Local news translated – Wednesday, Dec 1, 2021

For up-to-date information on current lock down conditions,
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Host Nation Update, Dec 1, 2021

Yellow vaccination certificate is no longer valid for 2G
As of today, yellow vaccination cards are no longer sufficient to prove the owner’s Corona vaccination status. Access to areas where 2G or 2G Plus applies will now only be obtained with a readable QR code.

People without smartphones should use the paper vaccination certificates, which can be obtained either directly after vaccination, or at the pharmacy and which also contain a valid QR code. In addition, it is possible to carry the QR code on an immunization card. The immunity card is available at most pharmacies and can cost between 9.90 euros and 20 euros. Hörnlein emphasizes that the immunity card is a commercial product that can be created by several providers. “Many pharmacies do not issue the Immunkarte because it is relatively costly and it is not economically worthwhile,” he continues. (Swr, December 1

4690 Covid patients are in intensive care units
The situation in intensive care units continues to worsen. According to the DIVI Intensive Care Register, 87.7 percent of intensive care beds in Germany are currently occupied. This corresponds to 21,936 beds. Covid-19 patients account for 4690 of these, 2435 (+52) of whom are ventilated. Around 3085 intensive care beds are currently still vacant in German hospitals.(Divi, December 1)

Several hundred Omikron cases in Germany
After the first evidence of the Omikron variant in Germany, experts assume that it has already spread beyond that. The period in which travelers already spread the virus internationally is certainly weeks, said Oliver Keppler, board member at the Max von Pettenkofer Institute at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. “There may be a few hundred cases in Germany.” The current infection numbers can’t be linked to Omikron, which is the delta wave, Keppler also stressed. He said a major undetected Omikron spread in Germany is unlikely.(Ntv, December 1)

Director of DIVI expects 6000 corona intensive care patients by Christmas
The president of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI), Gernot Marx, expects about 6000 corona intensive care patients by Christmas. This is independent of what measures are now decided by politicians, he says on ZDF.

The situation is “particularly threatening” because there are about 4000 fewer intensive care beds available than a year ago. “The situation is really becoming increasingly tight,” he says. Marx is calling for the traffic light parties to reintroduce the epidemic situation of national scope. A temporary lockdown or a federal emergency brake could also help. “We need to keep the clinics from collapsing.” The previous high for Corona intensive care patients was 5745 on Jan. 3.(ZDF, December 1)

RKI reports 67,186 new infections, incidence decreases
Health departments have reported 67,186 new infections to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), 302 cases more than a week ago Wednesday. The seven-day incidence is falling for the second time in a row. The previous day it was 452.2, now 442.9. Meanwhile, deaths are rising significantly. 446 more deaths related to Corona infection are reported by the RKI. A week ago, there were 335 deaths.(Robert Koch Institute, December 1)

Von der Leyen in favor of examining general mandatory vaccination in the EU
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has spoken out in favor of examining a general Corona vaccination requirement in the European Union. “We should possibly think about mandatory vaccination in the EU,” von der Leyen said in Brussels. She based this on the spread of the new Omikron variant and the fact that one-third of EU citizens have not yet been vaccinated. (Ntv, December 1)

EU-wide trade in fake digital vaccination certificates on the rise
In Internet forums of EU countries, there is currently a buzzing trade in fake Covid certificates, which are then used to obtain QR codes for digital vaccination certificates. Cross-border checks hardly take place, reports the ARD magazine “report München”. The forgeries would neither be reliably recognized as such by German checking apps nor by apps from other EU countries.

According to the research, fraudsters gain access to the systems via accomplices in pharmacies and issue QR codes on order. These could usually be read into the German Corona warning app as well as the CovPass app without any problems. According to ARD, the German Federal Ministry of Health said that so far there is no solution to the problem of cross-border use of digital vaccination certificates. (Ard, December 1)

Non Corona News

Interior ministers discuss refugees and security
On Wednesday, the Standing Conference of the Interior Ministers and Senators of the Länder (IMK) begins in Stuttgart. The number of refugees has risen sharply. The interior ministers want to talk about migration issues. It is not only in Baden-Württemberg, as many refugees are arriving again now as before the Corona crisis. In January, for example, the state recorded 703 people who filed a new application for asylum in Baden-Württemberg and were not accepted by other states, according to the Justice Ministry. In October, there were already 1,737.

The rising number of asylum applications has long been a source of debate in the state and even within the green-black coalition. CDU faction leader Manuel Hagel warned against overestimating Germany’s absorption capacity because of the rising number of asylum applications. Daniel Lede Abal, the spokesman for migration and integration in the Green parliamentary group, also countered in view of the acute emergency on the border between Belarus and Poland that it was a question of humanity to provide immediate help as a community of values.(SWR, November 30)