Local news translated – Oct 20, 2020

USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs – Local news translated – Oct 20, 2020

Medical experts warn of “explosive infection dynamics” across Europe

In a statement from the Society for Virology, virus expert Dr. Christian Drosten warned that Germany is at the beginning of an exponential spread of the corona virus. Although the recent increase in infections has mainly affected younger people, a significant increase in hospitalizations and infections among other, higher-risk age groups is now being observed. “Due to the explosive infection dynamics that we are seeing in all hotspots across Europe, it is to be feared that above a certain limit, even in previously uncritical regions, control of the infection will be lost,” the scientists write. In this context, they are against the strategy of infecting large parts of the population – the so-called herd immunity. For example, such an uncontrollable approach “would lead to an escalating increase in fatalities, since even with strict isolation of retirees there are still other risk groups that are far too numerous, too varied and in some cases undetected to be actively shielded. This applies to pregnant women, the overweight, cancer patients, diabetics and people with other chronic diseases. (Ntv October 20)

Berchtesgaden praised for local lockdown

Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier has publicly praised the decision of the Berchtesgadener Land district to impose a local lockdown beginning Oct 20. The infection numbers there are five times higher than “tolerable,” Altmaier told ntv “Frühstart.” “That is why I have the greatest respect for those responsible on site, for the district administrator, mayor, but also for the Bavarian state government, because they acted quickly and comprehensively. In this way they are helping us to prevent a general lockdown throughout Germany.” Whether there will be more local lockdowns in the coming weeks depends on the development of the infection figures and the consistency of decisions taken locally, the Economics Minister emphasized. (Ntv, October 20)

COVID responsible for more than 250,000 fatalities in Europe

The number of corona deaths registered so far in Europe has exceeded the threshold of 250,000 cases. A total of 250,039 people have died in connection with Covid-19. This is the result of surveys conducted by ntv.de, which are based on data provided by national authorities and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). According to the data, the UK, with 43,726 deaths, has by far the highest death toll in Europe – ahead of Italy, Spain and France, although each of those countries has more than 30,000 deaths. The total number of infections registered in Europe to date is calculated to be at least 7,493,256. (Ntv, October 20)

Non Corona News

Trade union Verdi calls for additional strikes this week

UPDATE – As of October 20, at 3 p.m., the strikes planned for Wednesday, October 21, have been averted according to the Stuttgarter Nachrichten. Buses will run as normal on Wednesday.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, passengers of the Stuttgarter Straßenbahnen AG will again have to prepare for bus and train cancellations and delays. The trade union Verdi has called for a two-day warning strike. This now affects the employees responsible for the safety of infrastructure and vehicles. “Passenger safety must be technically guaranteed,” writes the SSB in a press release. As the SSB explains in it, all buses and trains will start operating in the usual way on Tuesday. On Wednesday, on the other hand, the buses will not leave because they cannot be serviced on Tuesday evening after returning to the depot. Lines 53, 54, 58, 60, 64, 66, 73, 90 will not be affected, as they will be operated by contractors. (Stuttgarter Zeitung, October 20)

29-year-old raped in the Schlossgarden

A previously unknown person raped a 29-year-old woman in the castle gardens in Stuttgart-Ost early Saturday morning. The police are looking for witnesses. As the officers report, the 29-year-old had met the later perpetrator in downtown Stuttgart on Saturday night. Around 4:45 a.m., she walked with him from Schlossplatz through the palace gardens in the direction of Bad Cannstatt. At the height of the ruins of the Lusthaus, the unknown man is said to have suddenly pushed her to the ground and raped her. The suspected perpetrator then fled in the direction of the planetarium. The victim describes the stranger as follows: about 35 years old, about 1.80 meters tall. He is said to have been dressed in a leather jacket and to have spoken German with a slight accent. The police are asking witnesses to call 0711/8990-5778. (Stuttgarter zeitung October 20)

Plans to study racism within the police force move forward

Following the discovery of right-wing extremist chat groups of police officers in several German states, government officials have called for a comprehensive study of the police force. Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced on Monday evening that the German government will investigate racism within the police force. “There will be a study,” said the SPD politician according to the WDR COSMO podcast “Machiavelli.” “We are still considering what to call it.” As recently as last week, the Minister of the Interior had emphasized “that we do not have a structural problem with right-wing extremism in the federal and state security agencies.” At the end of September, the police union (GdP) had made its own proposal for a study. It pleaded for an “investigation of the everyday life of the police” – to document charges and to find out why “prejudices against certain social groups” sometimes become entrenched among individual officers, and what can be done about them. (dpa, October 20)