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Host Nation Update, Dec 2, 2021
Announced bans and restrictions from Saturday onward
Stuttgart – The announced bans and restrictions, for example: Christmas markets, soccer matches or clubs, will apply from this Saturday, according to plans by the Baden-Württemberg state government.
Initially, the state government had announced that it would implement the new measures as early as this Thursday because of the increasingly dramatic Corona situation. However, the date was postponed to Saturday because the state government wants to wait for the results of a consultation between the federal and state governments that was announced at short notice. Also the implementation of a looming general vaccination obligation is to be discussed thereby. The consultations are intended to send a unified signal, but depending on the state, some of the measures mentioned have already been implemented.
The Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann (Greens), had already announced a state-wide ban on large public events. Soccer games and large sporting events should only be able to take place without an audience, or at least with a smaller one, and recreational businesses such as clubs and discos would be closed. Christmas markets – the few that are still open – are also to be banned. Restrictions on cultural events are still to be discussed.(Stuttgarter Nachrichten, December 2)
Merkel: “The situation is unfortunately serious”.
“The fact that we are now in such a strong fourth wave does not make me happy,” Merkel said after the federal-state meeting. “The situation is unfortunately serious, and if we had an average incidence now of 130 like Italy or 150, I would be more comfortable.”(Ntv, December 2)
Federal and state governments agree on ban on firecrackers and fireworks sales
This year, there will be a general ban on the sale of pyrotechnics before New Year’s Eve. According to ntv information, the Conference of Minister Presidents agreed on this. Previously, the proposal had appeared in a preliminary draft resolution with additions from the Union-led states and Baden-Württemberg. The working paper also states: “In addition, fireworks will be banned in public places that are to be defined by the municipalities.(Ntv, December 2)
STIKO to issue recommendation on children’s vaccination by mid-December
The Standing Commission on Vaccination (STIKO) wants to react to the delivery of the special Corona vaccine for children aged five to eleven years, which has been brought forward by one week. “If at all possible,” a recommendation should be available by December 13, STIKO Chairman Thomas Mertens said in response to an inquiry. STIKO member Martin Terhardt said Wednesday evening on the ZDF program “Markus Lanz”: “We will certainly have a recommendation by then.” There have been indications for some time that the STIKO could initially explicitly recommend vaccination only for children with certain pre-existing conditions and ill relatives. There had also been a later expansion to all groups when vaccinating 12- to 17-year-olds. This would not mean, however, that the vaccination is not possible after medical clarification and with individual desire and risk acceptance of the child or the custodians, the German society for child and youth medicine had stressed last week after the permission of the means by the European medicament authority EMA. The safety data for the pediatric vaccine are not yet fully adequate, Terhardt told ZDF.(Zdf, December 2)
RKI reports 73,209 new infections – incidence drops to 439.2
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reports 73,209 new infections within 24 hours. This is 2752 fewer cases than a week ago Thursday, when 75,961 were reported. The seven-day incidence drops to 439.2 from 442.9 the previous day. 388 more people died in connection with the virus. This brings the total number of reported deaths to 102,178. In total, more than 5.97 million Corona tests have been positive in Germany to date. When assessing the incidence of infection, it should be borne in mind that experts currently assume that there is a marked under-reporting. Accordingly, health authorities and clinics are no longer keeping up with the reporting of cases, at least in some regions. (Robert Koch Institute, December 2)
Stuttgart reports second lowest incidence in the country
With 345 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days, the state capital has recorded the second-lowest incidence rate in the whole of Baden-Württemberg. Only Heidelberg (260) reports a lower value. The incidence is currently highest in Tuttlingen (916). The Schwarzwald-Baar district (870) and Pforzheim (830) exceed the 800 mark.
After falling for two days in a row, the seven-day incidence in Baden-Württemberg is currently rising again to 520. Within seven days, more than 57,000 people have been proven to be newly infected with the virus. (Robert Koch Institute, December 2)
Almost one million vaccinations per day – four out of five are boosters
Germany is again getting closer to the number of one million vaccinations per day. On Wednesday, a total of 987,000 people were vaccinated. Four out of five vaccinated people received a booster vaccination, according to the vaccination dashboard of the Robert Koch Institute. On Tuesday, there were still 807,000 doses administered. The record was previously set on June 9 with 1.4 million doses. Fully vaccinated – a booster has not been required for this status to date – are now 68.7 percent of the population and 79.3 percent of all adults over 18.(Robert Koch Institute, December 2)
Germans increasingly avoid restaurants
In view of the record high number of new infections, more and more Germans are avoiding restaurants. According to data from the popular reservation app Open Table, almost 30 percent fewer diners were served in a seven-day average than before the outbreak of the pandemic. This is the sharpest decline in just over a year. The downward trend was even more pronounced recently, with a 47 percent drop on Nov. 29 and a 48 percent drop on Nov. 30. Economists like to use the data because in the past they have had a very large synchronization with the sales trend in the hospitality industry.(Ntv, December 2)
Böblingen district calls for mandatory vaccination
The district of Böblingen demands the immediate introduction of a general vaccination obligation against the Corona virus. In the meeting of the social and health committee (29.11.) the circle councils with large majority for it made a clear recommendation for the resolution by the circle daily (20.12.). Almost all parliamentary groups have agreed to the proposal of the administration.
The fact that there are too few intensive care beds and overloaded staff was confirmed at the meeting by Dr. Andres Ostermeier, chief physician for anesthesia and intensive care medicine at the Herrenberg and Böblingen hospitals. His impressive descriptions illustrated the pressure under which he and his colleagues work.
A high vaccination rate cannot prevent high numbers of infections. However, it does prevent a high number of life-threatening courses of the disease. According to the Robert Koch Institute, those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are about 90 percent less likely than those not vaccinated to develop severe COVID-19. Without the further immunization provided by the vaccine, by the time the unvaccinated population became infected with corona virus, thousands more deaths and a heavy burden on intensive care capacities would have to be expected. In addition, there would be numerous victims of other diseases for whose treatment the capacities would not be sufficient. (Sindelfinger Zeitung, December 2)