Local news translated – Oct 9, 2020

USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs – Local news translated – Oct 9, 2020

Merkel discusses Corona with mayors of large cities

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) held discussions with the mayors of the Germany’s eleven largest cities in view of the sharp rise in corona figures. The city leaders of Berlin, Hamburg, Bremen, Munich, Frankfurt am Main, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Essen, Leipzig and Stuttgart took part in the video conference on Friday. Among other things the focus is likely to be on the behavior of young people. For example, the party scene in several cities is regarded as a trigger for the increasing number of infections. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten October 9)

University doctors warn of staff shortage in intensive care units

The Charité hospital in Berlin and the university hospital in Frankfurt am Main have warned of a shortage of personnel in intensive care units in the fight against the pandemic. Ulrich Frei, who is responsible for personnel management at the Charité, said in Berlin that there has been “an absolute shortage of intensive care personnel for a long time”. There were enough intensive care beds, but not the personnel to care for the patients occupying them. The CEO of the University Hospital in Frankfurt am Main, Jürgen Graf, said that the “central challenge” in the pandemic was to provide the resources actually needed. When counting the number of operable intensive care beds, the count needed to include the existing beds and ventilators, but also the personnel required for treating patients. This key factor has been missing, but obviously without personnel the existing beds cannot be considered operational. (Stern, October 9)

Twenty times more deadly than influenza

The chief infectious disease specialist of the Berlin Charité, Christian Drosten, has complained about false statements in public information when assessing the danger of the corona virus. Some public figures are talking now about whether the illness is really still so dangerous, said Drosten at a press conference in Berlin. The disease is still dangerous. “The information we pass on the population is crucial” because the public depends on this information to make the right decisions in everyday life. Drosten reiterated his estimation of a higher mortality rate from the virus in Germany due to the comparatively high age of the population. Currently COVID-19 has an infection mortality rate in Germany around “one percent or slightly higher.” That makes the disease 20 times more deadly than influenza. (Ntv, Ocotber 9)

Patients needing intensive care increases significantly

A significant increase in the number of COVID-19 patients undergoing intensive care treatment occurred this week. According to the management report of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), 487 infected patients received intensive care on Thursday, 239 of whom were ventilated. One week before (1.10.) the value had been 362 (193 ventilated), the week before (24.9.) 296 (166 ventilated). Around 8500 intensive care beds are currently still available in German hospitals. (Robert Koch Institute, October 9)

District of Esslingen decrees mask obligation in public space

In order to counteract the increasing number of infections with Covid-19, the Esslingen district has been required to wear an everyday mask since Friday. This was announced by the district administrator Heinz Eininger (CDU) at a press conference on Thursday. This applies where the minimum distance cannot be maintained. For example in pedestrian zones or at weekly markets. There will be increased controls. The ban on accommodation also applies to residents of the Esslingen district. On Wednesday, a majority of the states had decided that people from places with very high corona infection rates may only be accommodated if they have a negative corona test that is no more than 48 hours old.

Measures adopted to contain coronavirus in Esslingen

  • Masks must be worn in public places where the minimum distance cannot be maintained, e.g. at weekly markets or in pedestrian zones
  • Maximum 25 participants for private parties in public or rented rooms
  • Maximum 10 participants for celebrations in private rooms
  • Sports associations have been encouraged to hold events – especially indoors – without an audience. (Swr, October 9)

Non-Corona News

Help for dealers in Böblingen: Free parking in parking garages

The retailers and restaurateurs in Boeblingen’s city center are being hit particularly hard this year. To give them a bit of support, the municipal council decided unanimously on Wednesday evening that from today until the end of the year two hours of free parking would be allowed in the Stadtwerke parking lots. The aim of this campaign is to make a visit to the city center more attractive for customers who depend on a car, explained Dominic Schaudt in the municipal council. The Im Höfle, Kongresshalle, Hautana, Postplatz and Marktplatz parking garages will now allow free parking for the first two hours until the end of the year. This is a measure that the city wants to promote openly and which will cost around 28,000 euros. (BB Heute, October 9)