Host Nation Update, May 6, 2022
Current COVID situation in Baden Wuerttemberg
The B-W State Health Authority (LGA) reported that as of 4 May 2022, B-W had a hospitalization 7-D-I of 3.5 (-0.1), there were 136 (-11) COVID-19 patients in ICUs, and COVID-19 patients in B-W occupied 6.1% (-0.6) of the total operational ICU beds. RKI reported those numbers Germany-wide at 4.18, 1,279 (-44), and 5.8%, respectively. As of 4 May 2022, B-W had 12,876 new cases, 18 additional deaths, and about 321,632 active cases. Twenty-five of B-W’s 44 counties had 7-D-Is over 500, including Tübingen (578.6) and Stuttgart (648.6). The 7-D-I rate was 523.5 (-12.6), below the national 7-D-I average of 566.8. The estimated reproduction rate in B-W was 0.85. In B-W, as of 4 May 2022, 8,342,627 (+308 / 75.1%) people had received an initial vaccination, 8,193,180 (+505 / 73.8%) were fully vaccinated, and 6,772,804 (+7,150 / 61.0%) had received booster vaccinations. (B-W/RKI, May 5)
Minister plans ‘Counter-pandemic concept’ for German health system
German Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) plans to use the period of lower infection rates over the summer to implement changes to the German health system. Among these is a “Counter-Pandemic Concept,” intended to better prepare Germany for rising infection numbers in the fall. The concept includes a strategy for vaccinations and vaccine purchases and a continuation plan for the coronavirus guidelines after the current rules in the Infection Protection Law (IfSG) expire on 23 SEP 22. Lauterbach also plans to improve digitalization in health (SWR, May 5)
Traffic control in Stuttgart – Fight against drugs on the road
On the occasion of the “nationwide day of action of the police”, police carried out traffic controls on Thursday. In the morning, more than 20 police officers controlled traffic along the streets in the city’s North district. There, Police Captain Fabio Dermici directed one vehicle after another into the control zone that had been set up, where his colleagues took a closer look at the vehicles and their drivers.
Most of the drivers got away with scrutinizing looks. Others had to stop, lowering the window, showing the vehicle documents and the driver’s license, and carrying out several exercises to determine their fitness to drive. If the drivers were able to prove their driving ability without any restrictions, they were allowed to continue driving. Otherwise, further tests awaited the drivers, such as a urine sample or an alcohol test.
If there were of drug use, police officers took the persons concerned to a hospital for a blood test. This happened five times on Thursday. However, there were no other cases of impaired driving. Accordingly, the conclusion of police spokesman Sven Burkhardt after the first control phase was positive: “We can actually be satisfied with the result.” (Stuttgarter Nachrichten May 6)
Thomas Strobl – Interior minister targeted by public prosecutor’s office
Interior ministers are always seen as a kind of sheriff who, when in doubt, plays hardball to ensure law and order. Thomas Strobl (62) also plays the tough dog now and then, for example when it comes to so-called lateral thinkers or extremists. But now, the Baden-Württemberg interior minister is being accused of using Wild West-style methods.
In the explosive affair involving a high-ranking police officer who allegedly sexually assaulted a female chief inspector, Strobl secretly passed on a letter from the officer’s lawyer to a journalist. This was despite the fact that investigations and disciplinary proceedings were already underway. Demands for his resignation from the opposition promptly poured in. Not enough: now the public prosecutor’s office is investigating the minister – who now has to fear for his job.
The CDU politician does not hold a seat in the state parliament. He therefore has no immunity. It restricts the prosecution of members of the Bundestag and state parliaments. Criminal investigations against members of parliament are generally authorized by the state parliament. Government members without a mandate can be investigated without further ado – just like everyone else. The Stuttgart public prosecutor’s office is now investigating the journalist and the minister. The reporter is suspected of having quoted from official documents in the ongoing proceedings against the police officer. Strobl, in turn, is said to have incited him to do so. The sticking point for the question of criminal liability is, in the view of Tübingen criminal lawyer Jörg Kinzig, whether the lawyer’s letter in question is an official document. On the question of whether a document can also be “official” if it originates from a private person – in this case obviously from the lawyer – there were different views in case law and science.
The fact that the interior minister of all people – who is also the state’s constitutional minister – has been targeted by the public prosecutor’s office is undoubtedly a heavy burden for Strobl, the green-black coalition and the CDU. But the 62-year-old is still considered an important pillar of the coalition, because on the CDU side he is the confidant of Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens). However, when heads of government are forced to express their “full confidence” to their ministers, this could call for his resignation. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, May 6)
Böblingen – Road closures on Rauhem Kapf from May 9 until early July
As part of the expansion of district heating to the Rauher Kapf district, pipelines have been laid in Taunusstrasse since 2021 – also for water and fiber optics. The construction work will last until the end of 2022. From Monday, May 9, until probably the beginning of July, the spur road to the buildings Taunusstraße 21 to 31 must be fully closed – also for all parking spaces there. From Wednesday, May 11, until mid-July, Taunusstraße between house numbers 28 and 71 will have to be closed on one half side. All properties remain accessible on foot, according to the city. City transport lines 709 and 724 will serve all stops in the district. (BB.heute.de, May 6)
Landscape cleanup – On May 14, Schönaich collects trash together
On Saturday, May 14, the community of Schönaich will once again conduct a landscape clean-up. Students from the Johann Bruecker schools, members of the local associations, the mayor, local councillors, employees of the town hall as well as committed citizens will come together for this spring clean-up. In order to be able to use groups within the village again, new helpers are still needed. The municipality would like to counteract the “wild” garbage disposal and set a positive sign against environmental pollution. For all interested: meeting place is at the city hall at 8.30 o’clock. There break-down of the respective “cleaning teams” takes place. Afterwards, everyone will meet at the town hall for a meal. (BB.heute.de, May 6)