Local news translated – Nov 25, 2020

Daily Host Nation Update November 25, 2020

Germany records the highest daily death rate

In Germany, health authorities have reported 410 new coronavirus-related deaths to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) within 24 hours. This is a new record. The total number of deaths thus rose to 14,771, the highest level to date having been reached in mid-April with 315 reported deaths within one day. The number of reported new corona infections within 24 hours is 18,633, a good 1,000 cases more than a week ago, according to data from the RKI in the morning. Last Wednesday, the number of reported new infections was 17,561. (Robert Koch Institute, November 25)

Country plans hundreds of vaccinations per day

There will be no compulsory vaccination, but the state is working under the assumption that the overwhelming majority of Baden-Württemberg citizens will want to be vaccinated. The cabinet has now decided on a course of action to carry out the mass vaccination. Part of the plan agreed upon during the  Cabinet on Tuesday is the establishment of two or three Central Vaccination Centers (ZIZ) in each of the four administrative districts by mid-December. In addition to the trade fairs in Freiburg, Ulm and Offenburg, the Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre and the Robert Bosch Hospital in Stuttgart have been selected as locations. These will be supported by mobile vaccination teams. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, November 25)

Opel offers its facilities as vaccination centers

The car manufacturer Opel has offered the states of Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia its factories for regional corona vaccination centers. Areas and buildings are ready, Opel boss Michael Lohscheller told the German Press Agency on Wednesday. “With large production halls and parking areas as well as good connections to the public transport network, our sites have excellent logistical conditions to provide targeted support and facilitate the vaccination process as soon as a vaccine is available,” Lohscheller advertised his idea. In addition to its headquarters in Rüsselsheim near Frankfurt, the car manufacturer, which was taken over by the French PSA group, also has plants in Kaiserslautern and Eisenach. The Opel boss described the fight against the Covid-19 disease as a task for society as a whole, and everyone has to help. (Ntv, November 25)

All ventilator beds occupied at Stuttgart Robert Bosch Hospital

There is a “shortage, every day,” says Mark Dominik Alscher, the Medical Director of the Robert Bosch Hospital (RBK) in Stuttgart. Even if doctors could send patients home, they would be quickly replaced by new ones. Currently, there are 87 corona patients hospitalized in the RBK, 18 of them are on ventilators. The hospital has reached its ICU capacity. If another patient requires ventilation, the clinic has to open emergency rooms. Critical patients like these require more staff. According to Mark Dominik Alscher, the treatment of corona patients requires 1.7 times more nursing staff than usual. Due to the high personnel load, the RBK has taken beds out of operation. The work with the corona patients is also a great strain on the staff, says senior physician Allgäuer. Staff have to work in full personal protection equipment, knowing it is not always one hundred percent effective, and there’s the emotional strain that many patients may die. All operations that could wait longer than half a year have been cancelled. Urgent heart and tumor operations are still being scheduled, but it requires daily reorganization. The vaccination brings hope to the situation. With spring, the professor sees good chances for a flattening of the problem in April or May. The summer must then be used well for vaccination – so that there is no third wave in the fall. (Swr, November 25)

German Armed Forces General visits soldiers at the Stuttgart Health Office

Since mid-October, 60 soldiers of the German Armed Forces have been supporting the state capital Stuttgart in the fight against the corona pandemic. They are mainly active in the field of contact tracing of corona infected persons. Lieutenant General Martin Schelleis visited the Stuttgart Health Office on Tuesday, November 24, to gain a personal impression on site. As National Territorial Commander, he is in charge of the German Armed Forces’ relief operations in the Corona Pandemic throughout Germany.  The General expressed gratitude to the deployed soldiers. “This is a great emergency for Germany and the world. We will therefore continue our support for as long as we are able to do so in terms of personnel.” (Press release Stuttgart, November 25)

Russia may want to have vaccine produced in Germany

According to a media report, Russia is considering having its Sputnik V vaccine produced in Germany. The head of the state fund RDIF, Kirill Dmitriev, told Interfax that a French delegation is also expected this week. The fund is one of the most important donors to the project. The vaccine has already been approved, although not all clinical trials have been completed. The government in Moscow aims to produce more than one billion doses worldwide next year. (Ntv, November 25)

Non Corona News

Asian Tiger mosquito continues to spread

Since the 1990s, the Asian tiger mosquito, originally at home in the South and Southeast Asian tropics, has also been conquering Europe. Climate change is playing its part in this development, as high temperatures in summer and mild winters favor the multiplication of the insect. The mosquito, which is known to transmit dengue fever as well as the Zika and Chikungunya viruses, was first detected in an allotment garden in Freiburg in 2015. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, November 25)

Stuttgart’s Comic Com goes virtual  

Due to the corona pandemic, the Stuttgart Comic Con will take place this year on the Internet under the keyword “#CCONdahoim.” In contrast to the usual major events of the comic and fantasy trade fair at the Stuttgart trade fair grounds, comic and film fans will be able to see and interview the celebrity guests via live stream on the Twitch platform on November 28 and 29. According to the organizers, discussions with actors such as Martin Semmelrogge, Radost Bokel, Patrick Bach and Patrick Sass are planned. As in previous years, the art of comic drawing is high on the agenda despite the pandemic. Various illustrators will answer questions from comic fans on the Internet. Further panels are also planned with the German dubbing actors of the series Lucifer, King of Queens and TKKG. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, November 25)

Deutsche Bahn and Siemens team up on climate project

By 2050, Deutsche Bahn wants to operate its network on a climate-neutral basis with the help of hydrogen trains. To realize these plans, the company has entered into a cooperation with Siemens. In two to three years, an electric regional multiple-unit train with fuel cells is to go into trial operation in the Tübingen area of Baden-Württemberg, the partners announced. According to the plan, the train from Siemens will have a range of 600 kilometers. “The climate-friendly traffic turnaround is possible,” said Deutsche Bahn board member Sabina Jeschke. According to the report, Deutsche Bahn wants to sunset all conventional diesel vehicles by 2050 in order to be climate-neutral by then. (Ntv, November 25)