Local news translated – Monday, May 3, 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, May 3, 2021

RKI registers 9160 new infections and 84 new deaths
Health offices in Germany have reported 9160 new infections to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) within one day. This is according to figures reflecting the status of the RKI dashboard as of 05:05. On Mondays, the case numbers reported by the RKI are usually lower, partly because less testing is done on weekends. Across Germany, 84 new deaths were recorded within 24 hours, according to RKI data. Subsequent changes or additions by the RKI are possible. A week ago Monday, the RKI had reported 11,907 new Corona infections within one day. In addition, 60 new deaths were recorded within 24 hours. (Robert Koch Institute, May 3)

Federal “emergency brake” shows effect according to intensive care physicians
German intensive care physicians have drawn an initial positive balance of the nationwide Corona “emergency brake” in view of falling infection figures.  The declining infection incidence will be visible in intensive care units in a week, “we are convinced of that,” President of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (Divi), Gernot Marx (SWR, May 3)

Federal relaxations planned for fully vaccinated
People who are fully vaccinated against Corona or have recovered can soon expect nationwide relaxations. Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) said this evening on ARD television that he thought it was realistic for the planned regulation to go to the Federal Cabinet on Wednesday – and through the Bundestag and Bundesrat by the end of the week.

Today, the Corona Cabinet will deal with the issue. The Ministry of Justice had presented a draft for the ordinance last week. This provides, among other things, that for vaccinated and recovered no more contact and exit restrictions should apply. In addition, those who have recovered and those who have been vaccinated are to be placed on an equal footing with those who have tested negative. (Tagesschau. May 3)

More than 28 percent of Germans are vaccinated for the first time
n Germany, 28.2 percent of people have now been vaccinated against Corona at least once. This is according to the RKI vaccination rate monitoring (as of May 3, 12 noon). So far eight percent of the population are fully vaccinated. According to the data, 250,114 vaccination shots were given on Sunday. The highest daily value since the beginning of the vaccination campaign had been reached last Wednesday with more than one million vaccinations.

In total, all vaccination sites have administered just over 30.1 million doses so far, including nearly 23.5 million in first-time vaccinations and another nearly 6.7 million in second-time vaccinations.(Ntv, May 5)

More Corona vaccinated than infected people in Europe
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more people in Europe have now been fully vaccinated against Corona than have been proven to be infected with the virus. The WHO counts a total of more than 50 countries in the European region, including not only the EU, but also Turkey, Russia and Ukraine, for example. In these countries, there have been a total of about 51.3 million infections so far, including nearly 1.37 million in the past seven days. According to Kluge, about 215 million doses of vaccine have been administered in the region so far. An estimated 16 percent of the population has received at least one dose. (Canstatter Zeitung, May 3) 

Coronavirus in Baden-Württemberg – Incidence in southwest rises slightly to 184.6
In Baden-Württemberg, the seven-day incidence of new Corona infections has risen slightly for the first time in several days. Over the past seven days, authorities have recorded an average of 184.6 infections per 100,000 inhabitants as of Sunday, according to the state health department as of 4 p.m. On Saturday, the value had been 183.5, on Friday and Thursday 184.1 and 186.3. The number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic increased by 1402 to 450 646, in connection with Covid-19 died 13 more people (total: 9390).  Experience shows that the infection figures are somewhat lower at weekends, when fewer people are tested.  (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, May 3)

State Garden Show in Überlingen (Lake Constance area)
Around 4000 guests came to the State Garden Show in Überlingen on the opening weekend. “It was a steady, quiet flow of visitors who were enthusiastic all around,” said managing director Roland Leitner on Sunday. The strongest day, he said, was May 1, when, despite the changeable weather, nearly 2,000 guests, including mostly families, crowded the riverside park with its large playscape. Keeping the distances were not a problem. According to the pandemic-related specifications, a maximum of 5760 people are authorized ed to stay on the exhibition grounds, which are divided into five areas.

Under the new federal disease control law, the garden show is authorized to open as a “botanical garden” regardless of incidence. Those who want to enter the grounds must reserve a time corridor online for entry and present a negative rapid corona test, which can be done, for example, on a ship at the Überlingen landing stage. There is no general obligation to wear a mask on the site. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, May 2)

EU Commission wants to allow vaccinated people from third countries to enter the EU
The debate about freedom for vaccinated people is also gaining momentum across Europe: The EU Commission is now proposing to lift entry restrictions from third countries for people who have been proven to have been fully vaccinated against Corona. All those “who have received the last recommended dose of a vaccine approved in the EU” should be allowed to enter the country, explains the Brussels authority. Travelers from countries “with a good epidemiological situation” should also no longer be subject to restrictions. (Ntv, May 3)

Non-Corona News

U.S. Forces in Stuttgart-Möhringen – Protesters demand closure of AFRICOM and EUCOM

STUTTGART.  Marking the occasion of the “International day of action against military bases and armament sites”, about 40 people gathered in pouring rain in front of the headquarters of the Africa Command of the U.S. Armed Forces in Stuttgart-Möhringen on Friday afternoon.

The rally was called by the Society Culture of Peace (GFK), which has been demanding the closure of both AFRICOM and the U.S. Command headquarters EUCOM in Stuttgart-Vaihingen for years.  The organizer, Heike Haensel, who is a parliamentarian and a member of the Left Wing Party in the Bundestag, emphasized that “in this place it is decided where people are killed deliberately”. The unlawfulness of these actions under international law is at the same time a violation of the Basic Law, she said. In this context, the left-wing politician criticized the German government for its unwillingness to actively investigate whether U.S. Forces were committing violations of international law on German soil. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, April 30)

Demonstration through the downtown area
On Saturday, thousands took part in a demonstration march through downtown Stuttgart under the slogan “Solidarity is the future”. The starting and ending point of the event was the Stadtgarten near the university campus. From there, a long, street-wide demonstration procession unfolded through Friedrichstraße, which already reached the main train station when the last ones set off at the Stadtgarten. (Stuttgarter Zeitung, May 3)

New giraffes at Wilhelma
Because of this unexpected encounter, humans and animals on both sides of the fence had quite a look around. Even for the two newcomers, everything is still new here. The two reticulated giraffes Nyiri and Sala arrived last week from Cologne Zoo and spent their first few days gradually acclimatizing, first in the indoor barn and then in the front enclosure. The Rhinelanders are giving up the two cows because the giraffe house is to be rebuilt there.

In the peacefulness of the empty Wilhelma, the new arrivals were thus able to look at their new home for a few days without anyone watching them. Of course, the main thing was to get to know the two Wilhelma giraffes – the almost 21-year-old Hanck and his eight-year-old daughter Anna. These showed themselves to be fearless on their home turf and demonstrated an interest in their new roommates. Nyiri from Cologne, who is already 21 years old, was relaxed and soon poked her head together with her “Swabian” companions over the partition between the stalls.

Sala, the youngest of the bunch at four and a half years, was initially more reserved after the trip in view of the unfamiliar surroundings and strange faces. However, as a cow that is already strong and large for her age, she is able to hold her own. Now the two newcomers usually roam the outdoor area together, which they use together with Anna. The bull Hanck is initially separated in the front enclosure.

But Nyiri and Sala keep seeking his proximity. The small herd of giraffes at Wilhelma had been reduced in recent years. With the three-year-old Djibuto, the last offspring had moved to France to the Parc Animalier d’Auvergne in 2018. And the cow Kiburi had died unexpectedly in 2019 at the age of 15 from an outwardly undetectable cancer. The addition from Cologne Zoo now makes it possible to pass Anna on in accordance with the recommendations of the European Conservation Breeding Program (EEP). She is scheduled to move to Odense Zoo in Denmark at the end of May, where she may have offspring of her own. At Wilhelma with her father, to avoid inbreeding, this is not the case.

Since 2016, the World Conservation Union IUCN has also included giraffes among the threatened animal species on the Red List. This is because their populations have shrunk by around 40 percent in the past three decades. There are only fewer than 4,700 of the reticulated giraffe left in its range, which includes northeastern Kenya, the bordering parts of southern Somalia and possibly southern Ethiopia. The research assumes 2 in the meantime that there is not only one giraffe kind with subspecies. Rather, four genetically independent species exist: firstly, the southern giraffe with the subspecies Angola giraffe and Cape giraffe, secondly, the Masai giraffe, thirdly, the reticulated giraffe – as kept by Wilhelma – and fourthly, the northern giraffe with the three subspecies Nubian giraffe, West African giraffe and Kordofan giraffe.(BBheute, May 2)