Local news translated – Wed, Jan 20, 2021

Daily Host Nation Update, January 20, 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.

 

New cases of infection with British mutation discovered in Berlin
Three infected people in Berlin give reason to believe that the British mutation of the coronavirus (B117) is more rampant in Germany than previously thought. In the new cases in Berlin, is no known travel connection to the United Kingdom, reports the “Tagesspiegel”. On January 8, a case in Berlin in which a man showed the virus mutation after entering the country from Great Britain had also infected his family.(Tagesspiegel, January 20)

Physicians call for more capacity for intensive care units
The German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI) is insisting on a rapid reduction in the number of infections in order to relieve the pressure on the capacities of intensive care units. “Currently, we are at just under 5,000 intensive care patients in Germany – we still have to go down significantly. It is also a
matter of being ready to make additional space available again if the virus mutation spreads in Germany says DIVI President Gernot Marx to the “Rheinische Post”.(Rheinische Post, January 20)

Teachers’ association welcomes extension of school closures
The president of the German Teachers’ Association, Heinz-Peter Meidinger, says he hopes that “the big start will be made again” at schools in mid-February. He commented in the “Augsburger Allgemeine” newspaper. The decision of the federal government and the states to keep the facilities largely closed until February 14, is supported by the association, according to the report. “Schools are part of the infection
process,” Meidinger said. It is necessary to respond to the high numbers of infections there as well, he said. “To loosen up at schools now and then close them again within a very short time would be the worst thing to do.”(Augsburger Allgemeine, January 20)

RKI reports almost 16,000 new infections
Health departments in Germany have reported nearly 16,000 new corona infections and more than a thousand additional fatalities to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). According to the RKI, the number of infections with the novel coronavirus increased by 15,974 to 2,068,002 cases within 24 hours. The number of corona deaths increased by 1148 to
48,770 cases. Of the more than two million people in whom corona infection has been detected in Germany, about 1,741,800 have now recovered, according to the RKI. The seven-day incidence was 123.5 Corona infections per 100,000 population. The federal government’s goal is to push the incidence below 50. (Robert Koch Institute, January 20)

Heil announces controls on home office regulation
Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil has warned employers not to undermine the new rules on home office. On “Bild live” he also announced certain controls. Companies would have to clearly state where home office is possible, and also where it is not. “Where it is possible, they should make it possible and that will also be checked by the occupational health and safety authorities in case of doubt,” the SPD politician said. The government expects employees to make use of home offices in the fight against the Corona pandemic. (Ntv, January 20)

Medical experts expect further lockdown extension
The president of the World Medical Association, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, expects a further extension of the measures against the coronavirus beyond mid-February. He said people need to be accustomed to the fact that this is now a way of life for the rest
of this winter that must be lived with. “Otherwise, this virus will strike back with great force,” he told the SWR Aktuell radio program. (Swr, January 20)

The Netherlands imposes flight bans once again due to mutations
Worried about the rapid spread of the virus mutations, the Netherlands drastically
tightens the measures and imposes a flight ban on passenger planes from Great Britain,
South Africa and South America. The ban will apply from next Saturday, Prime Minister
Mark Rutte announced. In the areas the particularly infectious virus variants are strongly
spread. The flight ban will remain in effect until a quarantine obligation for travelers from
these countries has been regulated.(Ntv, January 20)

Spahn expects isolated shortages of FFP2 masks
After the federal and state governments agreed to make medical masks mandatory to wear in retail stores and on public transport, German Health Minister Jens Spahn expects isolated supply problems with FFP2 masks in the short term. There could be “regional, local or temporal” shortages if everyone wants to buy the same thing on the same day, Spahn said in Berlin. “As of today,” however, there is no knowledge that
supply shortages will occur, Spahn added. He said he was optimistic that “sufficient masks will be available.” Spahn pointed out that in addition to the FFP2 masks, those of the KN95 type also provide a high level of protection.(Ntv, January 20) Editors note “While the full updated rules have yet to be released by the state, media reports have indicated that light blue surgical masks will also meet the new minimum standard, which mainly impacts cloth masks.”

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/