Daily Host Nation Stories October 1, 2020
More than 2500 new corona cases within one day
Of the 291,722 people in Germany who have tested positive for the corona virus, over 12,000 of those have been within the last week. Germany has exceeded the daily threshold of 2,500 for the second time within a few days. Health authorities reported 2,503 new corona infections for Wednesday. This is only slightly less than on Saturday morning, when 2,507 new infections were reported within a 24-hour period, the highest figure since the end of April. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, October 1)
Authorities appeal to the population to stay vigilante
The Baden-Württemberg Hotel and Restaurant Association appealed to restaurant managers to record the Corona visitor lists correctly. A spokesman for the subject association warned that guests should state names and addresses truthfully. In the future guests will face a fine of at least 50 Euros if they state false personal data.
With a deeply emotional appeal, Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on the population to persevere in the Corona crisis. “Let us all, as citizens of this society, take more care of each other again,” the Chancellor asked in the Bundestag on Wednesday. She said she was currently experiencing a decline in people’s caution. “We are currently risking everything we have achieved in recent months,” warned the CDU politician. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 1)
Baden-Württemberg tightens its Corona regulations
Effective immediately, restaurant patrons in Baden-Württemberg need to wear masks when not sitting at their table. Masks are also required at all amusement-type park facilities. Already long required on public transportation, those found not wearing a mask while riding on a bus or train are subject to a minimum fine of 100 Euros. Additionally, any person while on school premises (outside the classrooms) must wear a mask or face charges of 25 Euros. (“Baden on-line newspaper,” Sep 29)
For the third time, police officers in the districts of Böblingen and Ludwigsburg conducted controls this week and over 1,000 violations of not adhering to mask obligations were reported. As in previous checks, the officers found a large number of violations around bus and train platforms and waiting areas. The inspections took place at the train and bus stations in Böblingen, Herrenberg, Leonberg and Sindelfingen as well as in Bietigheim-Bissingen, Ditzingen, Kornwestheim, Ludwigsburg, Marbach am Neckar and Vaihingen/Enz. (BB newspaper, Oct 1)
Neckarpark (Bad Cannstatt) outpatient clinic reopens
Closed since July, the Neckarpark testing clinic has reopened due to the rising number of infections. As before, the clinic serves those with active symptoms of the virus, such as cough, fever, loss of smell or taste. It is located at the Youth Hostel Bad Cannstatt, Elwertstraße 2. The opening times at the fever outpatient clinic are Monday to Friday from 9.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m., and from 2.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. Patients can register online via an appointment allocation system at www.fieberambulanz-stuttgart.de.
Persons without symptoms can visit the Cannstatter Wasen Corona test center (parking lot P10) if the test criteria are met (appointments to visit Cannstatter Wasen test center, can be made at www.aerzteschillerplatz.de/corona-testzentrum-cannstatter-wasen). The corona test center is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Persons who have had contact with a person infected with the corona virus (ordered by the public health department), teachers and employees in schools and day-care centers, as well as people returning from risk areas for which testing is mandatory, can be tested here. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 1)
RKI has declared ten EU regions to be risk areas
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has declared ten regions in the EU to be risk areas. These include parts of Great Britain – namely all of Northern Ireland and Wales. In Ireland, the border area with Northern Ireland has been classified as such. In France, the classification as a risk area applies to most of the country – with the exception of the Grand-East region. Various areas in Eastern Europe are now also classified as risk areas: in Hungary, the regions of Csongrad, Vas and Pest with the capital Budapest. In Romania, the regions of Alba and Cluj have been added to the list, and in Slovenia the region of Koroska. In Estonia, the region Idu-Viru was classified as a risk area, in Lithuania the region Siauliu.
Denmark: Capital Region (since September 23) // Brussels Region (since August 21) // Belarus (since June 15) // Bosnia and Herzegovina (since June 15) // Bulgaria: Oblaste Blagoevgrad (since August 7) // France: Regions Île-de-France, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (since August 24), Occitanie, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes and Corsica (since September 9), Centre-Val de Loire, Normandy (since September 23) // France: Regions Île-de-France, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (since August 24) Kosovo (since June 15) // Croatia: Šibenik-Knin County, Split-Dalmatia (since August 20), Zadar (since September 2), Dubrovnik-Neretva , Pozega-Slavonia (since September 9), Brod-Posavina (since September 16), Lika-Senj (since September 23) || Luxembourg: since September 25. September again // Moldavia (since June 15) // Montenegro (since June 15) // Northern Macedonia (since June 15) // Romania: districts Argeș, Bihor (all since August 7), Bacău, Brăila, Brașov, București, Dâmbovița, Ilfov, Prahova, Vaslui, (all since August 12), Vâlcea (since August 20), Iasi (since August 9) September) // Serbia (since June 15) || Switzerland: Cantons of Geneva and Vaud // Spain whole country (since September 2) // Czech Republic: whole country since September 25 // Turkey (since June 15) // UK Gibraltar (since August 26) // Hungary: Capital Budapest (since September 16), // Györ-Moson-Sopron region (since September 23) (Robert Koch Institute, October 1)
Vaihingen cancels Christmas market
The Vaihingen Christmas market is the latest of many events to fall victim to the pandemic. Planners announced in a statement this week that the current situation does not allow “us to organize a cheerful social Christmas market, the way we are used to and love it.” (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, October 1)
Baden-Württemberg cancels large-scale Fasching celebrations
It was expected, but now it is official, Fasching (also known as Karneval) celebrations on a large scale have been cancelled within Baden-Württemberg. The Karneval Association is working on a plan for celebrations to take place in a small way. (SWR, October 1)
Cold, flu, or corona?
According to the Robert Koch Institute, the most common signs of a Covid-19 infection are cough, fever, and chills. However, all these symptoms can also be triggered by a normal cold. Even the loss of the sense of smell and taste, which is considered typical of a corona infection, is not uncommon with other illnesses, as many people also cannot taste and smell properly when they have a cold. Distinguishing between colds and Covid-19 will be a challenge for doctors this year. Particularly in the early stage of an illness, it is often not possible to tell clearly whether a flu or an infection with sars-CoV-2 is present. Ultimately, only a corona test provides certainty and identifying the illness is critical, because of how infectious COVID-19 is compared to influenza or the common cold. On average, a person infected with influenza infects another person. But a corona-infected person passes the infection on average to at least two or more people. A particularly insidious aspect is that infectious people often do not have any symptoms themselves. The population has a basic immunity to the flu, which is not yet present for the corona virus. (Ntv, October 1)
Non-Corona related news:
End of grace period for Euro 5 Diesel in Stuttgart
Up to now, the ban on driving diesel vehicles in some parts of Stuttgart was only theoretical, but now the city and police will officially check the streets for it. From this Thursday on, a fine of 108.50 Euros has to be paid for violations. The police will check during alcohol checks and speeding controls. Signs at 160 locations will make drivers of Euro 5 diesel vehicles aware of the new prohibited zone in the Stuttgart valley and in the districts of Bad Cannstatt, Feuerbach and Zuffenhausen. Comprehensive driving bans for diesel vehicles with the Euro 4 emission standard already exist in Stuttgart. This measure is in place to further reduce nitrogen dioxide pollution in Stuttgart. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 1)
New Ballet School inaugurated in Stuttgart
Stuttgart – After a construction period of around five years, the million-dollar new building of the Stuttgart John Cranko School was handed over with a small celebration. Among others, Baden-Württemberg’s Minister President Winfried Kretschmann, Stuttgart’s Lord Mayor Fritz Kuhn and Science Minister Theresia Bauer (all Greens) attended the ceremony on Monday evening. Their speeches were transmitted via video, because only a few visitors were able to attend the celebration due to the strict corona regulations.
The John Cranko School is one of the most famous ballet schools in the world. Its namesake, the former director of the Stuttgart Ballet, founded it in 1971, when the school’s previous accommodation had become too small. However, the move and new building for the Stuttgart dance talents was not only later, but also much more expensive than planned.
The design by the architectural firm “Burger Rudacs” was the winner of the planning competition in 2011 and was implemented for 60 million euros. The school, founded in 1971 by ballet legend John Cranko (1927-1973), is regarded as the basis of the renowned company: two thirds of the dancers of the Stuttgart Ballet come from the school.
In total, there is space for around 150 students. Construction began in summer 2015 and the costs for the new building are shared between the city and the country. Ten million euros of the city’s share will be borne by the sports car manufacturer Porsche. (Canstatter Nachrichten, October 1)
Racist chat group revealed within Berlin Police Force
Transcripts from the chat group provide a glimpse into more than three years of everyday life at a Berlin police station. More than 25 police officers wrote messages in the chat. Between everyday things like ordering bread rolls for breakfast together and appointments for sports, racist content, hatred of dissidents, and open fantasies of violence are regularly found. Seven officials repeatedly made racist remarks in the chats, often in the form of supposed jokes, which were then greeted with approval from their colleagues.
After racist incidents between police and the public, politicians and police force leadership are usually the first to say such behavior does not represent the majority police officers, but these responses do not addressed the core problem, says author and racism expert Alice Hasters. She sees a structural problem that needs to be tackled. “The content in this group gives quite clear indications that people who are racist can feel safe within police structures,” says Hasters. That has to change fundamentally. That is why it is not enough to just remove the racist elements and think that the problem has been solved.
The chairman of the Bund Deutscher Kriminalbeamter (BDK), Sebastian Fiedler, has viewed excerpts from the chat. According to Fiedler, the contents were “diametrically opposed” to the values of the German constitution, to which the officers had sworn an oath. He fears the impact of such racist attitudes on police work. Reports have shown that Berlin police officers report that colleagues deliberately and for no reason stop people of color more often, even though “racial profiling” is strictly forbidden. One police officer wrote in the chat group, that if police wanted to gain respect among immigrants, “every day someone has to go to the afterlife.” (Tagesschau, Oktober 1)