Daily Host Nation Stories for June 22, 2020
775 new cases reported in Germany
The number of infections with the pathogen Sars-CoV-2 registered in Germany has risen to 189,949. This is the result of calculations by NTV.de based on data from the Robert Koch Institute and the individual federal states and means an increase of 775 cases compared to the previous day. However, the figures should be treated with caution, as three federal states are not providing up-to-date data this weekend: Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Baden-Württemberg. In addition, 549 new infections are attributable to North Rhine-Westphalia alone, mainly due to the massive outbreak at the Tönnies slaughterhouse. NRW last reported more than 549 new infections in one day. April 22. It should also be noted that experience shows that there are delays in the reporting chains at the weekend, which is why some cases will not be reported until the beginning of next week. The total number of deaths decreased due to a correction from Bavaria. According to this, 8,889 people have now died with Covid-19. 6,900 people are currently considered to be infected with the virus – more than 600 more than the day before. Six German states reported only a single-digit increase in new infections: Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saarland, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia. (NTV, June 21)
Regular school operation after summer holidays unrealistic
Minister President Winfried Kretschmann considers a return to regular operation at schools in Baden-Württemberg after the summer holidays to be unrealistic. “Our core problem is the high number of teachers and educators who are among the vulnerable groups. In schools, this is said to be up to 20 percent,” Kretschmann said in an interview with the “Stuttgarter Zeitung” and “Stuttgarter Nachrichten” newspapers. “This is no way to make regular classes like before the corona pandemic.” Last week, the state ministers of education had decided that the schools should reopen completely after the summer holidays and return to regular operation. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, June 22)
Spahn advises restructuring the hospital landscape
Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn wants to learn lessons from the corona pandemic by comprehensively reviewing the corona policy and restructuring the hospital landscape. “I think it would be a good idea if the Health Committee, together with proven experts, were to prepare a major evaluation from which we can learn for the next comparable situation,” said Spahn in an interview with the partner newspapers of the “Neue Berliner Redaktionsgesellschaft.” The insights gained should not only be written down, but also implemented quickly. In doing so, he sees the necessity of restructuring the hospital landscape. Although the high number of intensive care beds has proven its worth, the corona crisis has also shown “that we need good concepts for regional care, especially for hospitals.” There must therefore be maximum care providers with clearly defined tasks, even in the event of a pandemic, “and a coordinated range of services throughout the region. Not all hospitals will be able to do everything anymore.” (Redaktionsgesellschaft, June 22)
Too many new infections: Bulgaria reintroduces mandatory masks
After the highest weekly increase in new infections last week with 606 cases, Bulgaria is again imposing the obligation to wear masks in all enclosed public places. Only ten days earlier, Health Minister Kiril Ananiev had classified the wearing of mouth and nose protection indoors as “highly recommended” but not mandatory. Exceptions were pharmacies, public transport and medical facilities. Now the population must wear masks again in shops, cinemas, theatres and at sports events. A distance of 1.5 metres to other people is also compulsory. (NTV, June 22)
Clinics in the EU are preparing for a second wave of infection
Hospitals in the EU are preparing for a second wave of infection by training reserve staff and making them more mobile. “We need a health army,” says Maurizio Cecconi, elected president of the European Society for Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) and chief of intensive care at a hospital in Milan. “If there is another big wave, we should be ready to deploy doctors and nurses from nearby regions of Italy. This was not done sufficiently in the first wave.” Acting ESICM president Jozef Kesecioglu says many doctors and nurses received a crash course in dealing with Covid-19 patients in the first wave and should now be trained more thoroughly. (Focus, June 22)
“I have great respect for a second wave”
The number of corona-infected people in Baden-Württemberg is currently at a low level, but the impact of the pandemic on everyday life remains strong. Minister President Winfried Kretschmann even calls the situation of the Baden-Württemberg economy “dramatic.”
Kretschmann, a few weeks ago, was worried that the corona regulations would be relaxed too quickly, followed by a strong increase in the number of infected people.
“Afterwards one is always smarter. But that’s not a yardstick. If I have to operate in a pandemic with a lot of unknowns, such as this virus, then that means: I have to add a surcharge for caution. Because what would be the alternative? To consciously accept very high risks! Overall, we have taken the right path. New infections have radically decreased in our country – and that is crucial.” (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, June 22)
Riots in Stuttgart
In the night from Sunday, 400 to 500 people rioters looted shops in downtown Stuttgart, attacked police officers and destroyed police vehicles. According to police, 19 officers were injured and 24 people were provisionally arrested, said police vice president Thomas Berger. Twelve of them have a German nationality, twelve another nationality. Seven suspects are to be brought before the arresting judge. After riots in Stuttgart “We will bring them to justice”
The starting point was the control of a 17-year-old German in the Schlossgarten because of an alleged drug offense. Immediately, 200 to 300 people from the “party and event scene” had shown solidarity with the youth and attacked the officers with stones and bottle throws.
Despite a “considerable amount of force,” the police did not manage to get the situation under control until 04:30, Berger admitted. A total of 280 officers were on the scene. Berger, who himself was on site that night, spoke of “scenes that have never been seen before in Stuttgart.”
Baden-Wuerttemberg’s Minister of the Interior Strobl considers Stuttgart to have a duty to take action against the ” sceneries in the Schlossgarten” in order to prevent further riots. The rioters will be brought to justice, he announced. Baden-Wuerttemberg’s Minister of the Interior, Thomas Strobl, has called events like the riots in downtown Stuttgart a challenge to the rule of law. “We will pursue these hooligans with everything the constitutional state provides us and hold them to account,” he announced in the “Tagesthemen” newspaper.
He sees little sign of political motivation for the riots at present. It is possible that the pictures from the USA have led to rising emotions, he said with regard to the protests against racism and police violence. According to Strobl, the actors are from the “party and event scene” in Stuttgart, and certainly drugs and alcohol were also involved. (Tagesschau, June 22)
Demonstration in Stuttgart has 2000 participants
According to organizer Michael Ballweg, about 2,000 demonstrators followed the call of the initiative “Querdenken 711” on Saturday afternoon in the Lower Schlossgarten to demonstrate against the restrictions of basic rights in the course of the corona protection measures; 5,000 participants were registered, but there were significantly fewer.
Right at the beginning of the rally, Far Eastern sitar sounds from the stage ensured that the “Festival for Peace and Freedom,” the title of the event, resembled more an esoteric happening than a political rally. Following the event, Ballweg emphasized that the initiative had deliberately emphasized the “spiritual character” of the lateral thinker demonstrations in recent weeks in order to counteract the infiltration from the right. The supporters of the lateral thinker initiative seem to be recruited in the meantime quite predominantly from vaccination opponents.
Regarding his candidacy announced on Friday for the upcoming mayoral election in Stuttgart, Ballweg said that the idea had come to him only a week and a half ago. “At our last demonstration on the Leonberger Heide, the mayor of Leonberg, Martin Georg Cohn, inspired me.” The IT entrepreneur emphasizes that he does not shy away from the manifold tasks that would await him in the office of mayor.
Meanwhile, Ballweg announced further large-scale demonstrations, among others in Berlin. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, June 20)
Approximately 200 Kurdish demonstrators in Stuttgart moved through the city center
Around 200 Kurdish demonstrators demonstrated again in downtown Stuttgart on Saturday afternoon against Turkey’s latest military actions in the Kurdish area of northern Iraq. The protest march, accompanied by massive police forces, led from Lautenschlagerstrasse via Rotebühlplatz, Eberhardtstrasse and Marktplatz to Karlsplatz, where the gathering finally broke up. Although pyrotechnics were occasionally detonated, according to the police there were no serious incidents, unlike last week. “All in all, the demonstration went smoothly,” said a police spokesman.
Organizer of the protest march under the title “Stop the war of NATO partner Turkey / Freedom for all political prisoners” was the Democratic Kurdish Society Center Stuttgart. The demonstrators loudly pointed out that Turkey had started a “new occupation offensive” in northern Iraq since mid-June. They called on the European Union, NATO and the German government to take “steps against Turkey’s aggression.” (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, June 20)
Sindelfingen City tour offered on June 28
The Department of Culture of the City of Sindelfingen is again starting guided tours under corona conditions. The public guided tours will take place again, but the number of persons is limited to a maximum of 10 persons per tour. Start is always at the i-Point, Marktplatz 1: here you can buy your tickets for 3 € per person (children can participate free of charge). Participants have to leave their data at the i-Point for a possible contact chain tracking, which will be stored for four weeks.
Sunday, June 28, 3 p.m., the following city tour will take place: “Historical city tour in Swabian dialect.”
For thousands of years, people have lived in the area of the present city of Sindelfingen. It was a long way from the Roman settlement to the modern industrial city. The city was founded in 1263, when the Romanesque St. Martin’s Church was already the center of a canon monastery, which was known far beyond the region. During a historical city tour many old traces can still be discovered. This tour will be in Swabian dialect and is certainly not only interesting for “real Swabians.” (City of Sindelfingen press release, June 22)
Quick decision on the Diesel with Euro 5 driving ban in Stuttgart?
On Friday, the state government filed its announced enforcement counter suit against the extended Euro 5 diesel driving ban with the Stuttgart Administrative Court. This had been agreed upon in the coalition committee at the beginning of July in order to avert the zonal driving bans in all inner city districts, Bad Cannstatt, Zuffenhausen and Feuerbach, which are stipulated in the Clean Air Plan from July 1. The lawsuit is also accompanied by an urgent appeal, because the lawsuit itself cannot postpone the regulations from the Clean Air Plan. They result from the landmark ruling on diesel driving bans, which the Federal Administrative Court handed down in February 2018. The highest administrative court had even imposed a comprehensive Euro 5 diesel ban throughout Stuttgart from September 2019. This for diesel vehicles up to and including Euro 4 has been in force since the beginning of 2019.
“We are now hoping for a quick decision on the urgent application,” said a spokesman for the Ministry of Transport. The Regional Council has instructed the state capital to procure signs for the new driving ban for around 160 locations. However, it would not be possible to obtain the metal signs in time. The state government wants to use the lawsuit to get the court to acknowledge the latest development in the exposure of citizens to air pollutants. The nitrogen dioxide levels on which the driving ban is based on were below the EU limit of 40 micrograms per cubic meter of air this year, at least until the end of May. However, the limit value is valid for a period of twelve months. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, June 21)