Local news translated, Sept. 10

Daily Host Nation Stories September 10, 2020

RKI reports 1,892 new infections in a 24-hour period

Germany recorded 1,892 new positive coronavirus tests within 24 hours (Sept 9-10). According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), this brings the number of coronavirus cases to 255,366. Within the same time frame, another three people died as a result of or with the virus. According to the RKI, the total number of deaths amounts to 9341. (Robert Koch Institute, September 10)

AstraZeneca vaccine trials stopped for the second time

The pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has announced that it was temporarily stopping its worldwide study with its current corona vaccine because of health problems in one of the test subjects. AstraZeneca is one of the leading companies in the race for a vaccine against the corona virus. In July, the company also briefly interrupted its trials when one participant was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. However, an independent committee confirmed the test person’s disease was not related to the vaccine. (Focus, September 10)

A backlog of test results

The backlog of PCR samples has increased significantly since August 9th, the RKI said. Sixty-six laboratories reported a backlog of 29,964 samples to be processed and forty-four laboratories reported delivery problems for reagents. However, for the first time since June, the number of corona tests recorded by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on a weekly basis is decreasing again. In the week from August 31 to September 6, close to one million tests were counted – about 50,000 fewer than in the previous week. The percentage of positive test results dropped from 1.00 to 0.74 percent in the past five weeks. (Robert Koch Institute, September 10)

Patient mortality expected to decrease in coming months

The intensive care physician Christian Karagiannidis believes that hospitals in Germany are well equipped to deal with patients seriously ill with Covid-19 in autumn and winter. In an interview with the weekly newspaper “Die Zeit”, the professor for extracorporeal lung replacement procedures at the University of Witten/Herdecke and senior physician at a Cologne hospital reports on a learning process during the pandemic. In some cases, ventilation was started too early in the beginning and thus the risk of severe side effects was sometimes high, “but not being able to ventilate is often even worse. Karagiannidis expects that the mortality of Covid-19 patients will be reduced in the coming months as treatment standards have been established. “We know more about the right time to ventilate, about drugs such as Remdesivir for viral load in the early stages of the disease, and dexamethasone as an anti-inflammatory agent in patients requiring ventilation,” he says. In addition, he says, it has been learned that many patients develop thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, which requires the early use of blood thinners. (Ntv, September 10) 

Munich imposes a new night-time ban on alcohol 

Starting this weekend, popular outdoor celebration places in Munich will experience a curfew on alcohol consumption.  The city council announced that this was intended to curb the increase in corona infections to protect the population. The ban applies from Friday evening to Sunday morning around party hotspots. Between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. people who are celebrating in these public places will no longer be allowed to purchase or drink alcohol. Anyone who does not comply with the ban will have to pay a fine of at least 150 euros. The sale of alcoholic beverages is also prohibited around the party zones. Offenses are to cost at least 500 euros. This is the first time the city has issued a ban on alcohol in streets and parks throughout Munich to curb the many open-air parties. The Bavarian Administrative Court, however, has declared this regulation to be disproportionate. (Focus, September 10)

Residential area Son Gotleu in Palma de Mallorca restricted for two weeks

Due to high corona numbers, the regional government of the Balearic Islands has ordered the sealing off of a residential area of the city of Palma. The approximately 23,000 people affected in the Son Gotleu working-class neighborhood and in some surrounding streets are only allowed to leave their residential area from Friday onwards to go to work, to a doctor or hospital, to school or another educational institution or to care for people in need of care, the German-language “Mallorca Zeitung” reported. Stores and cafés will probably remain open with half the usual number of seats. Bars must close at 10 pm. The restrictions will initially apply for two weeks. Son Gotleu, which lies in the northern part of the city, is where many people from Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Africa live. The neighborhood has suffered from social problems for a long time, which have been intensified because of Corona. (Ntv, September 10)

Non-corona news

Winfried Kretschmann received threatening letter with bullet shell cases

Winfried Kretschmann, the Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg, received a threatening letter which included bullet shell cases. Suspected left-wing extremists have also sent threatening letters with bullet shell cases to Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) and Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens). According to the reports, 14 state interior ministers, the President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang, and the Federal Constitutional Court have also received threatening letters in recent months. The Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office in Karlsruhe has been investigating a group called Revolutionary Action Cells (RAZ) because of the incidents for some time. It is classified as a terrorist organization. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, September 9)

Largest Telecom store in Germany opens Königstrasse in Stuttgart

These days store openings are not exactly the norm, which makes the opening of the Telekom flagship store on Königstrasse in Stuttgart all the more remarkable. It is also a sign of confidence for the famed Königstrasse shopping district, which has been in a downturn even before the pandemic. The prime location in the city center has ceased to be attractive for retailers of high-end goods, and most shops along the pedestrian street have been experiencing a sales slump in recent years. Many complaining that they can no longer afford the sky-rocking rents in the area.

The new location of the Bonn-based telecommunications company illustrates the growth of Telekom. Telecom now occupies the space which previously housed the Esprit clothing store. The first floor of the Karl-Gassmann-Haus at Königstraße 34 now houses the retail store, with offices above. Björn Weidenmüller, Chief Operating Officer at Deutsche Telekom, says the property is now fully occupied and is paying rent based on rates from times before the lockdown. Telecom now has the largest representative office in Germany’s stationary retail sector in Stuttgart. Previously, Munich was the showpiece store – now it is on Königstrasse. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, September 10)