Local news translated – Wednesday, Mar 24, 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 24, 2021

15,813 new cases – incidence at 108.1
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reports 15,813 new infections and 248 new deaths within one day. Exactly one week ago, the RKI reported 13,435 new infections and 249 new deaths within one day. The number of new infections reported within seven days per 100,000 inhabitants (seven-day incidence) nationwide is 108.1 – the same as the previous day. The total number of people who have died from or with the involvement of a confirmed infection with Sars-CoV-2 rises above 75,000 – to exactly 75,212. (Robert Koch Institute, March 24)

Buses and trains come to a standstill – commemoration of Corona deaths
In dozens of European cities, there was a minute of silence and other commemorative events for those who died of COVID-19 at 12 o’clock. As the association Eurocities as organizer announced, many of the approximately 200 cities from nearly 40 countries had taken part with their own actions in the joint commemoration. In Berlin, according to the public transport company BVG, many buses and trains were at a standstill for a short time at the stops or in the station. There was a similar action in the Hungarian capital Budapest, reported the spokesperson of Eurocities. (Ntv, March 24)

Lauterbach warns against Long Covid in children
Long-Covid affects very many convalescents – “estimated to 10 percent who had neither pneumonia nor severe shortness of breath, without hospital,” SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach tweeted. “This is going to affect a lot of parents in [the] next few weeks.” The epidemiologist is referring to the rising numbers of infections, especially among younger children, since school and daycare centers reopened. There is no treatment yet for neurological late effects of the disease, he said. “Even a lifelong course in these young people, as with other postviral syndromes, we cannot rule out,” he said. The human cost, including to families, is huge. We need to warn about that.” (Ntv, March 24)

Intensive care physician confirms: Vaccinations already having an effect
German intensive care physicians are already registering the effects of vaccinations, according to their association Divi. In intensive care units, there are now only “very few” corona patients in their 80s, says Gernot Marx, president of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (Divi), on Deutschlandfunk radio. That’s clear to see, he said. “The vaccinations really seem to work,” Marx adds. “When we have vaccinated the over-65s, we will clearly notice an effect.” (Divi, March 24)

Nationwide seven-day incidence at two-month high
The trend is downward in individual states – but the nationwide seven-day incidence has continued to rise, albeit minimally. According to current RKI data, the case incidence increased on Tuesday from 108.10 to 108.14 newly registered Corona infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days. Rounded, the value thus remains at the level of 108.1, which is the highest value since January 21, i.e. for two months.(Stern, March 24. (Robert Koch Institute, March 24)

Kurz warns of division in Europe over vaccine distribution
Ahead of the EU video summit on Thursday, Austria warns against dividing Europe over the distribution of vaccines. “We cannot have any interest in the gap within the European Union widening more and more when it comes to vaccination coverage of the population and thus creating second-class EU member states,” Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told the newspaper Welt.

For example, he said, the heads of state and government agreed in January to deliver the vaccine at the same time on a pro-rata basis according to the population key. “However, it has turned out that the delivery of vaccines is not according to population key, but according to order quantity.” Without correction, he said, this results in some member states reaching so-called herd immunity as early as the end of May, while others do not until late summer or toward the end of the year. (Welt, March 24)

EU tightens export rules over Astrazeneca dispute
In the dispute over Corona vaccine supplies by the British-Swedish manufacturer Astrazeneca, the EU Commission has significantly expanded the options for export stops. The Brussels-based authority cleared the way for export bans where a target country produces vaccine itself but does not export it, or if its population has already been largely vaccinated. This is necessary “in order to achieve our vaccination goals against the coronavirus,” said Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis.

The background is massive supply backlogs at Astrazeneca. “The ongoing production shortfalls are not fairly distributed among the various contracting countries,” Dombrovskis stressed. The focus here is on Great Britain, which has so far been significantly less affected by the delivery problems and at the same time imports large quantities of vaccine from the EU. (Focus, March 24)

Companies should test 90 percent of employees in the office
Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz expects companies to regularly test more than 90 percent of their employees who do not work from home offices. “I am confident.” At the beginning of April, he said, it would become clear whether this was successful. Scholz had recently threatened legal decrees if not enough companies followed along.(Ntv, March 24)

Multisystem inflammation also in adults
In Berlin, two patients come to the emergency room whose symptoms do not initially suggest corona. But the doctors eventually discover a connection that had previously only been proven in children – multisystemic inflammatory syndrome.

Multisystemic inflammatory syndrome was previously thought to be a rare but severe complication of covid-19 disease, especially in children. It is known as Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome (PIMS) or Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), among other names.

There is now increasing evidence that this disease process also occurs in adults. Since June 2020, there have been several reports of cases in adults, especially in the USA and Great Britain, which doctors have classified as MIS-A, i.e. Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Adults. Now, physicians at the DRK Clinic in Berlin-Westend report two MIS-A cases. According to their information, these are the first in Germany.

“Multisystem inflammatory syndrome presents as a clinical chameleon,” the Berlin physicians write. The cases described showed that a temporal relationship with a possibly asymptomatic Sars-CoV-2 infection must also be considered in adults who present with fever, elevated inflammatory values without an infectious focus, and diseases of various organ systems. Physicians anticipate an increase in such cases in adults as well. ( Ntv, March 24)

Non Corona local News

Cases of bird flu discovered in Baden-Württemberg
The outbreak of the bird flu at a rearing farm in North Rhine-Westphalia has consequences for poultry farmers in Baden-Württemberg. In recent days, chickens were delivered from there to numerous small farms in several counties in the southwest, the Ministry of Agriculture announced in Stuttgart on Wednesday.

Animals from the transports were visibly ill in several flocks and some had died. “Some holdings were currently cleared by the authorities on site, the animals had to be killed,” the ministry said. In the afternoon (16.00 clock), Agriculture Minister Peter Hauk wants to announce more details about the disease, which is also called avian influenza.

Since autumn, there has been a wave of avian influenza originating from wild birds, mainly with the highly contagious H5N8 virus. 14 federal states are affected, and avian influenza has been officially detected in more than 120 flocks. It is an infectious disease that is often spread over long distances by migratory birds. The west coast of Schleswig-Holstein is currently particularly affected, with thousands of dead birds.

According to experts, the disease is not dangerous for humans. Also, no transmissions to other animals such as cats or dogs have been detected so far.(Canstatter Zeitung. March 24)

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/