Just a few hours after the state round in the Chancellery, in which new measures were taken to contain the coronavirus pandemic, there was new bad news: in Germany the number of new coronavirus infections has skyrocketed – to a higher value than in the spring .
As the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced Thursday morning, citing information from health authorities, 6,638 new cases of infection were registered within a day. That is about 1,500 more than Wednesday. With new infections it should be taken into account that more infections are diagnosed because significantly more tests are carried out than in the spring. However, the number of positive tests is also increasing significantly.
After the meeting with the prime minister, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) made it very clear that she did not consider the decisions taken to be sufficient. On Thursday morning, Merkel’s head of the Chancellery, Helge Braun, confirmed in the ARD “Morgenmagazin” that the resolutions were an important step, but probably would not be enough.
“And that’s why it now depends on the population. That we don’t just look: what can I do now? In principle, we should all do more and be more careful than what the prime ministers decided yesterday. Braun spoke of “enormous infection dynamics”. Germany is at the beginning of a “very big second wave”.
Even tougher measures are possible if the figures do not fall
The federal and state governments had decided, among other things, that an expanded mask trip should be introduced in regions where more than 35 new infections with the corona virus are registered within seven days. For private celebrations, 15 to 25 participants must be admitted in Corona hotspots with an incidence value of 35, depending on the space. At an incidence of 50, the maximum number drops to ten people – or members of two households.
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Also with 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days, there will be a curfew for the catering industry at 11 p.m. Bars and clubs are closed. A national regulation on the controversial residence ban for people from risk areas in Germany was postponed. Federal and state governments are not ruling out even tougher measures if the contagion situation does not improve in the next ten to 12 days.
After the meeting, Merkel said, “We are facing a challenge of the century. What we do and don’t do now will determine how we get through this pandemic. Germany was “already in the exponential phase” of the spread of the pandemic, the Chancellor warned.
Chancellor wants to close earlier
This development must be prevented from continuing – “otherwise it will not end well.” Merkel spoke of further tightening: “We are talking about contact restrictions.” Now you have to see if the curfew, say 11pm, is correct, or if you should do it at 10pm “That needs to be honed.”
Merkel pointed out that the federal government is already taking on Germany $ 200 billion a year in debt to cope with the consequences of the Corona, saying, “Germany cannot afford a second lockdown.”
And Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) warned, “We are actually much closer to the second lockdown than we would like to admit.”
According to the latest information from the RKI, the highest number of new infections was registered with 6,554 cases on April 2. Last Wednesday, the health authorities reported 4059 new infections to the RKI. This was the first time since April that the 4000 mark has been crossed.
The total number of infections in Germany since the start of the pandemic has risen to 341,223, and the number of deaths related to the novel coronavirus to 9,710-33 more than the day before. The RKI estimates the number of recovering persons at approximately 284,600.
Backlog in the corona tests
The number of coronavirus tests has fluctuated between 1.1 million and 1.2 million per week since mid-August. According to the RKI, there had been almost 125,000 tests in calendar week 11 (from March 9), the result was positive in 7.58 percent of the cases. The percentage then rose to 9.03 percent in a good 408,000 tests in calendar week 14 (as of March 30).
After that, the numbers declined steadily, with the lowest positive percentage being on the week of July 6 with about 0.59 percent in 510,500 tests. Since then, the number of tests has increased continuously, but so has the positive percentage. From 0.74 percent at the end of August to 2.48 percent in the week of 5 to 11 October. A week earlier, the value was 1.66 percent.
The RKI reports the test results in its current management report every Wednesday. There is a backlog in several laboratories, according to the RKI some have reported problems with the delivery of reagents.
“In recent weeks, the RKI has been receiving more and more reports from laboratories that are close to their occupancy rate,” the institute wrote in the management report on Wednesday. The additional need for testing by holidaymakers following the introduction of the accommodation ban with the option of “free testing” has exacerbated the situation.
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The number of corona patients in intensive care has risen noticeably in recent days, but is still relatively low. According to data from the Divi registry in intensive care, about 602 Covid patients were treated in intensive care on Wednesday, compared to about 470 a week earlier. Previously that number was around 330 for weeks.
Spahn: “Together we have it in our own hands”
In total, however, there are still approximately 8,700 intensive care beds in Germany. Experts generally assume that the increase in new infections will not be reflected in the number of seriously ill and deceased people until some time later.
Video October 15, 2020, 7:56 AM 1:46 PM Record for corona numbers – federal and state governments are tightening course
In view of this fact, more politicians after the round in the Chancellery are pushing for more caution. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) called on the population to slow the spread of the virus through discipline and caution. “We have it in our own hands together,” he said on Deutschlandfunk on Thursday. The citizens must be clear that they are deciding today whether Christmas can take place in the usual form.
In particular, Spahn called for more vigilance at private parties, where infections had increased recently. Unnecessary travel should be avoided. That is an “urgent recommendation”, Spahn emphasizes. “If we take care of each other together”, no further measures are needed.
The reigning mayor of Berlin warns against further tightening
The Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller (SPD), stressed that he knew what the people had to do, but also asked, “What can we actually do to make everyone understand: we are in a global crisis? And in a global crisis, there are limitations, and they can be significantly more dramatic than what we have decided together so far. “
The Prime Minister of Saxony-Anhalt, Reiner Haseloff (CDU), called on his colleagues to enforce the Corona rules “tough and strict”. “If we don’t act now, the hotspots will spread so quickly and widely that at some point we won’t be able to hold onto the dams anymore.”
Saarland Prime Minister Tobias Hans (CDU) said: “I think the measures are appropriate to prevent another lockdown if everyone adheres to it. Too many people have been too carefree in recent weeks or these infections would not have occurred. ”On the discussion about housing bans, in which there was no agreement, Hans emphasized: ‘We for the Saarland will certainly renounce housing bans with immediate effect.’
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Saxony also wants to refrain from implementing the stay ban for travelers from inner German areas at risk of corona. “The housing ban affects many people who have nothing to do with the disease,” Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) told MDR Saxony on Thursday morning. The limitation on the number of participants in private celebrations decided at a federal state assembly in Berlin should also be less strict in the Free State.
Also in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the travel restrictions for people from Corona risk areas could partially fall. Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) wants to determine whether the quarantine of at least five days and the obligation to carry out a test afterwards will be waived in the future.
“But that depends on how the infection rate develops in our own state and whether this nationwide traffic light system is consistently applied in Germany,” Schwesig said after the meeting in the chancellery. Travelers from risk areas in Corona should still take a negative test, she emphasized.