Local news translated – Monday, Mar 22, 2021

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

Daily Host Nation Update, Mar 22, 2021

Number of intensive care patients continues to rise – now at 3145
The number of Covid-19 intensive care patients in Germany has risen for the tenth day in a row and continues to hover above the 3000 mark. German hospitals are currently providing intensive care to 3145 Covid 19 patients, according to the latest Divi Intensive Care Registry. Compared to the previous day, this is an increase of 89 patients. According to the data, 1678 patients require invasive ventilation, which is 27 more than the previous day. According to the data, a total of 4885 beds are still available in German hospitals.(Dpa, March 22)

“Emergency brake”: number of regions above the 100 climbs to 199
For the time being, there is no basis for prompt and extensive opening steps for numerous German regions in view of the current seven-day incidence: of the 412 regions reported by the Robert Koch Institute (these include the counties, independent cities and the Berlin districts), 199 (yesterday: 180, the day before yesterday: 173, the day before that: 150) exceed the 100 mark described by Chancellor Angela Merkel as an “emergency brake” – they are thus far away from easing measures agreed by the federal and state governments. According to the latest RKI data, of the 20 regions with the highest values, seven each are in Bavaria and Thuringia. Both free states with their case incidence partly clearly above the federal value (107.3): Bavaria with 110.7 and Thuringia with the nationwide highest seven-day incidence of 209.7. (Ntv, March 22)

Nine percent in Germany are vaccinated initially
The number of Covid 19 vaccine doses administered in Germany has risen to more than 10.8 million according to the current vaccination rate monitoring of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). According to this, the rate of first vaccinations is now more than nine percent, and the rate of second vaccinations is more than four percent – this corresponds to more than 3.3 million fully vaccinated persons. Full vaccination protection exists only after two vaccinations among currently vaccinated praparates. According to the RKI, Saarland leads the ranking after first vaccinations with more than 10.7 percent, while Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is at the bottom of the table with 8.0 percent. In the ranking by second vaccinations, Thuringia continues to lead with a rate of 4.75 percent, while Brandenburg brings up the rear with a rate of 3.39 percent.(Aerzteblatt, March22

Mandatory masks in the workplace
Ahead of today’s round of talks between the federal government and the states, the SPD-led states are demanding, according to information from ntv, that companies offer their employees “at least two rapid tests per week”. This goes beyond the draft of the Federal Chancellery that became known yesterday. It states that companies should offer their employees a rapid test “at least once and, if available, twice a week.”

The SPD-led states also demand that the federal government ensure that employers can issue test certificates. Such certificates would allow access to stores, for example. In addition, there should be a requirement to wear a medical mask in the workplace “when several people are in the same room.” These demands were already found in the draft of the SPD-led states, which was published on Sunday. The state premiers will meet this afternoon for a video call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Among other things, the extension of the lockdown until April is likely to be decided. (Ntv, March 22)

Teachers’ association and head of education ministers in disagreement over school closures
The president of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, Britta Ernst, has warned of the effects of renewed school closures ahead of the conference of state premiers with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “The ministers of education and cultural affairs view with concern the impact on children and young people of the measures taken in the wake of the containment of the Sars-CoV pandemic,” the education minister of Brandenburg told the Bild newspaper. “Many children and young people are suffering from the pandemic situation. To ensure that the consequences do not permanently accompany their lives, the priority of the education ministers is to keep schools open as long as possible.”

The president of the German Teachers’ Association, Heinz-Peter Meidinger, on the other hand, criticized the policy’s adherence to classroom instruction without adequate testing. “If the federal states had been serious about keeping schools open despite sharply rising incidence figures, they should have ensured that teachers are now vaccinated and schools are equipped with rapid tests in sufficient numbers. However, we are still miles away from this at 9 out of 10 schools,” he told the “Rheinische Post” newspaper.(Rheinische Post, March 21)

Survey: Large majority wants to stay at home during Easter vacation
In view of the sharp rise in the number of Corona infections, a large majority of Germans want to stay at home during the Easter vacations. In a survey conducted by the opinion research institute Yougov on behalf of the Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 79 percent of respondents said they did not want to travel. Only 2 percent want to vacation abroad, and another 4 percent want to travel domestically. 10 percent had not yet decided at the time of the survey (March 16-18). The vacations begin in most German states next week. (Dpa, March 22)

Case numbers are rising rapidly among younger people
Last week’s trend has been confirmed, with new infections rising sharply, especially among children. The most significant increase was seen among 0- to 14-year-olds, whose 7-day incidences doubled within a month, the RKI wrote in its situation report yesterday. Overall, 15- to 44-year-olds were particularly affected, it said. Among people of retirement age, the increase is much smaller, but only in the over 85-year-olds the case numbers still fall slightly.

Five- to nine-year-olds infected more often than average
Among very young children under 5 years of age, the 7-day incidence has again increased by 14 cases and now stands at 74 new infections per 100,000 population. The number of cases among five- to nine-year-olds is already well above the average of 86.2. Last week, the RKI recorded an incidence of 73 among them, but now the figure is 97. This is the strongest increase of all age groups.

There was also a sharp rise in the incidence among 45- to 49-year-olds, which rose by 17 cases to 97. But the figure also rose by at least ten new infections in the other age groups up to 64 years. Although incidences generally decrease with age, the difference is particularly marked among those aged 65 to 69. Their number of cases also increased by three, but at 47 is well below the incidence 72 of the younger age group.

Since this limit can be seen for practically the entire pandemic, it is very reasonable to assume that the reason for this is the transition to retirement age: the group does not become infected either at work or on the way there. One could also conclude from this that relatively many infections take place in connection with a job requiring presence. (Ntv, March 22)

Non-Corona local News

Man threatens 14-year-old and injures a policewoman
Stuttgart – Police arrested a 27-year-old man in Stuttgart-Wangen at the Wasenstraße light rail stop on Saturday. According to police, the man is suspected of threatening a 14-year-old with a knife and demanding money on a U13 line train on Saturday evening. The suspect is also said to have resisted arrest, insulted officers and slightly injured a policewoman.

The 14-year-old managed to escape and remained unharmed. According to the report, the incident had occurred around 9:30 p.m. on the ride of the light rail from the Untertürkheim station stop to the Wasenstraße stop.

The 27-year-old suspect was brought before the magistrate, who issued an arrest warrant at the request of the public prosecutor’s office and put it into effect. According to police, the 27-year-old was accompanied by a 48-year-old, who was released after his personal details were recorded. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, March 22)

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/