Local news translated – Oct 26, 2020

USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs – Local news translated – Oct 26, 2020

“We appeal urgently” – SPD leaders call for more teleworking

The SPD chairmen Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans as well as the SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach urge for as much teleworking as possible in view of the high corona infection numbers. “We appeal urgently to the population to reduce contacts as far as possible and to adhere to the well-known hygiene measures,” explained the three politicians in a joint statement to the editorial network Germany. “Above all, we must keep schools and daycare centers as well as businesses in Germany open. In order for this to succeed contact must be limited as far as possible in schools through digitally-supported teaching models and at work through increased teleworking. (Stuttgart Nachrichten, October 26)

Health Minister Spahn speaks out from quarantine

For the first time since his positive corona test, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) has spoken out on video and appealed to the population to help contain the virus. In view of the rising numbers “also on the intensive care units” Spahn appeals in the video to the population to keep the corona protection measures. “Please continue to help and do not listen to those who trivialize and placate. It is serious. We know what this virus can cause, especially among people with pre-existing conditions and among the elderly, the super seniors.” (welt.de, October 26)

Number of German hotspots at a new high

The number of German coronavirus hotspots has once again climbed to a new high. According to the latest data (October 26, 0:00 a.m.) from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for Infectious Disease, 272 regions exceed the upper limit of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days agreed between the federal government and the states. This represents an increase of 21 regions compared to the previous day. This means that 66 percent of the 400 cities and administrative districts as well as the twelve Berlin districts separately identified by the RKI are considered corona hotspots. Currently, the Bavarian district of Rottal-Inn is the worst affected with a seven-day incidence of 260.1 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants. (Ntv, October 26)

Merkel: No major events until at least February

There are further details from the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the heads of the CDU/CSU parliamentary groups in the German states. In this column Merkel literally described the pandemic as an “affliction” and “disaster” that no one could have imagined before, reports the “Bild” newspaper. “We are facing very, very difficult months ahead.” In addition, the Chancellor assumes that at least until February no major events will be possible, even outdoor events. According to the report, Merkel blames travelers in particular for the increase of infections. “It happened due to the vacation journeys.” (Ntv. October 26)

In view of the dramatic situation, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) again made an urgent appeal to limit contacts. “The imperative of the hour for all of us is to reduce contacts and meet far fewer people,” said Merkel. “The comparatively relaxed summer is over, now we are facing difficult months,” she warned. Everyone would have to significantly reduce encounters outside their own family for a while. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 26)

Misinformation about masks

A misinformation leaflet published by an unknown source is being delivered to some mailboxes in the districts of Esslingen, Ostfildern, and Wernau. Anyone who has questions about the corona virus, or is confused about the need to wear a mask, can call the district hotline at 0711/39 02 – 41 96 6 and receive answers. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, October 26)

Spain and Italy tighten corona rules

BERLIN/MADRID/ROM. In order to curb the number of corona infections, the government in Spain has again declared a national emergency. The state of emergency will initially last for two weeks. There is a ban on going out at night between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. In Italy, too, measures are being tightened: restaurants must close at 6 p.m., and classes must be held online for at least 75 percent of high school students.  In Berlin, the police banned a demonstration against the measures to contain Corona on Sunday because many of the 2,000 or so participants neither kept the minimum distance nor wore a mouth-and-nose guard. In addition, unknown persons attacked a building of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin. According to the police, incendiary devices were thrown on the building during the night of Sunday. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 26)

Non-Corona News

Police Safety Day: 40 preliminary arrests

Böblingen- About 400 officials took part in a Police Safety Day. Police officers were deployed to train stations, bus stations, and public facilities, and squares, in residential areas, and on the freeways. Visitors and the facilities themselves were also checked in restaurants, amusement centers, and in the red light district. In addition to checks to improve security in public areas, the focus was also on combating identity fraud. Counterfeit documents are used in a wide range of criminal activities. For example, in offenses of document fraud, illegal entry and smuggling. According to the police, the following result can be summarized for the 2020 search day: During the almost 20 hour operation, 1,562 people and 506 vehicles were checked in the districts of Ludwigsburg and Böblingen. Control measures were also carried out in 61 restaurants. 1,252 documents were checked for their authenticity. In the course of the police measures, a total of 41 crimes were prosecuted. Among them were 13 violations of the narcotics law, three violations of the weapons law, nine cases of benefit fraud and nine fraud offenses. In the course of the Security Day, 40 persons were provisionally arrested or taken into custody. An arrest or warrant already existed for 13 of them. (BB Heute, October 26)

SPD politician Thomas Oppermann has passed away

The SPD politician and Bundestag Vice President Thomas Oppermann collapsed on Sunday shortly before a live broadcast on ZDF and was taken to hospital, where he died. Chancellor Angela Merkel said she appreciated him as a “reliable and fair social democratic partner.” He had rendered outstanding services to Parliament as Vice President of the Bundestag. It was only at the end of August that he had announced that he did not intend to run again in the coming federal elections.” After 30 years as a member of the Lower Saxony state parliament and the German Bundestag, now is the right time for me to do something different and to take on new projects,” he had explained. (Ard, October 26)