Local news translated – Oct 19, 2020

USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs – Local news translated – Oct 19, 2020

Baden-Württemberg declares highest corona alarm level

Due to the sharp increase in the number of infections, the State of Baden-Württemberg has entered the third and highest corona warning level. This was announced by Minister President Winfrid Kretschmann (Greens). Beginning Oct 19, the following stricter rules will apply in the state: the number of participants at events, for example, will be limited to 100, privately only a maximum of ten people or two households may meet, and masks must be worn in pedestrian zones, public buildings, and at secondary schools.

At this level, the number of customers in stores can also be limited. This is likely to become a problem for small retailers in particular; while supermarkets are profiting in the crisis and are recording a nine percent increase in sales, a survey shows that small businesses, such as bakeries are already down 13 percent. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 19)

Germany reports 40,000 new infections within one week

In Germany, there are almost 40,000 new infections recorded, the highest number within one week since the beginning of the pandemic. According to figures from the Robert Koch Institute, a total of 39,182 new corona cases were recorded between October 12 and 18. The previous peak value dates from the beginning of April and amounted to 37,311 new infections per week. In mid-June, the number was around 2,200. (Ntv, October 19)

More health departments call for help from the State Defense Command

In view of the aggravated corona situation, Minister of Defense Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has confirmed the Germany military’s (Bundeswehr) offer of assistance to the health authorities. The Bundeswehr is ready to support the municipalities and states in this critical situation. At present, around 1,550 soldiers are deployed as part of the administrative assistance against the Corona pandemic. So far, the Bundeswehr has received around 1,100 requests for support from all of Germany’s federal states and various federal ministries.  In the spring, the Bundeswehr had set up a contingent of 15,000 soldiers to provide assistance against corona. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 19)

Demonstration against wearing of masks

On October 17 in the afternoon, Wilhelmsplatz, Bad Cannstatt was totally blocked to traffic as a big crowd of demonstrators blocked streets and rails. Protesters shouted “Mask off!” The “Festival for Peace and Freedom” took place from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. at the Cannstatter Wasen. The initiator Michael Ballweg referred to the celebrations to mark the end of the pandemic in China and called on the 2,000 people gathering to say that it would be over when the population decided that it was over. The candidate for Stuttgart’s Lord Mayor, Ballweg summed up their demands: An end to all Corona measures and resignation of the Federal and all State governments. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 19)

Corona-Warning-App has two new functions

The Corona-Warning-App of the Federal Government has two new functions. The app now works beyond the borders of Germany in several European countries. In addition, positive test subjects can voluntarily enter symptoms of illness in a kind of diary. The new version is expected in the Apple and Google app stores at noon. (Ard, October 19)

Germany’s neighboring countries impose curfews

Starting October 19, people in Belgium are no longer allowed to leave their homes between midnight and 5 a.m. In France, a night-time curfew has been in force in Paris and many other major French cities since Saturday. Other countries are imposing curfews in the fight against the Corona pandemic. Slovenia has a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. (Ntv, October 19)

Non-Corona related news:

Tips on how to avoid catching the common cold

Practices that have become normal during corona times also protect against the common cold and prevents the spread of it. Here are some common tips for avoiding catching the common cold.

  • Vitamins, especially vitamin C, are considered a classic for preventing colds.
  • Sauna and alternating hot/cold showers strengthen the immune system
  • Get enough sleep
  • Create an indoor climate with some humidity, which prevents the mucous membranes from drying out. Dry nasal mucous membranes are more susceptible to the cold viruses.
  • Eat foods high in zinc: eggs, lentils, red meat, whole grain, nuts or cheese.
  • Add ginger to your food or tea
  • Reduce stress
  • Fresh air
  • Wash your hands with soap regularly
  • Keep your distance from others

(Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 19)

NATO wants to establish Ramstein Space Center in Rhineland-Palatinate

NATO is pressing ahead with its preparations for the defense of the alliance in space. According to information from the German Press Agency and the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, the defense ministers of the 30 member states plan to announce the construction of a Space Center this Thursday. It is to be attached to the NATO Air Force High Command in Ramstein, Rhineland-Palatinate, and will primarily serve as a coordination center for space surveillance. In the future, information on possible threats to satellites could be pooled in Ramstein. It is also conceivable that the Space Centre could later be expanded into a command center for defence measures.

According to information from the German Press Agency, a kind of think tank for NATO’s space activities is also to be set up soon. The locations for the so-called competence center were most recently discussed in Kalkar in North Rhine-Westphalia and Toulouse in France. Kalkar is already home to the Joint Air Power Competence Centre (JAPCC). Toulouse is advertising the fact that the French national space command is also currently being set up there. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten 19 October)