Local news translated, Sept. 17

Daily Host Nation Stories September 17, 2020

Fines imposed on people refusing to wear masks

Anyone who is using public transportation without a mask, or cannot produce a mask to wear when asked by police, will be fined. The city has already imposed 151 fines for such offenses. During a major inspection on Monday, Sept 14th, fifty-three people were fined for not wearing a mask while using some sort of public transportation. It was the first major inspection of this kind in Stuttgart. “Discipline has eased somewhat with the declining numbers, but because the risk of infection still exists, wearing a mask is still important. That’s why controls are now being carried out,” explains a spokesman for the Stuttgart police. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Sep 17)

Infections expected to return to pre-vacation numbers

Researchers at the “Iges” Institute have noted that corona case numbers will decrease to the level before the summer holiday season began. The reason for the expected decline is because of the numbers “of corona infections acquired in risk areas during school vacations.” In fact, the study, which is based on analyses of the situation reports of the Robert Koch Institute, shows that infected travel returnees were the main contributors to the increase in numbers. Two thirds of the infections occurred while Germans were abroad in Balkan countries. An evaluation of calendar weeks 25 to 36 shows that the infections occurred mainly in Kosovo (22 percent), Croatia (18 percent), Serbia and Montenegro (19 percent). Turkey’s share was also remarkably high at 13 percent. On the contrary, the classic vacation countries such as Spain (5 percent), Italy (2 percent) or Austria (2 percent) hardly played a role. However, the authors of the study fear that the declining trend will not continue. “It’s feared that the end of the warm weather will lead to less distancing indoors and thus to a renewed rise in the number of cases.” (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Sep 17)

How Stuttgart compares to the rest of the country

Baden-Württemberg was a corona hotspot at the beginning of the pandemic. Then over the summer, the southwest was roughly in line with the rest of the country. Currently, in Stuttgart, the percentage of registered new infections per 100,000 inhabitants is slightly above the national average – both in absolute numbers and relative to the population. (Stuttgarter Zeitung, Sep 16)

Non-Coronal related news:

Germany’s nationwide emergency test fails

Germany’s attempt to test a nationwide emergency alert system on September 10 did not go well. As a result, the President of the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief in Bonn, Christoph Unger, has been fired. The goal of the exercise was to familiarize citizens with the emergency alert system used by German federal and local authorities to notify the public during major incidents such as natural disasters, bomb disposals, and other security incidents, according to the U.S. Embassy in Berlin. Among other things that went wrong on the 10th, messages sent through the warning apps Nina and Katwarn arrived to smartphones 30 minutes late. The Federal Ministry described the test run as “failed” and the Civil Protection and Disaster Relief Office has been criticized for the failure. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Sep 17)

Bomb threat at Ludwigsburg local court house

Because of a bomb threat, police evacuated the Ludwigsburg district court on Wednesday. Shortly before 1 p.m. an unknown person had phoned in and claimed that a bomb was hidden in the building. The police cordoned off the building and the sidewalk in front of it. Special explosive search dogs were called in, said police spokesman Stefan Hermann, but no bomb was found. The director of the district court, Christoph Hölscher, assumes the call was a fake. “Nevertheless, we had the building cleared quickly, of course, for the safety of our employees and other people who were there.” (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Sep 17)