Lockdown could be extended until mid-February – infection numbers in Spain are rising sharply

The metal tariff partners have clearly spoken out against a corona-related lockdown of the industry. In the second round of negotiations for around 3.8 million employees on Monday, IG Metall and employers unanimously warned against shutting down the plants. The factories are not corona hotspots, said the NRW district manager of IG Metall, Knut Giesler, and cited the low infection rate in the Ford plants in Cologne as an example.

A Another lockdown for the companies would have serious consequences, explained the President of Metall NRW, Arndt G. Kirchhoff. After the first production stop in spring, it was very difficult to restart the operations. That takes a lot of time. He therefore urgently advises “to let the industry continue working”.


Corona numbers from Monday apparently incomplete

DThe infection numbers reported by the Robert Koch Institute on Monday are apparently incomplete. One is currently checking what the reason for the few reports from Bavaria or Rhineland-Palatinate, for example, are, said a spokeswoman for the institute in the morning. The RKI had listed 7141 new cases on its website, a good 5000 fewer than a week ago. What is striking, however, is that Bavaria has only reported around 270 cases after it was well over 2000 a week ago on Monday. There were only two from Rhineland-Palatinate. Schleswig-Holstein also reported strikingly low numbers.

“After a sharp increase in the number of cases at the beginning of December, a decline during the holidays and a further increase in the first week of January, the number of cases seems to be stabilizing again,” wrote the RKI in its management report on Sunday evening. The high of 1,244 new deaths was reached on Thursday. In the case of new infections registered within 24 hours, the highest value was reported on December 18, at 33,777 – but this contained 3500 late reports.

The number of new infections reported within seven days per 100,000 inhabitants (seven-day incidence) was 134.4 on Monday morning, according to the RKI. Its previous high was reached on December 22nd at 197.6. The number fluctuated after that and has been falling again for a few days. The differences between the federal states are currently enormous: Thuringia has the highest incidences with 274.2 and Saxony with 244.9. Bremen has the lowest value with 86.6.

The RKI has counted 2,040,659 detected infections with Sars-CoV-2 in Germany since the beginning of the pandemic (as of January 18, 00:00). The actual total number is likely to be significantly higher as many infections are not recognized. The total number of people who died with or with the involvement of a proven infection with Sars-CoV-2 rose to 46,633. The RKI stated the number of those who had recovered at around 1,691,700.

According to the RKI situation report from Sunday evening, the nationwide seven-day R-value was 0.93 (previous day: 0.95). This means that 100 infected people theoretically infect 93 other people. The value represents the occurrence of the infection 8 to 16 days ago. If it is below 1 for a long time, the infection process subsides.


What politics is now discussing

Angela Merkel, Jens Spahn and Olaf Scholz

The government could decide to tighten the measures in the coming week.

(Photo: imago images / Eibner)

Berlin Actually, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the Prime Minister did not want to discuss a possible extension and tightening of the lockdown until January 25. The federal-state conference was brought forward to this Tuesday – because of concerns about mutations of the coronavirus, which are considered to be significantly more contagious. Science still has no clear answers as to how justified these fears really are. But caution rules.

The new CDU boss and North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister, Armin Laschet, said on ZDF that he was assuming “that we will again tighten the situation.” Union parliamentary group leader Ralph Brinkhaus (CDU) also insisted on a harder lockdown. “The Prime Minister’s Conference has to decide on tightening so that we can finally get the numbers down,” he told the “Rheinische Post”. Brinkhaus also referred to the mutation of the corona virus, which presumably came from Great Britain.

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Corona-News: Hardly any reports from Bavaria and Rhineland-Palatinate: RKI numbers apparently incomplete

Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn obliges laboratories to search specifically for highly contagious virus mutations. This provides for a regulation on gene sequencing presented by Spahn on Monday. The aim is therefore to examine at least five percent of the positive samples for gene mutations in the future. “We want a better overview of the virus variants circulating in Germany,” said the CDU politician. With the increased gene sequencing, Spahn wants to ensure that the authorities gain more clarity on how the virus mutations that have occurred in Great Britain and South Africa are spreading.

Recently there had been criticism that this had hardly been investigated in Germany, unlike in Great Britain and Denmark. The virus mutations are considered to be significantly more contagious. The fear of the virus variants spreading should also determine the deliberations of the federal and state governments on new corona measures on Tuesday.


+++ Corona-News +++: Biontech vaccine easier to use in the future – RKI reports over 18,000 new corona infections

Experts for extension of the lockdown in Austria +++ approval for Astrazeneca vaccine in Switzerland expected for January +++ head of economy warns of lockdown activism +++ The news blog. .

RKI reports 18,678 new corona infections and 980 deaths in Germany

IIn Germany, over 18,000 people were infected with the coronavirus within 24 hours. The health authorities reported 18,678 new corona infections to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) within 24 hours, as the RKI announced on Saturday morning. The number of cases known since the beginning of the pandemic rose to 2,019,636. 22,368 new infections had been reported the day before. It should be noted that the actual total number is likely to be significantly higher, since many infections are not recognized.

In addition, 980 new deaths were recorded within 24 hours. The previous high of 1,244 new deaths was reached on Thursday. Among the new infections registered within 24 hours, the highest value was reported on December 18, at 33,777 – but this included 3500 late reports.

Seven-day incidence

The number of new infections reported to the health authorities within seven days per 100,000 inhabitants (seven-day incidence) was 139.2 on Saturday morning. Its previous high was reached on December 22nd at 197.6. However, the differences between the federal states are currently enormous: Thuringia has the highest incidences with 268.3 and Saxony with 255.8. Bremen has the lowest value with 80.0. Nationwide, the seven-day incidence has fallen slightly in the past few days, according to RKI data from Friday.

The total number of people who died with or with a documented Sars-CoV-2 infection rose to 45,974. The RKI stated the number of people recovered to be around 1,657,900.

According to the RKI report on Friday, the nationwide seven-day R-value was 0.99 (previous day: 1.02). This means that 100 infected people theoretically infect 99 more people. The value represents the occurrence of the infection 8 to 16 days ago. If it is below 1 for a long time, the infection rate subsides.


378 new corona cases reported in Hamburg | NDR.de – Nachrichten – Hamburg

Status: 16.01.2021 12:03 p.m.

According to the Hamburg social authority, there were 378 new corona infections on Saturday. That is 25 more than on Saturday a week ago and 99 more than on Friday.

However, the social welfare authority had stated that the number from Friday may not be complete. Because of a software update, it could be that some cases were not taken into account. These would then be added on Saturday.

Incidence value rises to 118.5

The number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days has increased slightly to 118.5, according to the information. A week ago this value was 155. According to the social authority, a total of 42,733 people in Hamburg have tested positive for the corona virus since the start of the pandemic. According to estimates by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), around 33,800 of these can now be regarded as recovered.

13 more deaths

According to the RKI, the number of deaths in Hamburg in connection with a SARS-Cov2 infection is 895 – 13 more than previously reported. 523 corona patients are currently being treated in Hamburg’s hospitals, 16 fewer than the day before. 92 of them are receiving intensive care.

Telephone hotline for questions about the coronavirus

General questions about the coronavirus are answered on the telephone hotline 040/428 284 000. If you experience flu-like symptoms in connection with contact with sick people, you should contact your family doctor or call 116117 by phone.

Further information

The infection numbers published on the RKI website and on NDR.de often do not match. We explain why. more

A virus hovers in front of a crowd (photo montage) © panthermedia, fotolia Photo: Christian Müller

How is Hamburg doing with the corona pandemic? Here you will find the latest figures, news, videos and background information. more

A woman looks out of a window © photocase.de Photo: inkje

Several states, including Schleswig-Holstein, are apparently planning compulsory admissions in addition to fines. More corona news in the live ticker. more

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NDR 90.3 | NDR 90.3 Current | 16.01.2021 | 13:00

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Federal-state meeting on the corona crisis brought forward to Tuesday

Band and countries will meet in the next week to discuss how to proceed in the corona pandemic. As the spokesman for the federal government, Steffen Seibert, announced on Friday in Berlin, the meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the Prime Minister is planned for Tuesday afternoon. The deliberations were originally scheduled for January 25th.

According to Seibert, the reason for the preference is the infection situation. With the help of the drastic measures, it was possible that the contagion numbers were on a plateau. The number of new infections is still far too high. The target of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within a week is only approaching slowly. A further reduction in contacts is required. The same applies to increased work from home.

At their meeting last week, the federal and state governments decided to tighten parts of the lockdown that had been in place since mid-December and to extend it until January 31. A further tightening of the measures is currently being discussed, which should lead to citizens restricting their contacts even further and working from home if possible.

Chancellor Angela Merkel had already made the need for advice on Thursday evening in the online meeting of the CDU presidium in preparation for the CDU election party conference on Friday and Saturday, according to information from the FAZ. There is currently no scope for openings.

“We have to get the British virus under control by reducing contacts,” said the Chancellor at the meeting. Only tightened measures could stop exponential growth. The mutant of the virus that has appeared “is of great concern to us”. By working more in the home office, the local public transport should be relieved. But he shouldn’t be hired.

The previous restrictions are too few for the Robert Koch Institute to effectively slow down the spread of the coronavirus. According to an analysis by the facility, the behavior of German citizens in the second corona lockdown is still too inconsistent to get the pandemic under control in a timely manner.

“These measures that we are taking now – for me it is not a complete lockdown,” said RKI President Lothar Wieler on Thursday. “There are still too many exceptions and it is not strictly enforced.” With a view to more contagious mutations of the coronavirus, he added: “There is a possibility that the situation will get worse.”


What politics is now discussing

Berlin Germany continues to struggle with high numbers of infections: This Friday, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported 22,368 new corona infections within 24 hours and a seven-day incidence of 149 infections per 100,000 inhabitants. At the same time, the spread of two significantly more contagious virus mutations is a cause for concern. Scientists believe it is possible that this is one reason why the number of infections has stopped falling.

Given the current situation, Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to bring the meeting with the Prime Minister forward. It should take place on Tuesday, said government spokesman Steffen Seibert – and not on January 25, as originally planned.

Merkel had previously received support from the country leaders to bring the talks forward. Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) said on Thursday evening on the ZDF program “Maybritt Illner” that he was expecting a meeting in the coming week. Malu Dreyer, Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, remarked on this Friday morning in the ZDF morning magazine that she would have pleaded to meet earlier anyway.

The discussion about tightening the measures is gaining momentum in politics; more and more proposals – old and new – are being debated.

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Read an overview of the current status of the discussion here:

1. Completely close schools and kindergartens

Saxony’s Prime Minister Kretschmer believes that significantly tougher restrictions are necessary. On ZDF, he advocated shutting down kindergartens “completely” and closing schools. This would mean that the facilities would only offer emergency care for parents in systemically important professions. This corresponds to the regulation in the first lockdown in spring 2020. However, emergency care in schools could also be further restricted

In addition, the measures in the individual federal states are already different. While in North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, in principle all pupils should study from home by January 31st, provided they are not in emergency care, in Saxony, for example, pupils in the final year should attend school again from January 18th.

2. Increase the protection of nursing homes

Saxony’s Prime Minister Kretschmer suggests “entry bans” unless there is a negative rapid test. In Berlin, Health Senator Dilek Kalayci (SPD) announced on Thursday that residents may not receive any more visitors for the time being if a corona case occurs in the facility. A large proportion of the people who died from or with Corona lived in old people’s and nursing homes.

People are particularly at risk due to their age and possible previous illnesses. Nevertheless, measures like those in Berlin are controversial. Critics point out how important contact with relatives is for residents.

3. Send more employees to the home office

Labor Minister Hubertus Heil became clear in an interview with the Handelsblatt: That employees should work from home wherever possible is “not just any appeal, but a very clear message from the federal and state governments to the economy,” said the SPD Politician. As long as people take buses and trains to the office or factory, there is a risk that they will infect themselves or others while they are on the way or at work.

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is therefore addressing employers and employees again this Friday in a joint appeal with employer President Rainer Dulger and DGB boss Reiner Hoffmann to switch to the home office even more than before.

A legal obligation is not so easily possible. Although the pandemic could justify interference with the employer’s right to determine the place of work, the director of the Institute for Labor Law and Social Security Law at the University of Bonn, Gregor Thüsing, told Handelsblatt.

“But proportionality must be maintained.” In other words, as long as the hygiene regulations at the workplace can also be complied with by other means, the employer cannot ban employees to their homes. “Home office cannot be mandatory for ventilation, distance and mask at the workplace,” said Thüsing.

4. Restrict local public transport

So far, it is unclear what restrictions will be imposed on local public transport. The President of the Robert Koch Institute, Lothar Wieler, sees an urgent need for action here. He justified this with the fact that the population restricts their mobility significantly less than in the first lockdown in spring. On Sundays in December, for example, it was shown that people were out and about much more often than in spring.

The first tougher measures are already emerging in politics. “The local public transport, not so many people are allowed to ride. From my point of view, that is the order of the day, ”said Saxony’s Prime Minister Kretschmer. The “Bild” newspaper reported that the Chancellery was thinking about stopping local and long-distance public transport. CDU General Secretary Paul Ziemiak denied the report.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert emphasized that it was about fewer contacts in local public transport. “What it doesn’t mean is: to stop public transport.”

Criticism of such considerations comes from the opposition. “More than half of the employees cannot work from home, should they sit even closer in the public transport?” Tweeted the deputy chairman of the left-wing parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Susanne Ferschl. Either you expand the clocking or you really have to shut down operations. “Wash me, but don’t get me wet” doesn’t work, says Ferschl.

5. Close entire businesses

The SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach urged the companies to do their part to bring the lockdown to a successful end. “Otherwise we may at some point be forced to shut down factories too. We might even have to approach industrial production, ”he told the newspapers of the Funke media group. But nobody could want that.

The Association of the Chemical Industry (VCI) and the Federal Chemical Employers’ Association (BAVC) clearly opposed such mental games.

Since the chemical-pharmaceutical industry is making key contributions to containing the pandemic – in vaccine production, the manufacture of essential drugs or as the most important upstream supplier for diagnostics, medical and laboratory equipment manufacturers – such a measure would considerably weaken the fight against corona, according to a press release of the two associations. In addition, the closure of factories is not economically justifiable for the industrial nation of Germany.

6. Stricter contact rules

After research by the business magazine “Business Insider”, the Chancellery is examining a tightening of the Corona contact rules. Accordingly, for an as yet indefinite period of time, only meetings with a permanent person outside of one’s own household should be allowed, according to government circles. So far: You can only meet one person privately and publicly, but you can do that with friends from different households.

This one-friend rule could then become the one-friend rule. How this could be implemented in practice is unclear. The reaction of the countries according to “Business Insider”: “That’s rubbish”.

7. Force vaccination

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) calls for more speed in vaccination. It is of no use if the supply only improves in the second quarter, said the SPD politician on ZDF. However, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) had dampened the hope that high numbers could be available very quickly. Nevertheless, things are progressing: “Today we have 840,000 people vaccinated in Germany,” he said on Thursday. “The first percent of the population is vaccinated.”

This goes hand in hand with the discussion about a possible vaccination requirement for certain groups. Bavaria’s Prime Minister Söder had brought the nursing staff into play to counter the low willingness of the group. Health Minister Jens Spahn rejected this. “There will be no compulsory vaccination in this pandemic,” says the CDU politician.

8. Curb the spread of the mutation

“We need more test sites that can recognize the mutation”, demands Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) in the newspapers of the Funke media group. Health Minister Spahn had announced that he wanted to counter the mutation with further entry restrictions and tests. In addition, this week it will be decreed that a lot more research will be carried out into the extent to which mutations occur.

9. Obligation to wear an FFP2 mask

Bavaria has shown the way: In the Free State, from January 18, it is mandatory to wear an FFP2 mask in public transport and when shopping. “Compared to all the holey scarves, some of which are there, and community masks worn for around eight months that you can find in public transport, an FFP2 mask is a clear improvement in every respect,” Prime Minister Söder justified his decision.

After initial criticism, masks are now also to be made available free of charge for those in need. The prices for masks had already risen after Söder’s announcement. Such a duty could also be extended to the federal government. However, experts emphasize that the availability of the masks and the correct handling are essential.

The President of the Society for Aerosol Research, Christof Asbach, warned against misconceptions regarding the safety of FFP2 masks. These would not offer 100% protection even if they were worn perfectly, Asbach told the German press agency.

More: Dealers are preparing for corona lockdown until Easter – and fear bankruptcies