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HN Update, July 2, 2021
Seven-day incidence drops to 5.0 – More than 91,000 total deaths
Health departments in Germany have reported 649 new Corona infections to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) within one day. This is according to figures from Friday morning, which reflect the status of the RKI dashboard as of 7:18 am. That compares with 774 infections a week ago. The RKI gave the seven-day incidence as 5.0 nationwide (previous day: 5.1; previous week: 6.2).
Nationwide, 69 deaths were recorded within 24 hours, according to this information. A week ago, there were 62 deaths. The RKI counted 3,729,682 confirmed infections with Sars-CoV-2 since the start of the pandemic, but the actual total is likely to be much higher because many infections go undetected. The RKI reported the number of people who recovered as 3,626,800. The number of people who died from or with the involvement of a confirmed infection with Sars-CoV-2 rose to 91,007.(Robert Koch Institute, July 2)
Chancellor’s Office Minister does not expect lockdown in coming fall
Chancellor’s Office Minister Helge Braun does not believe there will be another lockdown in the fall. “As long as vaccinations work well, a lockdown at the expense of those who are fully vaccinated is out of the question. Many areas that were completely closed in the past must remain open for this large part of the population,” Braun tells news radio MDR Aktuell. The chancellor’s office minister announced that in the future, the federal government would not look solely at incidence figures. The issue of hospital admissions would be given greater focus in the statistics in the future.(MDR, July 2)
Non Corona local News
Roman military camp discovered in Augsburg
Archaeologists have recovered more than 400 kilograms of Roman-era finds in Augsburg. This is the most significant find in the Swabian city in more than 100 years, said Augsburg’s city archaeologist Sebastian Gairhos. Some 800 coins, weapons, tools and jewelry alone were discovered, he said.
The finds showed that the military camp was the oldest Roman site in Bavaria, the archaeologist said. Based on the coins and pottery remains, scientists were already able to narrow down that the camp must have been built in the years 8 to 5 BC. Gairhos now hopes for many more findings. “The mass of finds offers enormous potential.”
The Roman objects were discovered on the site of a former automotive supplier. After the factory had already been abandoned some time ago, the site is now to be redeveloped with apartments. In the run-up, the archaeologists therefore had the opportunity to examine the area.
With its more than 2000 years of history, Augsburg is one of the oldest cities in Germany and is therefore also a well-known site for finding remains from ancient times.(Dpa, June 30)
Germany implements EU-wide ban on plastic articles
Berlin – All single-use plastic products are to disappear from stores in Germany and all other EU member states from this Saturday. That’s according to a 2019 EU directive banning plastic tableware.
The ban, which takes effect on the July 3, 2021 deadline, affects disposable products such as single-use cutlery and plates, drinking straws, stirrers, cotton swabs and balloon wands made of plastic. To-go containers and beverage cups made of Styrofoam are also no longer allowed to be put on the market. Retailers are now required to use reusable alternatives made of glass or metal.
Disposable products that are still in stock may continue to be sold. The German Trade Association assumes that “there are still larger quantities” that retailers would have to sell off. According to the association, it does not have more precise figures.
In Germany, in addition to the ban on the above items, special labeling will also come into effect for disposable products for which there are not yet any alternative offerings. These include hygiene products, to-go cups made of and containing plastic, and cigarettes with filters containing plastic. The labeling is intended to warn consumers about environmental damage caused by plastic and provide information on proper disposal.(Canstatter Zeitung, July 2)
Biggest flower in the world could bloom this weekend
Stuttgart – It is huge and stinks to high heaven: the titanwort, the largest flower in the world. Soon, probably this weekend, will bloom for the first time in the Hohenheim Gardens. “There are some indications that we will be able to show it to our visitors this weekend,” says a spokeswoman for the University of Hohenheim.
The titanwort is a tuberous plant and belongs to the arum family, which originates from the rainforests of Sumatra in Indonesia. Once it has decided to bloom – which does not happen every year – it inexorably strives upward. “Surprise,” as the Hohenheimers have named their titanwort, “is currently growing six centimeters a day,” says botanist Robert Gliniars. “In about two days, it will stop doing that and go wide.” Incidentally, the botanist can pinpoint the time of flowering: “As soon as the titanwort drops its bracts and moisture escapes, it blooms the next day.”
The spectacle usually lasts only 24 hours. Then the plant falls back into dormancy and is just a tuber under the ground, though even at that it’s a superlative: “Ours weighs 40 kilograms,” says Robert Gliniars. In 2019, he says, they received it from the Frankfurt Palmengarten. “You have to do intensive care to protect it from nematodes and rot,” he says. That means repotting, cutting off rotten spots, keeping them not too moist but not too dry.
Then, one day, it formed a leaf. “It was huge, reached five meters high and the stem was five centimeters in diameter,” says the botanist. For six to eight months, he says, the plant performs photosynthesis, strengthening the tuber. Then the leaf wilts again and the titanium root dives again.(Stuttgarter Nachrichten, July 2)