Local news translated – Nov 3, 2020

USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs – Local news translated – Nov 3, 2020

City asks for additional assistance from the German Armed Forces

As corona infections rise, Stuttgart’s public health department is quickly becoming overburdened. The city has requested a further administrative assistance from the German Armed Forces, which has already deployed 60 personnel to perform contact tracing for the city. Stuttgart’s Integrated Rescue Control Center received 1,250 corona-related calls last week, 360 of those on Saturday says city spokesman Sven Matis. This hotline, however, is not the right place to go for questions concerning corona, but the numbers show how great the need for information on questions about coronavirus infection has become. German Armed Forces personnel will help staff the hotlines in addition to performing contact tracing functions. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, November 3)

Doubts raised over how intensive care beds are reported

According to the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI), the information provided by hospitals on the number of available intensive care beds is not always correct. Indications and samples showed that sometimes beds are reported as free, but for which no maintenance personnel is available at all, said DIVI president Uwe Janssens the German press agency. The extent of the incorrect reports is unclear. Since spring, hospitals are obliged to report the number of available intensive care beds to DIVI on a daily basis, but not necessarily if those beds have any corresponding personnel available to staff them. (Ntv, November 3)

Prime Minister Hans fears conditions worse than the spring

In view of the pandemic situation, Saarland state Prime Minister Tobias Hans has warned against chaotic conditions. “The situation threatens to slip away from us,” he said in a government statement. “We are threatened by conditions such as those we saw in Northern Italy in the spring: overcrowded hospitals; gymnasiums set up as emergency hospitals; doctors who have to decide who can be treated and who cannot; personnel far above the stress limit. Nothing is unthinkable anymore. “…..Unfortunately we are much closer to these conditions than many still believe,” he said in the state parliament. There is still “the chance to avoid the worst” – through the new, more stringent measures to reduce contact. Should these not be sufficient after four weeks, “then we may have to continue our course a bit further. (Ntv, November 3)

Retail store dm offers a coronavirus antibody test

The Ministry of Social Affairs of Baden-Württemberg is examining the offer of a coronavirus antibody test at the drugstore dm. According to the ministry’s legal opinion, the test may only be sold if it has a diagnostic purpose. Steps have been taken to clarify the situation, the Ministry announced on Monday. The dm test allows the customer to take a blood sample at home. The analysis is carried out in a laboratory. The product offers customers the opportunity to carry out a test discreetly and without a visit to the doctor, which indicates whether antibodies against the corona virus have formed, Sebastian Bayer, who is responsible for marketing and procurement on the dm management board, said. In his opinion, the test is not subject to the German Fiscal Code for Medical Devices and can be sold freely. This is also the opinion of the Federal Ministry of Health. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, October 3)

Appeal to seniors to avoid buses met with criticism

Tübingen’s Lord Mayor Boris Palmer has defended his appeal to the elderly and does not see in it any exclusion of senior citizens. “We simply have to be clear: There were 500 times more deaths among people over 80 than among those under 40. This virus is extremely age discriminatory. Complaining about it is useless,” the Green politician told the “Passauer Neue Presse.” One must use the chance to save the intensive care units from overloading by helping above all the older ones to protect themselves against the virus. “Appeals and offers do not isolate anyone,” Palmer emphasized. In his “Tübingen Appeal,” he had asked senior citizens not to use the city bus in view of the rising number of infections and to switch to bicycles or to the call-collecting cab that has been available since April at the city bus price. Young people were also asked not to go shopping between 9:30 and 11 a.m. and to leave this time to the seniors. In addition, all over 65-year-olds in Tübingen are to be provided with high-quality FFP2 masks free of charge. Palmer’s appeal to the state seniors’ council to forgo the bus was met with criticism. (Ntv, November 3)

How the partial lockdown is impacting Stuttgart

Stacked up seats in front of the Königsbaucafé, the Bistro Terrazza and the cafés on Calwer Strasse, chained tables in front of the Steakhaus Stuttgart, locked windows at Carl’s Brauhaus – a bleak picture of downtown Stuttgart during lunchtime since the partial lockdown went into effect on Monday. Meanwhile the city center is still well visited. Marko Kritz, salesman at the “Baumstritzl” snack bar, testifies: “I have the impression that there are no fewer customers than usual in the city. While ten to 15 people with Food-To-Go packaging cavort around the Feuersee, the food court at “Königsbau” passagen is also very busy. Restaurants which specialize in delivery services are busy around lunchtime, and these days, many deliveries are made by bicycles. However, for many restaurant owners the “to-go offer” is not an option, and a temporary closure is actually more cost-effective. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Nov 3)

Non-Corona News

Islamist radicalization underestimated in Germany

According to columnist, Katja Bauer, the terror of France and Vienna is a warning that the danger of radicalization of young Muslims in Germany is underestimated. Once such group calls themselves Muslim interaktiv. They wear black hoodies with the printed emblem of what looks like a drop of blood in which the Kaaba of Mecca, the central sanctuary of Islam, lies. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, November 3)

Several break-ins and attempted break-ins over the weekend

Several burglaries and attempted burglaries occurred in Stuttgart over the weekend. In Lorbeerstrasse and Augsburger Strasse, unknown people broke into one residential building each, in two other buildings in Mainzer Strasse and in Im Oberen Kienle, burglary attempts continued, the police reported. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, November 2)

Stuttgart German-American Center offers Digital Election Night

The German-American Center/James F. Byrnes Institute (DAZ) Stuttgart invites Americans and Germans alike to join them for an evening of curated, free, and non-partisan coverage of the U.S. presidential election. The event will mostly be in English, with parts in German, at electionnight.de. They will have live commentary from Washington, D.C. and Stuttgart’s sister city St. Louis, Missouri, and will hear from journalists and experts on a variety of topics. Representatives from Democrats Abroad and Republicans Overseas will get together with Dr. Markus B. Siewert (Bavarian School of Public Policy) to discuss the most important campaign issues; the panel will be moderated by Dr. Martin Kilgus (ifa Akademie/Institute for Foreign Relations). Members of Debating Society Germany e.V. will deliver a political student debate. There will also be music and more. DAZ director Christiane Pyka will be the host for the evening.

The event begins at 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3, at electionnight.de. U.S. Election Night 2020 is an event organized by the German-American Center (DAZ) Stuttgart and State Agency for Civic Education Baden-Württemberg in cooperation with Stuttgart Media University, Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Baden-Württemberg, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Heinrich Böll Foundation BW, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Hospitalhof, and the State Ministry of Baden-Württemberg. (DAZ, November 2)