Local news translated – Friday, Apr 30, 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 30, 2021

STIKO head: Vaccination of children over the age of twelve well possible in September
The chairman of the Standing Commission on Vaccination (STIKO), Thomas Mertens, is optimistic about the prospects of Corona vaccination with the Biontech vaccine for older children and adolescents from September. “For children over the age of twelve, I think it’s possible,” Mertens told the Rheinische Post newspaper. For younger children, however, that could be too close, Mertens qualified. Health Minister Jens Spahn had said on Thursday that he expected vaccinations for over-twelve-year-olds to be possible by the summer vacations at the latest. The Mainz-based company Biontech plans to apply for EU approval for children over the age of twelve in the coming week. Study results for five- to 12-year-olds are expected in July, and for younger children in September. (Ntv, April 30)

German vaccine manufacturer Biontech and its U.S. partner Pfizer say they are applying to the EMA for approval of their Corona vaccine for children and adolescents aged 12 to 15. The companies say that the aim is to adapt and extend the existing approval to this age group.( Ntv, April 30)

Manufacturer from Tübingen – Curevac’s vaccine
Tübingen – Tübingen’s mayor Boris Palmer has called for German emergency approval for Curevac’s Corona vaccine produced in the Baden-Württemberg city. “Curevac has been producing vaccine in stock. Now these doses could save lives. The EU is taking “forever” for approval, Palmer criticized. “The apparent safety of bureaucratic testing is placed above the real safety of a vaccine.” And, “When should emergency approval make sense, if not in the third wave of this pandemic?” the politician asked.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) had launched the rapid review process in February. Depending on clinical data, the company expects approval for the EU in the second quarter of 2021. Curevac wants to be able to use its Corona vaccine from June. So far, the vaccines from Biontech/Pfizer, Astrazeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have been approved in the EU. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, April 30)

Heidelberg University Hospital – Chief virologist expects relaxations for vaccinated patients
The chief virologist at Heidelberg University Hospital, Hans-Georg Kräusslich, would welcome relaxations for the fully vaccinated and those who have recovered. “I would advise putting people who have been fully vaccinated, who are currently mostly elderly, on an equal footing with people who have gone through an illness and developed antibodies, and with people who have a currently negative valid rapid test,” In all three cases, it is not possible to rule out with certainty that the person is infectious, he added. “But the risk is greatly reduced in each case,” he said. Kräusslich called it “a balanced and fair procedure.” He also said he assumed it would be decided that way. 

In addition, he said, the numbers of infections are decreasing slightly, it is getting warmer and the number of vaccinated people is increasing. “So it seems to me that the discussion of what openings we allow and when is justified,” Kräusslich continued. Outdoor areas are easier to open than indoor areas, he said. Places where visitor quotas can be worked with – museums, for example – should be able to open relatively soon with hygiene measures and limited numbers of people. 

The Federal Ministry of Justice had sent a draft regulation to the other departments on Thursday, according to which fully vaccinated and convalescents in the Corona crisis should regain more freedoms. In particular, these groups are to be exempt from requirements for private meetings and from nighttime curfew restrictions. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) had said that for rapid action, the government wanted to involve the Bundestag and Bundesrat early in votes on the regulation. “If we agree, we’ll move quickly.” The “latest” date for a final decision by the Bundesrat, he said, is May 28. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, April 30)

Concept for night catering – Stuttgart clubs want to open outdoors in summer
It was requested that in summer open spaces outside should be opened up and used to start serving beer etc. once again. Even if the virus prevents the return inside for a long time, one could dare a first step on the long way back to normality in the outdoor area under compliance with hygiene rules, For the businesses, this would be a chance to re-establish contact with the public after a long ban on operations,” says Hannah Japes. 

Lord Mayor Frank Nopper (CDU) has assured his support for the concept that the association of night caterers has presented to him. Aerosol researchers have confirmed that outdoor events are associated with low risk if precautions are observed. In order to finance these concepts, one is dependent on “a further promotion among other things by the city”. By the first weeks of May, it would have to be clarified which open spaces would be suitable for club life in the new way.  Alexander Scholz of Perkins Park would like to see “a clear commitment to the night time economy and its importance.” The goal must be to “move away from uncontrolled partying to an area accepted by the scene,” he says. In this way, he says, “problem areas can be shaped into attractive experiences” and it can be made clear “that Stuttgart can organize a safe and orderly nightlife even in hard times.” (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, April 30)

German vaccination pace picks up
With more than 900,000 vaccinations in one day Germany reaches it’s second highest daily value. According to the latest vaccination rate monitoring by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), 916,388 vaccinations were carried out nationwide on Thursday – more than 288,000 more than last week (April 22: 628,033). A record of more than 1 million vaccinations had been reached on Wednesday.

The number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in Germany rises to more than 28.7 million. As a result, more than 22.39 million people in Germany are now vaccinated for the first time, a rate of 26.9 percent. The rate after second vaccinations is just under 7.7 percent, or more than 6.38 million fully vaccinated people. (Ntv, April 30)

Non Corona  News

13,000 people without electricity
A defect in a transformer station took large parts of Bad Cannstatt and Münster off the grid for a few minutes yesterday morning. According to Stuttgart Netze GmbH, the power outage affected around 13,000 people as well as industrial and commercial businesses. “Fortunately, it only took just under nine minutes for our emergency system to kick in,” explained Netze-BW spokesman Moritz Oehl. In addition to private households and businesses, 20 traffic lights were also down. In some cases, the police had to regulate traffic at the intersections until the afternoon.

Böblingen: Monday marks the start of preliminary work on the reconstruction and expansion of Panzerstrasse
From May 3, the preliminary work for the expansion of the Herdweg /Panzerstraße intersection in Böblingen will begin.

There will be noticeable restrictions for motorists from May 10. In the area of  Panzer Kaserne (Herdweg), an additional lane will be constructed from the direction of Böblingen in a part of the intersection.

With the widening, the district is increasing the efficiency of the intersection of Kreisstraße 1057 / Herdweg in view of the planned new construction of a shopping center on the grounds of the U.S. Armed Forces.

All traffic islands, including the traffic signals, must also be reconstructed. In advance of this work, the entire road embankment must be widened accordingly to the north.

For reasons of occupational safety and to simplify traffic routing in the area of the intersection, the lane from Böblingen to Schönaich must be rerouted. The detour will be signposted and will lead via Herdweg within the village to the L 1185 (Schönaicher Straße) to Schönaich.  Any motorist wishing to go towards the recycling site and the residual waste heating and power plant must also use the official detour. The direction of travel from Schönaich to Böblingen remains open.   (BB.heute.de, April 30)