measures

In Moscow, according to the mayor’s latest idea, every third worker should have to stay at home. Not enough Muscovites stayed in the voluntary home office, now there is a decree – and controls. Employers had to send lists to authorities, give phone numbers and license plates of those who work at home. In any case, the authorities collected so much personal data during this pandemic that privacy advocates get dizzy.

Mask requirement in Moscow – because the infection rate is skyrocketing.

(Photo: Yuri Kadobnov / AFP)

In Russia it is not only difficult with voluntariness. Even the mask requirement in subways and supermarkets seem to have forgotten many over the summer months. Only recently has the security guard at the shop entrance warned everyone to put on a mask. In the subway, objectors risk the equivalent of 55 euros fine. They had to pay 96,000 passengers already, the Moscow transport authority said as a warning. The number of new infections in the country every day is again in five digits.

That is why Moscow schools currently have a compulsory two-week break. And the State Duma has returned to sessions via video switching after eight MPs had to be hospitalized with Covid-19 within a week at the end of September. The famous Bolshoi Theater was also slowed down right at the beginning of the season. It opened with the opera “Don Carlos”, there were two performances, a third was canceled. A soloist was infected. The theater itself remains open, as do bars and restaurants. Who knows for how long. By Silke Bigalke, Moscow

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Pandemic – Stricter rules for corona hotspots – Politics

Chancellor Merkel and the prime ministers agree on an expansion of the mask requirement, stricter contact restrictions and a curfew in regions with high numbers of infections. They do not agree on accommodation bans.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and the prime ministers agreed on extensive measures to contain the pandemic on Wednesday. Due to numerous controversies, the talks did not end until 10 p.m. Merkel then said that Germany was “in the exponential phase” again with the spread of the corona virus, so action had to be taken quickly.

The joint decision states that the federal states will consequently take “local restrictive measures” at the latest when the limit of 50 new weekly infections per 100,000 inhabitants is exceeded. Among other things, there should then be a tightening of the mask requirement. In addition, a curfew at 11 p.m. is to be introduced for restaurants including a general ban on selling alcohol. There should be contact restrictions in public spaces. A maximum of ten people should then be allowed to meet. For celebrations in public spaces, the number of participants should be limited to ten. Only ten people should be allowed to participate in celebrations in private rooms, these may only come from a maximum of two households. The first milder measures are to be taken when there are 35 new weekly infections per 100,000 inhabitants.

In the case of the particularly controversial bans on accommodation, there was no agreement on a uniform line at the meeting. Merkel said that after the end of all autumn holidays on November 8th there would be another discussion about “how we should do it”. This part of the decision is “not yet completely satisfied”.

The Chancellor and the heads of government of the federal states met at 2 p.m. In between, Merkel is said to have been angry about the conversations that were slowly going on. According to participants, she said at the meeting: “The announcements from us are not harsh enough to turn the disaster away from us.” If nothing changes, you will be back in the Chancellery in two weeks. When presenting the results after the meeting, however, Merkel said that she “expressly found the decisions made” very good. However, Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder warned: “We are actually much closer to the second lockdown than we want to admit.”

The resolution now adopted states that the aim of all government action must remain “to keep the infection dynamics in Germany under control”. Because higher infection numbers would “first make contact tracking impossible, which would lead to the acceleration of the infection process”. And such an acceleration “would then lead to a shortage of test capacities with further negative effects on infection control”.

According to the Robert Koch Institute on Wednesday, the number of new corona infections reported within one day has risen to 5,132 – it has not been that high since April. There were 4122 cases on Tuesday.

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Corona News: New curfew regulation – politics

In cities and areas with high corona numbers, there will generally be a curfew at 11 p.m. in the restaurants in the future. This should apply to 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within one week. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the prime ministers of the federal states decided on Wednesday, as the German press agency learned. Bars and clubs are to be closed. Also the imageNewspaper reported about it.

In regions with rapidly increasing corona numbers, private celebrations will generally be limited to a maximum of ten participants and two households in the future, as the German press agency reports. The limitation also applies to more than 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within a week. In addition, only a maximum of ten people should be allowed to meet in public spaces in corona hotspots with incidence values ​​of more than 50. And should the new measures not bring the increase to a standstill, only up to five people or members of two households should be allowed to meet in public space – the final decision on the entire concept was still pending.

The mask requirement should be extended from an incidence value of 35. It should apply wherever people come together closer or longer.

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Pubs, bars and clubs are considered risky from the point of view of infection, because many people are in a confined space here. Experience shows that distance rules are observed less often, particularly when a lot of alcohol is drunk.

The problem is especially now in the cold season, because the landlords can no longer set up tables outside. However, the curfew would also affect many restaurants that have drawn up and apply careful security concepts. For example, the tables are further apart today than before the pandemic.

Several cities with high numbers of new corona infections have already imposed curfew. Since last weekend, restaurants, bars and pubs in Berlin have had to be closed from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. There is also such a regulation in Bremen.

RKI President: Massive Corona spread can still be avoided

From the point of view of the President of the Robert Koch Institute Lothar Wieler, the massive spread of the corona virus can still be avoided. He assumes that exponential growth could still be suppressed in Germany, said Wieler. “But we have to make an effort for that.” The current situation is no more dangerous than that in spring.

Now you have more experience and knowledge in dealing with the virus compared to March. You know which measures can be used and how, so you can react more quickly to outbreaks. As the numbers rise, so does the risk. Therefore it is important to try to keep this small. It depends above all on the behavior of society. The virus itself has not changed.

RKI: 5132 new infections and 43 further deaths

The corona virus continues to spread in Germany. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the health authorities in Germany reported more than 5000 new corona infections within one day for the first time since April on Wednesday morning. According to the RKI, the total number was 5132. This increases the total number of confirmed cases to 334 585. The RKI recorded a surge in deaths from 13 the previous day to 43. The total number of deaths therefore increased to 9677.

Most recently, in mid-April, the numbers were as high as they are now; However, the values ​​are only comparable to a limited extent, because significantly more tests are now being carried out and thus more infections are discovered. The RKI writes about the current situation: “Currently, an accelerated increase in the number of transmissions in the population in Germany can be observed. Therefore, it is urgently appealed that the entire population is committed to infection protection.”

The number of corona patients in intensive care units has increased noticeably in the past few days, but is still comparatively low. According to data from the DIVI intensive care registry, around 620 Covid patients were treated in intensive care on Tuesday, a week earlier there were around 450. In total, however, almost 9,000 intensive care beds are still free in Germany.

According to RKI estimates in Germany, according to the management report on Tuesday, the number of reproductions, or R value for short, was 1.18 (previous day: 1.29). This means that one infected person infects a little more than one other person on average. The R-value depicts the infection rate about one and a half weeks beforehand. In addition, the RKI gives a so-called seven-day R in its current situation report. The value relates to a longer period and is therefore less subject to daily fluctuations. According to RKI estimates, this value was 1.20 (previous day: 1.25) according to information on Tuesday. It shows the infection process from eight to 16 days ago.

Overall, the RKI identified four districts and ten independent cities in North Rhine-Westphalia as risk areas on Wednesday. According to the RKI, Herne had the highest key figure with 95.2. The districts of Mettmann and Olpe have also been among the corona risk areas since Wednesday. According to this, both circles exceeded the number of 50 reported new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days.

Telephone sick leave is to be extended again

Telephone sick leave from the doctor due to cold symptoms should be made more extensively possible again by the end of the year due to the corona situation. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) announced on Wednesday in Berlin a corresponding decision by the Federal Joint Committee in Health Care for Thursday. The committee is made up of representatives from doctors, clinics and statutory health insurance companies. “Of course, we want to avoid possible infections in the health service itself and in the doctor’s practice with flu and corona,” said Spahn. Nationwide, telephone sick leave was already possible in the initial phase of the pandemic.

Altmaier is apparently preparing new corona aid

The Federal Ministry of Economics is apparently preparing new aid for companies. According to information from the Funke media group from the home of Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU), the current bridging aid for companies is to be extended until the end of June 2021. Such considerations were confirmed by insiders to the German Press Agency. According to the current regulation, the bridging aid would expire at the end of the year.

According to Funke information, Altmaier is primarily aiming at improvements for the hotel and catering industry. The event industry as well as the trade fair and exhibition industry should also receive further support.

Specifically, the ministry is thinking of improved depreciation options as well as modernization and subsidy programs for renovations during the period without orders.

The measures are to be discussed on Wednesday at the Corona summit by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the state ministers’ presidents. For the first time in four months, the conference is not held by video, the country heads are coming to Berlin for an on-site meeting.

Teachers ‘Association criticizes the education ministers’ ventilation concept as “pathetic”

Before the conference of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) on Thursday, the German Teachers Association sharply criticized the ventilation concept in schools. “It is pathetic that the KMK and most school ministries on the subject of aerosol pollution in full classrooms can think of nothing other than to recommend regular shock ventilation,” said association president Heinz-Peter Meidinger on Wednesday New Osnabrück newspaper. In any case, it is not possible to implement the ventilation concept in many classrooms because the windows in many classrooms can only be partially opened, added Meidinger.

He also criticized that the ministries had not given uniform information on how often it should be aired. The recommendations varied between 20 and 45 minutes. With this concept, many students would have to sit in class with gloves and scarfs in the winter months with freezing temperatures and strong winds, according to Meidinger. He also sees rising energy costs that the municipalities would have to face. He warned: “If the majority of the federal states remain inactive and gloss over the situation as controllable, we will be heading for a cold winter with high numbers of infections.”

Leopoldina President for the end of the ban on accommodation after the holidays

According to the President of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Gerald Haug, the controversial ban on accommodation for people without a negative Corona test from hotspots should soon be abolished. “The ban on accommodation should be abandoned after the autumn break,” he said on Tuesday after discussions with the Bavarian cabinet in Munich. Every medicine also has side effects, and here these are “very strong”. For example, many people from Berlin would wait days for the results and would not be able to go on vacation to the Baltic Sea. “That should be reconsidered.”

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) emphasized that he was ready to discuss this again with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) in Berlin on Wednesday at the Conference of Prime Ministers.

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Corona worldwide: record number of deaths in Poland – politics

In Poland, more people died from or with the coronavirus within one day than ever since the outbreak of the pandemic. The Ministry of Health reports 116 more deaths. This brings the total to 3217. Poland also has a record for new infections. There are 6526 positive test results, a total of 141 804. More and more Covid-19 patients have to be treated in hospital. Doctors are already warning of an overload of the health system.

Hospitals in the Netherlands overcrowded

The rapid increase in new infections in the Netherlands is pushing the health system to the limit. In the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, emergency rooms were temporarily closed, as the head of the acute medical care network, Ernst Kuipers, said. Because there were not enough beds and nursing staff, first aid departments were closed for several hours and patients were moved to other hospitals.

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Ernst Kuipers warned that even in the best-case scenario, 40 percent of regular medical care would have to be cut because the number of patients being hospitalized with Covid-19 is steadily increasing – there have been demonstrably around 190,000 in the country since the outbreak of the pandemic Infections and 6631 deaths. In the worst case, the reduction in health care could be up to 75 percent. “Then only first aid remains in addition to Covid-19 care,” said Kuipers.

It had previously been announced that the Dutch government was imposing a temporary lockdown. Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced on Wednesday. The government reacted to the dramatically increasing number of new infections with the corona virus. In the past seven days, 252 infections per 100,000 population had been reported. The worst affected are Amsterdam and Rotterdam, each with around 410 infections per 100,000 inhabitants. The situation is “alarming” in almost all regions, said Rutte. Last week, the Institute for Health and Environment RIVM registered almost 44,000 new infections – 60 percent more than in the previous week.

Lockdown regulations in Israel are being extended

The lockdown restrictions in Israel will initially be extended until next Sunday. This was announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office after a meeting of the so-called coronavirus cabinet. The first easing should be discussed on Thursday. This includes the opening of small shops that are not open to the public and of kindergartens. The easing should take place gradually. After the first lockdown in the spring, the government had been criticized for being too hasty and too comprehensive.

The pandemic in Israel initially went smoothly, also because of the government’s strict course. After easing and a massive increase in the number of cases over the summer, a second nationwide lockdown has been in place since September 18. It recently became apparent that the number of new infections is decreasing. The Ministry of Health identified 2,255 new cases on Wednesday morning. 5.4 percent of all tests were positive. This number was lower than it had been in weeks – during the lockdown it had been well over 13 percent in some cases.

According to official information, at least 297,274 people have been proven to be infected with the Sars-CoV-2 virus since the beginning of the Corona crisis in Israel, which has a population of around nine million. In Germany, which has around nine times as many inhabitants, the figure was 334,585. In Israel, 2,055 people have died in connection with a corona infection, in Germany 9,677.

Corona crisis causes a deep hole in Austria’s national budget

The corona crisis has torn a deep hole in the Austrian national budget. The federal, state and local governments will spend 28.6 billion euros more this year than they earn. The Ministry of Finance announced on Wednesday. In relation to the country’s economic output, this results in a budget deficit of 9.5 percent. The main reason for the high budget deficit is the billions in aid for companies struggling during the crisis. In addition, tax revenues have shrunk dramatically. “We have to take money into our hands now, we have to stabilize in order to save as many jobs as possible,” said Finance Minister Gernot Blümel.

By mid-October, the country had paid out aid payments, tax deferrals and loan guarantees of almost 25 billion euros, according to a presentation by the ministry. Aid totaling 50 billion euros is planned. The additional expenditure caused by the crisis is causing national debt of 84.0 percent of economic output in the current year. For 2021, the ministry expects a further increase to 84.8 percent.

In 2021, the state will spend almost 21 billion euros more than it earns, the ministry calculates. The general government deficit remains high at 6.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). The deficit is then expected to be 3.5 percent in 2022. The finance minister pointed out, however, that the forecasts are subject to high volatility. “We see a bit more clearly than in spring, but it is by far not the case that we can say that these figures are as clear as in a normal year,” said Blümel.

A one-month lockdown from mid-March brought Austria’s economy to a virtual standstill. The GDP collapsed in the second quarter by 12.8 percent compared to the previous year. The Wifo Institute expects GDP to collapse by 6.8 percent for the year as a whole and then rise by 4.4 percent in the coming year.

World Bank approves $ 12 billion for developing countries

The World Bank approves new financial aid for developing countries in the fight against the coronavirus. The organization in Washington announced that the money should help them to prepare for a widespread supply of their populations. Up to a billion people could benefit from it. The organization has approved around twelve billion million dollars to finance the purchase and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, tests and treatments, the board explains.

British Opposition Leader: Need Temporary Lockdown

The British opposition leader Keir Starmer has called for a temporary lockdown for England in view of the sharp rise in the number of corona cases. “We need a ‘circuit breaker’ and we need it now,” said the Labor leader in London on Tuesday. A “circuit breaker” is a clearly limited lockdown similar to that in spring – but only for two to three weeks and without school closings, as Starmer emphasized. However, the autumn break could be incorporated.

With this, Starmer joins the advice of the scientific panel of experts Sage, which recommended such a nationwide lockdown to the British government weeks ago. This emerges from a protocol published on Monday. Health professionals had warned that otherwise Britain was heading for “a major epidemic with catastrophic consequences”.

Johnson presented a three-tier system in the fight against the pandemic for England on Monday. Depending on the level of risk – medium, high or very high – stricter rules will apply from Wednesday. However, this is not considered effective enough by doctors and the opposition. A government spokesman said that “effective measures” had been taken. Great Britain is one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic in Europe.

However, Johnson wants to avoid a lockdown like the first wave of eruptions in the spring. Schools and universities in England are to remain open. However, high numbers of infections are reported from universities in particular.

In the whole of Great Britain with its almost 67 million inhabitants, more than 17,000 new infections were reported within 24 hours on Tuesday. The number of deaths from Covid-19 was 143, as high as it was last in June. The north of England, Scotland, parts of Wales and Northern Ireland are particularly affected. The cases are also increasing significantly in London. The capital, which has so far been classified in the lowest warning level, could fall into the higher risk level within the next few days, announced London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan – which would result in far-reaching contact restrictions.

Italy massively tightened corona protective measures

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is tightening measures to contain the virus pandemic. A government decree will prohibit parties in restaurants, clubs and in the open air for the next 30 days.

In and in front of restaurants and bars after 9 p.m. until midnight, only guests who are seated at tables can be served. A maximum of 30 people are allowed to attend weddings. Contact sports such as soccer are prohibited at the amateur level, unless they are organized by recognized associations with a corresponding corona security concept.

Schools remain open, but excursions and student exchanges are prohibited. The government also strongly advises against private parties and recommends wearing protective masks in your own home when guests are present.

The number of new infections in Italy has doubled in the past week. On Friday, more than 5000 cases were confirmed within one day for the first time, on Saturday it was almost 6000.

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The return of the epidemic – Why the virus is on the rise again in Europe – Politics

53,000 Flags In Madrid Park Honor Spain's Coronavirus Dead

Warning of caution: flags in a park in Madrid remind of the tens of thousands of Corona victims who Spain has already had to mourn.

(Foto: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)

Germany is an island. At least one could get this impression when looking at the pandemic debates that are currently being waged in Germany. There are disputes about accommodation bans, extended Christmas holidays, curfew and generally the fight against Corona, which is to be intensified again in autumn, although the summer was almost normal. At least here, on the supposed island.

But Germany is not an island. The country is part of Europe, and in this Europe it is currently very easy to see how thin the line is between fighting the virus effectively and the risk of dramatically underestimating the pandemic. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), almost a third of all new infections worldwide were reported from the European region in the second week of October. The virus is spreading explosively in Spain, Great Britain and France. In Poland, the number of virus positives and Covid deaths doubled within a week. The Netherlands is currently giving up contact tracing because the number of cases is beyond their capacity. In many places the curve of new infections has even climbed beyond the peak of spring – which can be explained in part by more tests, so more infections are found.

But that’s only a small part of the truth. The bigger part is that the virus is on the rise again. The varying degrees of flaring up of the pandemic in Europe, which is often very frightening, also says a lot about the very different ways of dealing with Corona – especially with regard to the question of whether and which measures are being taken and implemented. In some countries, such as Spain, it worked rather badly until the end. Often the regulations, which were actually much stricter than elsewhere, ended up in the communal structures. In addition, with its path to the “new normal”, the government conveyed in June that the matter had been practically overcome. Quite a few now consider this to be a mistake.

EU-wide map

A red light is a red light. This should also apply in the future to the corona traffic light, with which regions in the EU are classified into different risk classes depending on the infection rate. On Tuesday, the EU countries agreed that in future they will use common criteria to decide which region is considered a risk area. The basis should be the number of newly reported cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, plus the rate of positive tests and the number of tests performed per 100,000 inhabitants. In the coming days, a corresponding map will go online on the reopen.europa.eu website, which will then be continuously updated. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen praised the agreement that the agreement would “bring more order to the currently confusing situation”. However, the card alone does not bring much relief for travelers. After all, each Member State continues to determine for itself which rules apply to the orange or red areas designated in this way. When traveling abroad, EU citizens must therefore continue to research whether and for how long they have to go into quarantine after entering the country or whether they need a negative corona test. The EU Commission had therefore originally proposed further harmonization. The EU countries did not want to agree on this. kmb

Social engagement makes a big difference

But politics is not the only thing that determines whether the fight against Corona will be successful. “The behavior of the local population is even more important,” says Sandra Ciesek, who heads the departments for medical virology at the University Clinic and University in Frankfurt. The doctor herself experienced what social engagement can mean in the summer, in the former Corona hotspot in Europe, namely Italy. “I’ve seen how disciplined most of the people there are to adhere to the AHA rules,” says Ciesek. Distance, hygiene and everyday masks are a matter of course in the holiday country. And so there is now a breakwater effect in Italy. The second wave arrives. However, it only reaches the country with a fraction of the force it could possibly have.

In other countries, however, neither such a discipline nor its effect can be seen. And so some would like stronger impulses from Brussels. But the EU Commission has practically no competence in health issues. So far, she has mainly ordered vaccines – 700 million doses of three vaccines, two of which have problems in critical drug studies and the third is still in the early stages of testing. So winter will come before the vaccine. And with it the risk of infection.

In any case, Ciesek warns against underestimating the return of the virus. “The risk that a large number of people will be infected in the next few weeks is unfortunately very high,” says the expert. One only has to look to the Netherlands, where more people are already infected than in March and April. It is now important to enforce the AHA rules and to avoid meetings in poorly ventilated rooms. And not only that: “Caring for the many seriously ill people, whom we unfortunately have to reckon with, requires good coordination and distribution of resources across the continent.”

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