Local news translated – Wednesday, Apr 28, 2021

Germany is currently under strict lockdown restrictions, which include curfews.
Click here for details on how the Baden-Württemberg ordinance affects the USAG Stuttgart community.

Daily Host Nation Update, Apr 28, 2021

Number of Covid intensive care patients drops
The number of Covid 19 patients receiving intensive care treatment has dropped slightly. According to the current status of the DIVI intensive care registry, 5063 infected patients are currently receiving intensive care treatment – 59 fewer than the previous day. 2873 patients require invasive ventilation. This is also a decrease of 32 patients compared to the previous day. However, occupancy is on the rise. According to the registry, there are currently 3761 intensive care beds still available in German hospitals, an impressive 274 beds fewer than on the previous day. This means that the percentage of vacant beds in relation to total capacity has fallen by one percent within just one day – to 14.1 percent. (Divi, April 28)

More people with pre-existing conditions allocated vaccine appointments
Starting next Monday (May 3), Baden-Württemberg opens the allocation of vaccination appointments for all people with pre-existing conditions from the third priority group. According to information from the Ministry of Social Affairs on Tuesday in Stuttgart, this includes people with pre-existing conditions, such as treatment-free cancer, HIV, rheumatic diseases and autoimmune diseases, heart disease, asthma or obesity. Eligible for vaccination are from Monday according to the message also up to two contact persons of people who are in need of care because of one of these diseases or because of the age of over 60 years. (Stuttgarter Zeitung, April 28)

Tightening of the federal emergency brake:
Stuttgart – Baden-Württemberg’s Minister President Winfried Kretschmann is considering tightening the federal emergency brake because of sharply rising Corona numbers. The so-called seven-day incidence was recently just below 200 statewide. Kretschmann said he wanted to wait for Wednesday’s figures. If the numbers continue to rise, it is conceivable, for example, that the exit restrictions will be tightened. He said he hoped to get the upper hand on the pandemic in the summer. It would also be conceivable, according to reports, to lower the threshold for school closures from 165 even further. (Stuttgarter Zeitung, April 27)

Corona Incidence in Kaiserslautern
The RKI includes infected US-Americans living in the Kaiserslautern region in its incidence figure. This may become a problem for German citizens. Although U.S. residents are not counted in the population figures, Corona cases are transmitted to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in their case. The district administrator of Kaiserslautern, Ralf Leßmeister (CDU), wants to make representations to the state and insist on a change in the “unequal treatment”. After all, the state investigation office now shows two incidence figures – with and without Americans.

The “federal emergency brake” has been in effect – and it is based exclusively on the incidence figures of the RKI, i.e. with American Corona infected persons, but without American residents. A look at Tuesday’s figures from the state investigation office shows just how big the discrepancy can be. If the American residents are included, the incidence value in the Kaiserslautern district is 97.6. If they are excluded, as the RKI does, it is 114.2. 100 is a mark at which tightening measures automatically come into effect.

The Kaiserslautern district fears that the discrepancy will become even greater as the incidence figure rises. There was talk of up to 20 incidence points difference at Monday’s county council meeting. In the district council meeting, it was said that, if necessary, they would even take the matter to the administrative court. In the past, the Americans had already been taken into account at the state level. However, this is only possible if the incidence is below 100, because only then the Corona Control Ordinance of the state applies. (SWR, April 28)

Digital vaccination ID card
The planned digital vaccination card will be “ready in a few days to weeks,” according to Helge Braun, head of the Chancellor’s Office. CDU politician explained that in Germany, compared to other EU countries, a great emphasis is placed on data security. The new Infection Protection Act – could now be adopted nationwide Corona measures. However, the Bundestag and Bundesrat would have a say in the necessary ordinance authorizations. (Ntv, April 28)

New type of corona antibody test
The Natural and Medical Sciences Institute (NMI) in Reutlingen has developed a new corona virus antibody test. According to the NMI, the test provides precise information on the amount of antibodies compared to those used previously. This makes it possible, for example, to check whether an infected person has formed antibodies that protect against a new infection. The success of a vaccination can also be assessed. This is based on binding molecules – so-called nanobodies – produced by the NMI. With their help, the researchers can identify the protective antibodies. The test system developed by the NMI and funded by the Ministry of Economics is already being used at the Center for Clinical Transfusion Medicine in Tübingen. (SWR, April 28)

Zoological garden Wilhelma
The Wilhelma in Stuttgart is open again from today. However, only the outdoor areas of the zoological-botanical garden can be visited. The prerequisite is a current negative Corona rapid test for all from five years, self-tests are not permitted. Spacing and masks remain mandatory, tickets must be booked online. The Blühende Barock in Ludwigsburg may also be visited by guests again as of today. (SWR, April 28)

EU Parliament votes on vaccination certificate
In order to be able to travel safely in Europe again soon, the EU Parliament wants to introduce a digital vaccination certificate. The MEPs will vote on it today, a majority is considered certain. The vaccination certificate is to contain three pieces of information: Whether the person has been vaccinated, whether a Corona infection has already been gone through – so infection is rather unlikely – and, whether there is a negative Corona test. The vaccination card is to be valid throughout Europe; it is to be available digitally, but also as a printout on paper. If everything goes as planned, the vaccination cards will be issued in June. (SWR, April 28)

Local non Corona News

Scam calls about terrible car accidents
A large number of fraudulent calls were registered by the Ludwigsburg police headquarters on Tuesday in the precincts of the districts of Böblingen and Ludwigsburg. Victims were contacted either directly by the fake police officer or by a crying “family member.” The callers pretended that there had been a terrible car accident with several deaths for which the family member was to blame. In some cases, the scenario was exacerbated by the callers additionally stating that the family member involved in the accident had also been seriously injured. The scammers then demanded a five-figure sum of money from their mostly elderly victim. Without exception, however, those called realized that it was an attempted scam and hung up. (BBheute, April 28)

Pandemic year brings historic loss for Stuttgart Airport
The corona pandemic had devastating economic consequences for Manfred Rommel Airport in Stuttgart last year – brand new figures now show just how much. According to these, the business results after taxes are around 150 million euros lower.

Stuttgart Airport had still made a profit after tax of 50.2 million euros in 2019, but the 2020 financial year closed with a loss of 96.9 million euros.  These figures were given by Walter Schoefer, spokesman for the management board, and co-chairman Arina Freitag on Wednesday.