Local news translated – Nov 13, 2020

USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs – Local news translated – Nov 13, 2020

“The situation at schools is beyond any control”

The SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach has criticized the current situation in schools. The situation is out of control, he wrote on Twitter regarding the handling of the Corona pandemic. “What we gain in restaurants and pubs, we lose in schools.” There is a lack of strategy and responsibility. “Many schools teach with a full class without masks, just with air vents. This combination is irresponsible,” Lauterbach continued. (Ntv, Nov 13)

Stuttgart to conduct air filter test at certain schools

The city of Stuttgart wants to reduce the risk of infection in schools by using air purification equipment. The school administration office has examined the condition of the windows in 12,500 classrooms and then selected ten classrooms at nine schools of different types, which are unable to be ventilated optimally. Starting in December, air cleaning equipment will be used at the schools. The experiment will be scientifically monitored by the University of Stuttgart. In addition to the effectiveness of the filters, the university will also examine factors such as noise, power consumption and possible hazards during operation and maintenance. The test is intended to provide a solid basis for the decision on the further use of such devices. Mayor Isabel Fezer announced that not all schools would be supplied with them. The head of the health department, Stefan Ehehalt, emphasized that the devices should “not give a false sense of security.” They are not a substitute for the regular supply of fresh air, only a supplement. Compliance with hygiene rules and forced ventilation would continue to be a priority. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Nov 13)

Drones used in the transport of Corona samples

The company German Copters in Dresden will soon put its drones to work transporting corona test samples. Currently clinics test all inpatient admissions for Covid-19 and then isolate those patients until the results are available. Test results sometimes take up to a day, because the samples are transported by road. For example the 70 kilometers between Ludwigsburg and Bruchsal can some times take two and a half hours with traffic. German Copters promises that it only takes 30 to 40 minutes by drone, and it is much more environmentally friendly. How many drones will soon take to the air depends on how quickly the 5G mobile communications standard will be expanded. The German government wants to establish high security standards first, and personal data and privacy has to be protected. Jörg Martin, the head of the Regionale Kliniken Holding (RKH), the largest private hospital group in Baden-Württemberg, hopes that regular drone operations will start as early as next year. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Nov 13)

Physician expects strong increase in intensive care patients

The number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care units in hospitals will increase sharply in the coming weeks, according to a medical specialist. He expects that at least 5,000 patients or maybe even twice as many as the currently more than 3,000 patients need intensive care, said Professor Gernot Marx, intensive care physician at the University Hospital Aachen, on Friday on the radio station WDR5. These patients also spend a very long time – two to four weeks – in the hospitals. “This means that we will have to deal with them in intensive care medicine well beyond December.” (Ntv, Nov 13)

Non-Corona News

Volkswagen expands production in Mexico

Puebla Volkswagen wants to build EA 211 generation car engines in Mexico. The Mexican subsidiary of the German group will invest 233.5 million US dollars (around 198 million euros) to upgrade its plant in the state of Guanajuato, Volkswagen Mexico announced on Thursday. This will increase the factory’s production capacity by 75 percent. The new engines will be used in vehicle construction in North America starting next year, it was said. The Guanajuato plant, located about 350 kilometers northwest of Mexico City, produced close to 330,000 engines last year. The other VW plant in Mexico, in the state of Puebla – around 120 kilometers southeast of the capital of the North American country – is one of the largest in the world. The company employs 13,000 people in Mexico, 1,200 of them in Guanajuato. (Handelsblatt, November 13)

WHO raises alarm over measles deaths

According to the World Health Organization, in 2019 there were more measles cases worldwide than in the two previous decades and more than 207,000 people died. Most of them were children under five years of age. The corona pandemic is adding to the lack of vaccination protection. (Handelsblatt, November 13)

Seoul virus transmitted from rats to humans

In Germany, the transmission of the highly infectious Seoul virus, which is widespread in Asia, from an animal to a human has been proven for the first time. Researchers of the Berlin Charité and the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute (FLI) on the Isle of Riems have proven that the virus was in both the pet rat and its owner, who is from Lower Saxony. The infected breeding rat of the patient had probably been imported to Germany from another country. (Ntv, November 13)

The Swabian Forest offers visitors a natural wellness retreat

The Swabian Forest borders on the Stuttgart metropolitan region. Hectic and bustling activity meets tranquility and contemplation. This large forest area in Württemberg is the green lung for an entire industrial belt and allows for both external and internal recreation. Like many blades (small notch valleys) and natural monuments of the Swabian Forest, the Bodenbach and Tobel Gorges offer visitors wild nature to regenerate. Visitors can find it from Stuttgart via the B 14 and towards Winnenden and Backnang to Sulzbach an der Murr. From here, take the L 1066 to Spiegelberg and continue on the K 1819 towards Vorderbüchelberg. Three kilometers after Spiegelberg, will be the hiking parking lot to the Bodenbachschlucht and Tobelschlucht. In anticipation of the next sunny “Corona weekend,” authorities are asking visitors to adhere to parking rules in the protected landscape or face being fined. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Nov 13)