Local news translated – Thursday, Feb 11, 2021

Germany is currently under strict lockdown restrictions, which include curfews.
Click here for details on how the Baden-Württemberg ordinance impacts the USAG Stuttgart community.

Daily Host Nation Update, Feb 11, 2021

RKI records 666 additional fatalities
German public health departments have reported 10,237 new infections with coronavirus to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). In addition, the RKI reportedly recorded 666 additional deaths. Last Thursday, the RKI had recorded 14,211 new cases and 786 newly registered deaths within 24 hours. The RKI counts 2,310,233 confirmed infections with Sars-CoV-2 in Germany since the pandemic began. The RKI gives the total number of Covid-19 deaths as 63,635. According to the RKI estimate, around 2.09 million people are considered to have recovered.(Robert Koch Institute, February 11)

Söder considers border closures
Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder will not rule out border closures to neighboring countries with a high incidence of infection: “If the Czech Republic cannot extend its emergency measures, then it must also be clear that the Czech Republic is a mutation area and then border closure must also be considered,” Söder said on ZDF’s “heute-journal.” In the neighboring German country with about 10.7 million inhabitants, almost every tenth person has already been infected with the pathogen Sars-CoV-2. Austria is also under observation. The government in Vienna has imposed quarantine measures in the province of Tyrol, which has been severely affected by the South African variant of the virus, he said.  (Ntv, February 11)

Lockdown has saved many lives
The lockdown that has been in place since mid-December to contain the Corona pandemic has saved many lives, according to Berlin’s head of government Michael Müller. The positive infection trend in recent weeks has not come on its own, but results from the anti-corona measures, Müller says. “We have thousands who didn’t have to go to a hospital and didn’t have to go to an intensive care unit because of this pathway and these successes.” And there, too, he says, we are seeing slow relief. Especially against this background, it is very important not to give up on this path now, he says. (Ntv, February 11)

Merkel warns of real danger of virus mutations
Despite falling numbers and ongoing vaccinations, everyone must be “very, very vigilant,” Angela Merkel tells the Bundestag. Experts are certain, she said, that it is only a matter of time before mutants displace the original virus. This is a “real danger,” she said.(Ntv, February 11)

Why of all the hairdressers may open
From March 1, hairdressers will be allowed to reopen if the infection situation is favorable – subject to strict hygiene requirements, of course. But these were largely the norm even before the shutdown.

Of all things, hairdressers are allowed to work again, but not fashion retailers, for example – why is that? The Baden-Württemberg state government soberly points to the importance of haircutting for personal hygiene. Bavaria’s Minister President Markus Söder (CSU) therefore charges that the decision of the heads of government is also a “question of dignity” – an unusually empathetic view of politics on an act that is in itself profane. 

In fact, there is also a psychological component to a visit to the hairdresser: Most Corona-afflicted people no longer like to put up with running wild in lockdown. And especially elderly women appreciate the social function of a visit to the hairdresser: in the salon they can not only escape the loneliness of their own four walls and talk to the staff, but also see their personality restored with a new hairstyle. The so-called “body-related service” – an official term that hardly anyone knew before Corona – thus also has a sociocultural significance.(Canstatter Zeitung, February 11)

Merkel regrets “hesitant approach” in the autumn
German Chancellor Angela Merkel sees major failures in the handling of the pandemic last fall. In the summer of 2020, a halfway normal life was possible again in Germany, Merkel says in her government statement in the Bundestag. “Then we were not careful enough and not fast enough.” Politicians had failed to shut down public life early and consistently as the infection figures rose, she said. That the numbers had risen so much was “a consequence of hesitant action,” he said. Now, however, the trend has been reversed.(Focus, February 11)

Number of intensive care patients continues to fall
The number of intensive care patients in Germany suffering from Covid-19 has fallen again, reports the Divi Registry. Currently, 3675 people are undergoing intensive care treatment. The previous day, there were 3736. 2055 of them are currently receiving invasive ventilation. A total of 22,401 intensive care beds are occupied, which is 54 beds less than on Wednesday. 17 percent of intensive care beds in German hospitals are still vacant.(Ntv, February 11)

Non Corona News

Construction sites continue to disrupt traffic in Böblingen
Patience is a virtue that drivers in Böblingen will still have to show this year. This is because road construction work will continue to cause obstructions.

“Frost is the greatest enemy of civil engineering,” says Böblingen’s civil engineering office manager Frank Bader. Because at the construction fences and barriers around Elbenplatz, only the snow plows are currently humming – the construction vehicles behind them are on break – winter break. Actually, the road builders were supposed to start again on January 18, so that Böblingen’s most important inner-city traffic artery would soon pulsate again. Actually, because the onset of frost ruined the plan. “The problem here is not the snow, but the cold. The asphalt needs 170 degrees when it’s being laid, and with frost like that, the asphalt can’t find a bond with the base course,” says Frank Bader.(Bbheute, February 11)

Temperatures continue to drop
According to the German Weather Service, it will continue to be slippery on the roads on Thursday morning. In the morning, some fresh snow will fall in the south, but in large parts of Baden-Württemberg it will be clear without further fresh snow. It will remain cold, with minus nine degrees in the higher mountains and minus one degree in Breisgau.

Also in the night to Friday, no further snow will fall. Temperatures will drop to minus 7 to minus 14 degrees. In some areas, it will be even colder with up to minus 20 degrees and it may become slippery again on the roads.(Dpa, February 11)

Recall for fruit snack: product infested with mold there is a risk of health risks
A popular fruit snack is affected by a recall. Residues of mold were found. The products were sold at Real. Current recall* at Real: Dried figs are being removed from the assortment.The manufacturer advises against consumption.

Anyone who has already purchased the goods affected by the recall should not consume them under any circumstances. Residues of mycotoxins were discovered in the “Figs from Calabria”. The consumption of molds can lead to stomach problems, nausea or diarrhea and even have much more serious consequences in the long term. (FNP, February 11)

NOTE:
For additional host nation news, please visit the below English language websites:
https://www.dw.com/en/top-stories/germany/s-1432
https://www.welt.de/english-news/