Daily Host Nation Stories for June 18, 2020
Are kids less affected or just as contagious?
Studies do not answer one question: whether infected children are just as contagious as infected adults, i.e. whether they pass on the virus just as easily.
Because of the early school and daycare center closures at the beginning of the pandemic, many children had hardly any contact outside the family and thus hardly any opportunity to become infected with the virus. The small number of children in the Baden-Württemberg study who have already been infected might be related to this. In a much-discussed study, the virologist Christian Drosten from the Charité in Berlin had shown that children have just as many viruses in their throat as adults. Other international studies have also come to this conclusion.
The mere presence of viruses in the respiratory tract is not proof that they are passed on to the same extent. Since children have fewer symptoms, for example, they cough less, it could be that they are infected but that they infect fewer people. This was declared by pediatricians and specialists in hygiene in a statement by four professional associations. They also pleaded for schools and daycare centers to be opened quickly if hygiene standards and distance rules were observed. Four university hospitals in the country had examined about 2,500 children under the age of eleven with one parent each and found only two acute infections in one child and one parent.
A study provides a description of the situation of the current pandemic in Baden-Württemberg. The state government concluded that children need not be restricted more than other population groups in order to prevent the spread of the virus and decided to reopen daycare centers in the country. Whether children were simply particularly well protected from infection by the early school and daycare closures and whether they will continue to play a subordinate role in the spread of the virus in the future is not conclusively clarified scientifically. Even the study from Baden-Württemberg cannot answer these questions. (ARD, June 17)
Bielefeld sends schoolchildren of “Tönnies” employees home
The corona outbreak in the neighboring district of Gütersloh has consequences for the people of Bielefeld. According to the city, schools and daycare centers have been informed that the children of Tönnies employees must be sent home. Other children from the Gütersloh district are not affected by this measure, the city announced. According to information from “Radio Bielefeld,” the hospital in Bielefeld has also reacted. It is closing its three houses for visitors as a reaction to the increased number of cases at Tönnies, reversing temporary relaxation of the corona rules. (NTV, June 18)
What to do when the Corona Warning App warns
The Corona Warning App (CWA) is designed to help track and interrupt infection chains. We have important questions and answers for users.
What should I do if I have tested positive as a user of the Corona-Warn-App?
CWA users who have had the corona virus detected by a recognized laboratory test (e.g. PZR test) are referred to as “infected users.” These can inform other users. Sharing a positive test result is not a must, but voluntary. Every infected user decides for himself. It is necessary to manually set a slide switch in the app to “positive.” The test result must first be registered and verified by the app.
How do registration and verification work?
There are two ways: First, the test result can be automatically uploaded by the CWA. This is done by scanning with the QR code that is printed on the sample submission form that each test person fills in. The result of a test registered in this way by the health authorities is retrieved by the CWA and displayed to the user. It is then already verified. On the other hand, the test result can be uploaded manually by the user by entering a teleTan (human readable transaction number, unlike the machine readable QR code). The teleTan issues the responsible health authority to the test person. In the final stage of the CWA, all this is to take place automatically. The result “test positive” can then be transferred to the smartphone as soon as it is available and the person has actively authenticated himself.
The CWA distinguishes three risk levels: low risk, unknown risk and increased risk. Users are informed about their respective risk via status reports and receive corresponding recommendations for action. An increased risk of infection exists if, according to the app’s review of encounter records, contact has been made with at least one person tested corona-positive within the past 14 days.
In this case, users will be advised to go home or stay at home if possible. It is also recommended that you contact your family doctor, the medical on-call service on 116117 or the relevant health office to discuss how to proceed. The decision about a sick leave or the order of a domestic isolation (quarantine) is made by the treating physician or the responsible health authority according to their own assessment. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, June 16)
Barcelona beaches overrun by tourists and locals alike
During corona times, the Spanish hotspot bears little resemblance to the “Malle” that the Germans know and love:
Ballermann has empty streets and deserted beaches, with strict protective measures to keep the risk of infection as low as possible. Mouth guards and minimum distance are also mandatory for the travelers of the pilot project. On arrival, the temperature of the holidaymakers is measured. You must leave your contact details and expect to receive phone calls from the authorities during your holiday to inquire about possible Covid-19 symptoms.
The complete contrast can be found on Barcelona’s beaches: Crowds of people hungry for sunshine line up there, children romp around in the sea; mouth protection and minimum distance? Nothing. In many places lifeguards and beach police ensure that the corona regulations, especially the safety distance and wearing of masks, are observed.
According to the German Press Agency, the tourist magnet Barcelona wants to monitor the beaches by video in the future. An app should warn of overcrowding at the waterfront, many beaches set up barriers, corridors and checkpoints for access. However, on the beaches of Mallorca and the other Balearic Islands there will be no demarcations and no special measures for the time being. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, June 17)
Holiday childcare in Degerloch, Waldheim still undecided
Will holiday care for children will take place at the Waldheim this year or not, and if so, how does it work? Last week, the Ministry of Social Affairs published recommendations for action for offers of child and youth work during the summer holidays so that the institutions have “a certain planning security,” as a spokesperson of the ministry explains. Offers for up to 100 people (participants and supervisors added together) would be possible, for example. But what is ultimately decisive is what the Corona Ordinance dictates. According to the ministry spokesman, the new regulation is due to come into force on June 23, along with the specifications for the care services during the holidays.
Almost everything is feasible. He is critical of the fact that caretakers should observe the distance rules. These are usually between 16 and 20 years old, he said, and that will be difficult. However, he welcomes the fact that apparently the children in their groups do not have to keep a distance. But in view of the relatively small groups of 15 people, it is clear that “we will not be able to offer a forest home as usual, but rather holiday care,” says Schulze-Gronemeyer. The need for this is great. Kerstin Kelm of the Workers’ Welfare Association Stuttgart also reports this: “Many parents have used up their vacation time, and accordingly, many parents have contacted us about the Waldheim offers.” In their case, the decision as to whether and in what form these could take place had not yet been made one hundred percent. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, June 17)
Germans are venturing onto buses and trains again
The number of bus and train passengers is gradually increasing again after the corona crisis has subsided. About 40 to 60 percent of the demand from before the crisis is recorded, said the President of the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), Ingo Wortmann. But in 2020, there will be no return to normal. The VDV brings together the local transport companies in Germany. The regional subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn, DB Regio, is also a member of this group. (Tagesschau, June 18)
Göttingen puts high-rise building under quarantine
Due to about 100 new coronavirus infections in a high-rise building in Göttingen, the building complex is immediately placed under complete quarantine. According to the city, almost 700 residents are affected by the decision. This is intended to interrupt the virus’ transmission routes, as the authorities assume that there is a high number of first-degree contacts in the residential complex. Prior to this, a corona eruption had occurred in June in another high-rise complex on the northern edge of Göttingen’s inner city, the Iduna complex. (Spiegel, June 18)
Kazakhstan’s 79-year-old ex-president is infected
Kazakhstan’s former president Nursultan Nazarbayev has become infected with the corona virus. The former head of state is currently in domestic isolation, according to a statement published on his website. Nazarbayev, who celebrates his 80th birthday in July, had handed over the presidency to Kassim-Shomart Tokayev last year. However, Nazarbayev still holds the status of “head of state.” As chairman of the governing Nur Otan party and as president of the Kazakh Security Council, Nazarbayev has a great influence on events in the country. (Deutschland Today, June 18)
Police discover body, injured man in Dettenhausen
On Monday, the police discovered the body of a 26-year-old woman and her severely injured 28-year-old husband in a Dettenhausen apartment. There were still no indications of the involvement of a third party. A family member alerted the police after the man didn’t come to an arranged appointment. He was stabbed several times when the police found him and taken to a hospital for emergency surgery. The suspected murder knife was found in the apartment. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, June 17)
Thick air at Schönaich Rathaus
Everything back to normal was probably the main message of the municipal council meeting on Tuesday, at which the Schönaich residents decided to reopen the open-air swimming pool. It was the first public meeting of the committee, which was no longer overshadowed by the fierce debate that had broken out between Mayor Daniel Schamburek and local politicians in the past two months. In a letter, Schamburek asked to influence the committee and individual local councilors to change their behavior in local council meetings. In brief, they are not to interfere as often as they do and not be as critical in order to protect the employees of the administration. An insider also reports on the content of the letter, saying that the mayor had reproached some councils that they came to the meeting out of “pugnacity,” “everyday frustration” and “need for recognition.” Schamburek said publicly last summer that he felt “like on the slaughterhouse floor” in the local council. The letter surprised members of the honorary committee. They are of the opinion that a municipal council serves to control the municipal administration and thus has not only the task, but also the duty, to always critically accompany the actions of the administration. A municipal administration is not there to determine political direction, but to implement the decisions of the local council.
Thereupon the disputants asked the Böblinger District Administrator Roland Bernhard to intervene in a mediatory capacity. They reaffirmed their willingness to engage in dialogue and to resolve differences of opinion in a constructive manner. In the following municipal council meeting “we explained to each other once again what disturbs us about each other,” Schamburek said
Even though Schamburek obviously has problems with some members of the Schönaich municipal council, he is certainly well received by the citizens of the rural, artisan 10,500-strong community. In media appearances, he shows a jovial humorous manner, with which he ultimately won out over five candidates two and a half years ago, even in the first ballot. The mayor no longer takes a stand on the controversial issue itself. “We have already said everything there was to say,” he said. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, June 17)
Pedophile again in court
A 32-year-old assistant trainer is on trial in Stuttgart for sexual abuse of children. The accused pedophile had already been sentenced to four years in prison for sexual abuse of children. The verdict comes in Tuesday.
“You have very deliberately and actively crept into the family’s trust, then shamelessly exploited it and now left three direct and two indirect victims,” said the public prosecutor in her plea before the Stuttgart Regional Court on Monday, demanding seven years in prison and preventive detention. The defendant had admitted that in more than 40 cases he had performed sexual acts, first on a 13-year-old boy, later on his brother who was five years younger and at the end on her nine-year-old sister, during joint holidays and in the homes of the family and that of the defendant.
Ten years ago, the nutritional scientist was sentenced to almost four years in prison in Mainz for sexual abuse of children. After serving two thirds of the sentence, he was released and had to undergo therapy until the end of 2014. The court had also ordered him not to take up any activity involving children under 14 years of age. Nevertheless, the defendant had offered himself as an assistant trainer in an art cycling club and met the 13-year-old there.
A total of seven children have now fallen victim. This raises the question of who actually has to bear the risk if a therapy is again unsuccessful. The medical expert had said that even people with a pedophilic disposition – similar to drug addicts – still deserve chances. This was rejected by the prosecutor: “Drug addicts usually endanger themselves.”
Because no more children should become victims, the 32-year-old belongs in preventive detention, said the public prosecutor. She pointed out once again that the mother had told the court very clearly how badly the children were doing today and that the defendant had destroyed the whole family.
During the trial, the accused described the deeds very neutrally and without much remorse and reacted to questions from the parties involved in the trial. After the defense requested a sentence not exceeding five years and no preventive detention, the defendant exercised his right to the last word and spoke in the direction of the victims’ mother: “My actions are not excusable, but I hope for some forgiveness.” The process will continue on Tuesday. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, June 1)