Local news translated – Dec 3, 2020

Daily Host Nation Update December 3, 2020

RKI pleads for the protection of older people

The incidence of infection in Germany varies regionally. As the RKI infection epidemiologist Ute Rexroth explains, the figures in the city states show a declining trend, while they remain at a stable level in large states such as Bavaria and Lower Saxony. In Thuringia, however, they are rising significantly, in Saxony even very significantly. Currently 273 regions have a 7-day incidence of over 100. With regard to the age groups affected, it is becoming apparent that more and more older people are becoming infected with the virus – for example in old people’s homes and nursing homes. In the over-80 age group, more than 11,500 deaths have been registered so far in connection with Covid-19. RKI head Lothar Wieler warns that vulnerable groups need even more protection. Currently there is a high number of cases per outbreak in nursing homes – which means that the protective measures there are not sufficiently successful. Wherever people come together and stay together longer, hygiene measures must be taken. (Robert Koch Institute, December 3)

Covid-19 is a preventable disease

At a recent press conference of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), President Lothar Wieler warned that the number of cases is still too high. “The health authorities are visibly exhausted,” said Wieler. They have not been able to determine where those affected have been infected. Some hospitals have reached capacity. The number of deaths and severe cases of the disease is increasing from week to week and many more deaths are expected. However, Wieler also emphasizes: “We are not helpless in the face of this virus. Covid-19 is a preventable disease. Therefore the rules must be followed. Attention must be paid everywhere, and especially indoors it is important to distance, wear masks, practice hygiene, and regular airing. (Press conference RKI, December 3)

Even with a vaccination, vigilance required until summer

Following the approval of the vaccine by Biontech and Pfizer, the British government hopes to see a drastic reduction in deaths. The first phase of the immunization program is expected to begin as early as next week and will target primarily the elderly and debilitated and nursing home residents. “We could theoretically eliminate 99 percent of hospitalizations and deaths related to Covid-19,” Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, the Deputy Chief Medical Advisor to the government in England, told BBC television. The prerequisite, however, is that the vaccination meets with high acceptance among the population. Van-Tam also warns against hasty euphoria and carelessness in dealing with the pandemic. “We also need to make sure that people understand that this is not an immediate way out of anything,” he says. He added that there were still some hard winter months ahead and that people would have to continue to follow the rules of distance, regardless of whether they had received a vaccination or not. (Ntv, December 3)

Fear of infection at work is growing

After a relatively carefree summer, the fear of an infection with the coronavirus is increasing among employees. In November, one in three people were worried about getting infected at work or on the way to work, according to a survey conducted by the portal Lohnspiegel.de. Despite lockdowns, the figure is thus almost as high as in October (34 percent), but significantly higher than in June and July with 25 percent. Since April, 26,500 employees have taken part in the survey conducted by Lohnspiegel.de, which is scientifically supervised by the Hans Böckler Foundation’s WSI Institute, which has close ties to the trade unions. (Ntv, December 3)

Women burdened by pandemic more than men

In the pandemic, women continue to shoulder the largest share of work in the household and family. Additional tasks, such as home schooling and childcare, were also distributed mainly according to classic role models of men and women, reports the Bertelsmann Foundation, citing a survey commissioned by it. For example, 69 percent of the women stated that they were mainly responsible for household chores themselves. In contrast, only eleven percent of the men surveyed claimed to do this for themselves. A similar picture emerges when looking at additional areas of particular relevance during the crisis, such as distance learning for children in their own homes. For example, 51 percent of the women said that this was their primary concern. Among men, only 15 percent said they did so. (Ntv, December 3)

50 Corona vaccination centers established in Baden-Württemberg

Baden-Württemberg has published a list of 50 satellite immunization centers, in addition to the nine central immunization centers in B-W’s four districts. The county centers are expected to perform up to 800 vaccinations a day beginning on 15 JAN 21 and remain in operation through June 2021 when immunizations then will be available through normal medical practices. Mobile teams will visit locations where people are not able to leave to get immunized. Immunizations will be by appointment only through the central number 116 117. (B-W, Dec 3) [Editor’s Note – The US Foreign Liaison Officer for B-W is awaiting a response from the B-W Interior and Social Ministries on whether U.S. Forces personnel and their family members will be able to receive immunizations at these centers.]

Current corona restrictions in place until 10 Jan 2021

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) announced 02 DEC 20 that the current lockdown will be extended to 10 JAN 21, following a decision she and the Minister Presidents reached in a video conference. The Christmas holiday exemptions will remain in place. The goal is to reach a 7-D-I rate of under 50 new cases. “We are far from that on average,” Merkel said. She also warned against having too high expectations for the vaccine, saying, “In the first quarter, we should not have exuberant hopes about the amount of vaccine.” The Chancellor and Minister Presidents will meet again on Jan 4, 21 to discuss the way ahead. (Stuttgarter Zeitung Dec 3)  

Non Corona News

Wild boar hunting in Waldenbuch/Steinenbronn

On Friday, December 4, a driving hunt, will take place in the forest between Waldenbuch, Steinenbronn, Schönaich and Weil im Schönbuch. The district road K 1050 between Waldenbuch and Weil im Schönbuch will be closed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. due to the hunt. “We get the game moving with drivers and dogs to hunt it down,” says Claus Kissel, district hunter master of the Böblingen district. More than 100 hunters will take part. Although currently there have been no cases of African swine fever reported in Baden-Württemberg, it makes sense to keep the wild boar population under control. The hunt itself lasts about two and a half hours. Hikers and walkers are advised to avoid the area during the hunt. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Dec 3)