Local news translated – Dec 4, 2020

Daily Host Nation Update December 4, 2020

Doctors warn against the use of self-testing and super spreaders

Medical practitioners warn against the use of self-testing by medical laymen. This increases the risk of erroneous negative results and thus the danger of super spreaders, which then “lull themselves into a false sense of security”, explains the NAV Virchowbund in Berlin. It is thus opposing a new regulation introduced by Health Minister Jens Spahn. “Swabs on the corona virus can only be taken by trained specialists. This is the only way to ensure that the high sensitivity attested to the rapid antigen tests is actually achieved,” explains the Virchowbund. Incorrect self-smears “endanger human lives instead of protecting them.” (Ntv, December 4)

More than 1.5 million deaths worldwide

Worldwide, more than 65 million people have been infected with the coronavirus and over 1.5 million people have died from the infection. Since the pathogen was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, it has spread to more than 210 countries and territories. By far the most cases of infection are in the USA, followed by India, Brazil, Russia and France. (Tagesschau, December 4)

Number of teachers and students in quarantine is growing

More and more teachers and students are in quarantine because of corona cases at their school. According to data from the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK), 12,891 teachers and 210,637 students were affected last week (week 48). In week 47, there were 11,598 and 199,932 respectively. The good news is that the number of people infected in educational institutions is decreasing. (Ntv, December 4)

Italy closes ski areas until 6 January

With a new decree and further restrictions for the people, the government in Italy wants to prevent another wave of corona. All ski resorts will remain closed until January 6, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced. Between December 21 and January 6, Italians, but also tourists entering Italy from abroad, must therefore be quarantined. However, the leader of the center-left government did not provide any information on the length of the quarantine. According to Conte, the nationwide curfew from 10 pm to 5 am will remain in force. One exception is New Year’s Eve, when the ban is extended from 10 p.m. on December 31 to 7 a.m. on New Year’s Day. (Ntv, December 4)

More than 4,000 Covid-19 patients in German intensive care units

The situation in German intensive care units is escalating: According to current data from the Divi Register, 4011 Covid-19 patients are being treated there (31 more than Thursday). More than half (2,388) are currently being ventilated. As a result, the proportion of free intensive care beds continues to decline. Currently, eight out of ten beds are occupied. In some regions even less than ten percent of the available beds are free. (Ntv, December 4)

Germany to provide vaccine for free

The Federal Government underlines that the citizens should not incur any costs for a vaccination. “The vaccination will be free of charge,” says a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Health. This will apply regardless of the type of insurance. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert makes it clear on request that no financial incentives are planned beyond that for the greatest possible readiness to be vaccinated. (Ard, December 4)

Non-Corona News

Positive reaction over US troops remaining in Germany

The end to the planned withdrawal of US soldiers from Germany met with great approval from the Minister of the Interior, Thomas Strobl (CDU) on Friday. “The signals from the US Congress make me extremely confident,” he said. “Stopping the withdrawal of troops would undoubtedly be good for the USA and good for Germany, for Europe. The common commitment and shared responsibility for global security work is a hallmark of the bond of American-German friendship.” Moreover, the members of the U.S. armed forces are part of an open, diverse and tolerant society, said Strobl, who had sharply criticized U.S. President Trump’s announcement of the troop withdrawal in the summer. “We share the same values and are united by our commitment to a democratic legal system. Therefore: We were, are and will remain good hosts for our American friends.” Baden-Württemberg would be particularly affected by the withdrawal. (Swp, December 4)

Motive behind fatal pedestrian homicide in Trier still unclear

Few details about the driver who killed multiple pedestrians in Trier have been released. The perpetrator drove through the pedestrian zone in Simeonstraße at 81 km/h. The investigators also found live ammunition in the car, but no weapon. However, the motive for the crime is still unclear. The man has not made any clear statements, said Rhineland-Palatinate Interior Minister Roger Lewentz (SPD) on Friday. (Swr, December 4)