Local news translated – Oct 27, 2020

USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs – Local news translated – Oct 27, 2020

A second district in Bavaria goes into lockdown

In view of the increase in coronavirus infections, a second district in Bavaria is imposing renewed curfews and school closures. Starting Oct 27, the same restrictions will come into force in the district of Rottal-Inn as already in the Berchtesgadener Land. The restrictions, of which restaurants will also have to close, will initially apply for ten days. With “well over 200” new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days, Rottal-Inn was just as badly affected as the Berchtesgaden region. Both districts are located on the border to Austria. Border commuters could be a reason for the strong increase, the two CSU politicians said. Huml therefore reaffirmed the regulation that border commuters must be tested for the virus on a regular basis. Bavaria’s third largest city, Augsburg, is also considering a lockdown. According to a recent press release, the city will decide by Wednesday. According to the city, around 205 out of 100,000 inhabitants have been infected in the last seven days. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 27)

A COVID crisis summit to take place on Oct 28

In view of the worsening situation of the corona pandemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the Minister Presidents will discuss further protective measures this Wednesday, as there are far more new infections than a week ago, more Covid-19 infections among the elderly, and more Covid-19 patients in hospitals. Different to the lockdown in spring, plans are for schools and daycare centers to remain open, except in regions with extremely high infection rates. The retail sector should also remain open, but with new restrictions. Events and restaurants will be hit the hardest. The so-called R-factor, which indicates how many people one infected person could infect, is about 1.4: “This can only be maintained for a short time”. This week, further protective measures would have to be decided and implemented; otherwise, the number of new infections could rise to well over 100,000 per day by the beginning of December.

According to the RKI, 10,032 patients in connection with Covid-19 have died since the beginning of the pandemic. Of these, 3,833 were living in a nursing home or other collective accommodation. The homes as well as the outpatient nursing services and hospitals are now conducting Corona rapid tests to help stop the virus from spreading. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, October 27)

Arson attack on the Robert-Koch-Institute for Infectious Disease

According to police, incendiary devices were thrown at a building belonging to the Robert-Koch-Institute for Infectious Disease Sunday night. Nobody was injured. A security guard witnessed several people throwing bottles which appeared to have a flammable liquid inside. The employee was able to extinguish the flames before serious damage occurred. The suspects fled before police arrived. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 27) 

Largest vaccination project in human history 

“I believe that we will have a Curevac vaccine in winter,” says, Peter Kremsner, an infectiologist with Curevac. Kremsner is the director of the Tübingen Institute for Tropical Medicine is heading the third and final phase of a clinical trial for a corona vaccine from the pharmaceutical company Curevac. It is a race against time and a competition between manufacturers. More than 190 possible vaccines are being developed and around three dozen are already being tested on humans. The first approved vaccine comes from China and Russia. Preparations for the “largest vaccination project in human history” are underway in many places around the world. Kremsner hopes that several vaccines will be approved. He is looking for a vaccine that is also affordable for African countries, as well. Preorders have long since been made, and preliminary contracts have been signed to clarify who is to receive how much of the production. The European Union has secured 405 million doses of Curevac. Kremsner admits that nobody can say with certainty how long the effects of a vaccination will last. In the case of yellow fever, for example, a single dose lasts a lifetime. With the corona vaccine? “Maybe six months, a year or 20 years,” says Kremsner. It is all speculation, as this point.” (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 27)

St Martin’s processions and Halloween activities discouraged

In many parts of Germany it is traditional for young children to participate in a procession of paper lanterns in remembrance of St. Martin on November 11th. They make their own little lanterns in school or kindergarten and then gather on city streets to sing songs about good old Marty and their lanterns. However, this year authorities are recommending that daycares not “organize or take part in St Martin’s processions, because there is a danger that Covid-19 infections could be carried back into the daycare centers.” The same applies going from house to house during Halloween. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 27)

Non-Corona related news:

Stuttgart mayoral candidates participate in live stream debate

All seven candidates seeking election as the new Oberbürgermeister (OB) or Lord Mayor of Stuttgart participated in a live stream panel discussion on Oct 25. In view of rising corona numbers, the panel discussion took place without an audience at the Porsche Arena. However, the public was still able to participate indirectly. Social media editor Diana Hörger passed on questions asked by the virtual audience during the live stream to the candidates who were socially distanced on stage. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 27)