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Corona: The events of November 23-29


Nurse in a Covid intensive care unit

© dpa-Bildfunk / Marijan Murat
Image rights: dpa-Bildfunk / Marijan Murat

Nurse in a Covid intensive care unit

© dpa-Bildfunk / Marijan Murat
Image rights: dpa-Bildfunk / Marijan Murat
© dpa-Bildfunk / Marijan Murat
Image rights: dpa-Bildfunk / Marijan Murat

Nurse in a Covid intensive care unit

Information on developments and figures on the coronavirus in Bavaria, Germany and around the world from November 23 to 29.

Sunday 29th November 2020

9:55 p.m.: Söder does not rule out tightening the corona measures

Prime Minister Markus Söder demands that the federal and state governments have to talk about additional corona measures again in two weeks. If the high number of infections did not decrease, one would have to say whether "extension and deepening would be turned into more four depths," he said in the ARD. In the program "Anne Will", the CSU boss criticized the citizens who repeatedly looked for loopholes in the applicable regulations.

8:13 p.m.: Scholz: Companies can continue to rely on state aid

Even after state aid expires in November and December in the partial lockdown, companies can rely on support from the state, says Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz in the ZDF program Berlin Direkt. It is right to give gastronomy, culture and sport a special helping hand. According to Scholz, corona bridging aid should apply until at least June 2021 and be more comprehensive and generous than before. The finance minister is confident that Germany will be able to reduce the debt that has increased due to the corona crisis.

7:07 p.m.: New York elementary schools are allowed to reopen

Despite rising corona numbers, the public primary schools in New York should be allowed to reopen soon. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the plan would be implemented from December 7th. After criticism, the metropolis is thus releasing its self-set threshold of three percent positive corona tests, from which the schools should actually remain closed. Educational institutions for older children remain closed for the time being.

6:42 p.m.: Another record for corona deaths in Turkey

For the seventh day in a row, the Turkish authorities are reporting new record numbers of those who have recently registered or who have died with a Covid 19 infection. The Ministry of Health announced that 185 people had died in connection with Covid-19 in the past 24 hours. The total number increases to 13,558. The number of new infections, however, drops slightly to 29,281 after the record high of 30,103 on Saturday.

6:05 pm: "lateral thinking" for Schuster case for the protection of the constitution

According to the President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, the "lateral thinking" movement should be reviewed by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. "What is being said here goes far beyond what one has to accept as free expression in a democracy," said Schuster in the ARD program report from Berlin. "It is nothing more than sedition." In addition, the President of the Central Council called for criminal prosecution if participants in anti-corona demonstrations wear Jewish stars. He described comparisons with the resistance fighter Sophie Scholl or the Holocaust victim Anne Frank as "hideous".

He considers the group of corona deniers to be "very dangerous," said Schuster, since right-wing extremists were also involved there, who would have found a topic in order to be able to "bait" "actually good-natured people" for their cause. He called for the 89 measures recently adopted by the federal government to combat right-wing extremism and racism to be applied in the future and not to be hidden away in a drawer.

5.30 p.m.: Berlin Corona traffic light changes back to "yellow"

The Berlin corona traffic light for intensive care beds shows yellow again. According to the values ​​updated on Sunday, 24.2 percent of the intensive care beds are now occupied by Covid 19 patients. The traffic light jumped to the highest warning level for the first time at noon.

The traffic light system had been showing red for a long time in the case numbers of the past seven days. Berlin has 64,220 known cases of infection. The city has reported 553 coronavirus-related deaths. This makes Berlin Corona the front runner among the big cities. The Bavarian state capital Munich, for example, currently reports a tenth of the cases of infection that Berlin has - and a quarter of deaths.

3.46 p.m.: More than 3,000 new cases in Bavaria

The State Office for Health in Erlangen reported 3,040 confirmed new infections in Bavaria in the last 24 hours. This has increased the number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic to 205,410. With 21 deaths during the day, the number here has risen to 3,785. With the 7-day incidence, the city of Passau, the district of Passau, the district of Regen and the city of Nuremberg have values ​​of over 300 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants.

2.20 p.m.: Söder calls for consistent hotspot measures

Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder has asked the other federal states to consistently implement stricter measures in hotspots. Otherwise you have no chance of reducing the number of new infections in Germany again. The federal and state governments would also have to clarify before Christmas whether additional restrictions would not be necessary with a view to New Year's Eve, said the CSU boss at the Junge Union. "We can't do it endlessly like this," added Söder, referring to the continued high number of infections. The CSU boss also expressed himself "outraged" that too little was being talked about corona deaths in Germany. In Bavaria there are six times as many corona deaths as traffic deaths.

1:25 p.m.: Karliczek sees a lot of need for education about corona vaccinations

Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU) sees a lot of need for education among the population on the subject of corona vaccinations. "This includes making it clear again and again that the approval authorities do not compromise the standards that apply to the approval of a vaccine," Karliczek told the dpa news agency. She assured: "The approved vaccines will therefore be effective and, above all, safe."

It is gratifying that around half of the citizens wanted to be vaccinated. "It would be nice, however, if the willingness increased a little." According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a vaccination rate of 60 to 70 percent of the population is necessary to fight the corona pandemic. Karliczek confirmed, however, that there would be no compulsory vaccination. The population must be convinced of the advantages of a corona vaccination.

1:21 p.m.: Kramp-Karrenbauer urges citizens to comply with the protective measures

CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer emphasizes that further closings of industries depend heavily on the behavior of the population in Germany. It must be clear to everyone that, in an emergency, the state would have to use a lot of money to provide financial aid to companies, says Kramp-Karrenbauer. This money is then missing for future expenses. Therefore, the number of new corona infections should decrease - if only with a view to intergenerational justice.

12.56 p.m.: Greens in the Landtag are calling for better technology for health authorities

The Greens in the Bavarian state parliament are calling for better technical and staffing equipment for the health authorities in the Free State. This is the only way they can perform their tasks comprehensively and quickly, it said in a message on Sunday. Benjamin Adjei, spokesman for digitization, criticizes the fact that many offices and medical laboratories still work with faxes.

12.52 p.m.: Laschet rejects criticism of countries in the debate about participation in corona costs

In the debate about a greater cost sharing of the federal states in state Corona failure aid for the economy, North Rhine-Westphalia's Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) pointed out the financial commitment of the states in the corona crisis to date. The federal states had "spent billions, and it is not entirely fair to say that the federal states do nothing," said Laschet on Sunday on Deutschlandfunk.

The Düsseldorf Prime Minister reacted to statements by Union faction leader Ralph Brinkhaus (CDU). Brinkhaus recently asked the federal states to contribute to the costs of economic aid in the event of a prolonged corona lockdown.

12.14 p.m.: Tavern Association warns of bankruptcy wave

The Association for the Preservation of Bavarian Tavern Culture (VEBWK) has criticized the lack of perspective in the Corona crisis. "We see the efforts to compensate for the economic losses to some extent, but there is no longer-term strategy," said a message from the club at the weekend. VEBWK expects losses well into next year.

In addition, the aid would have to be paid out immediately, as salaries, rents and leases would be due these days. Losses due to a lack of tips would also have to be compensated more. "If this aid does not come as soon as possible, there will be a bankruptcy wave this year," said the VEBWK.

11:51 a.m.: Austria's Chancellor is briefly pessimistic about quick easing

Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is dampening expectations that the corona measures will be relaxed soon after the current lockdown. "We will have to live with further massive restrictions after December 7th," he told the Kleine Zeitung. There will be no hasty opening steps. "Everyone must be aware that we will have to live with certain restrictions for weeks and months." The aim is to take cautious opening steps in shops and schools from December 7th. This depends on the number of infections. The higher these are, "the more difficult it will be to set opening steps". What this means for the currently closed ski areas in Austria is open. Kurz announces corresponding government plans for Wednesday. "What is clear: après-ski won't be back for another year at the earliest."

11.43 a.m.: British Foreign Minister warns of third corona wave

British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab sees the danger of a third corona wave. This risk exists if the necessary level of restrictions cannot be found in the coming weeks, he told the BBC when asked about a possible third wave in January and February. "There is this danger if we don't find the right balance." The government is doing everything it can to avoid a nationwide lockdown.

11.29 a.m.: Laschet: Vaccine only possible in the long term in the fight against virus

North Rhine-Westphalia's Prime Minister Armin Laschet urges caution and compliance with hygiene and distance rules. A vaccine is crucial in the fight against the corona pandemic. "This is the only way to fight this virus in the long term," says Laschet on Deutschlandfunk. So far, however, there is no vaccine. The aim must be to further reduce the number of infections and to enable the health authorities to follow up the corona cases. There is a risk that the infections could increase again over Christmas. "That's why we have to be all the more careful now." Laschet affirmed that Germans should not go on a skiing holiday until January 10th.

How long the Corona restrictions will apply will be decided at the beginning of January, says North Rhine-Westphalia's Prime Minister Armin Laschet. As soon as possible and if the infection process allows, interventions would have to be withdrawn. "I can hardly imagine that we would close everything for months and contribute billions from the federal treasury month after month," said the CDU politician on Deutschlandfunk. "That will also overwhelm our state."

11.12 a.m.: Woman in Singapore gives birth to baby with antibodies

In Singapore, a woman gave birth to a child with corona anti-bodies. The baby was born in November without Covid-19 and carries antibodies against the virus, reports the Straits Times, quoting the mother. She was infected in March when she was pregnant, but showed only mild symptoms of the disease. The case gives new evidence of a possible transmission of the virus from mother to child, the report said. According to the WHO, it is not yet known whether a woman can transmit the virus to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery.

10.45 a.m.: The Czech Republic eases restrictions on Thursday

The Czech government is easing restrictions on public life as the number of new infections decreases every day. From Thursday on, restaurants and shops that do not offer everyday necessities are likely to reopen, Health Minister Jan Blatny announced. The risk level is reduced from four to three, the highest value is five. This means that all shops are allowed to open, but must limit the number of customers so that sufficient distance can be maintained. The night curfew has been lifted and sporting activities may be resumed to a limited extent.

10:38 a.m.: Injured after demo against Corona curfew in Liège

Hundreds of people demonstrated against the nocturnal corona curfew in Liège, Belgium, despite the ban on gatherings. Four police officers and three demonstrators were injured in clashes, the Internet portal L'Avenir.net reported on Sunday. The police have taken 17 people into custody. In Belgium, public gatherings of more than four people are prohibited because of the pandemic.

10:20 a.m.: Global Fund: Corona threatens access to life-saving AIDS drugs

According to experts, health systems in poor countries can only maintain their work in the Corona crisis with strong additional support. The Global Fund against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has therefore immediately mobilized one billion US dollars (837 million euros) as emergency aid, said Fund Executive Director Peter Sands the Evangelical Press Service. "But that's not enough." Another five billion dollars (4.2 billion euros) are needed. "Around the world, the Covid-19 pandemic is threatening access to life-saving drugs for people living with HIV," said Sands, referring to World AIDS Day on December 1st.

9.49 a.m.: More than 150 arrests during anti-lockdown protests in London

Police arrested more than 150 people in London during protests against the corona restrictions. The demonstrators were arrested, among other things, for disregarding the applicable corona rules or attacks on police officers, the police said after the demonstration on Saturday. In the current partial lockdown, citizens in England should only leave their homes for compelling reasons such as work, shopping or caring for relatives. Demonstrations are not one of the permitted exceptions.

9.36 a.m.: Russia has over 26,000 new infections in one day

In Russia, the authorities report 26,683 new infections within 24 hours. This increases the total number of proven cases of infection to 2,269,316. The highest value of new infections in one day so far was reached on Friday at 27,543. The number of people who died with or from the coronavirus rose by 459 to 39,527. After the USA, India and Brazil, Russia has the fourth highest number of infections worldwide.

9.24 a.m.: Kubicki warns of a long-term national health crisis

The deputy FDP chairman Wolfgang Kubicki has called on the federal government to include economic and social psychological aspects in the fight against the corona pandemic. "These considerations are currently irrelevant," said the Bundestag Vice President of the German Press Agency in Berlin. "And obviously other health issues are also very under-highlighted." It is fatal if the expertise of people who deal with other things than infectious diseases is not drawn on.

8:50 a.m.: Almost 153,000 new corona cases in the USA

In the United States, the authorities registered at least 152,910 new infections within 24 hours. This is the result of a Reuters survey based on official data. This means that around 13.24 million people have been shown to have contracted the corona virus. The number of people who died with or from the virus rose by at least 1,187 to 266,000. The United States is by far the most severely affected country in the world by the pandemic.

8:33 a.m.: According to the media report, relocation of the Olympics costs around 1.6 billion euros

The relocation of the Olympic Games in Tokyo to the coming year is expected to cost the equivalent of around 1.6 billion euros. The Japanese news agency Kyodo and the Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun report unanimously. The organizers had recently announced that they wanted to present a new overall budget by the end of the year. The additional funds required have become necessary because, among other things, halls and stadiums as well as transport options have to be rebooked, and the postponement also increases personnel costs. According to Yomiuri Shimbun, the newly estimated amount should not contain the financial resources for the planned anti-corona measures. According to the report, the organizers expect the Japanese government to cover these costs.

8.16 a.m.: Survey: One in four doubts the Corona rules for Christmas

According to a survey, more than a quarter of Germans doubt the sense of the new Corona restrictions for Advent and Christmas. According to a survey, 30 percent of German citizens do not believe in the measure, according to which private meetings at Christmas are limited to a maximum of ten people from several households. This is reported by the Funke media group, citing a study by the Kantar opinion research institute. A similar number of citizens (29 percent) are therefore skeptical about the restrictions on gatherings on New Year's Eve and New Year's.

7:59 a.m.: Corona resolutions: Involvement of people with disabilities required

The concerns of people with disabilities should be given greater focus in the corona pandemic. Several associations are calling for this. People with disabilities are to be involved themselves when corona measures are discussed and decided, for example in communal forms of living or workshops, said the former Federal Minister of Health Ulla Schmidt, who is also the chairwoman of the organization Lebenshilfe. "They must also always be taken into account in political advice," emphasized the SPD MP.

7.44 a.m.: Bouffier defends easing: people want to see each other for Christmas

Hesse's Prime Minister Volker Bouffier defends the decision by the federal and state governments to allow more contacts to be made for the population at Christmas and New Year's Eve despite the increased corona risk. The state needs a certain degree of acceptance for its measures, said the CDU politician of the Funke media group. "Lots of people want to see each other again around Christmas time. If we don't go into that, we'll run into big problems."

At the same time, Bouffier spoke out against a blanket condemnation of protests against the corona measures. "We have to take the Corona demonstrators and their concerns seriously," said the Prime Minister. "Many are hit hard by the measures and they have to get an answer as to what we are doing and why. We have no right to judge anyone who takes to the streets now."

7:31 a.m.: Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania also opens hotels at Christmas

According to the latest federal-state agreements to fight the corona pandemic, more and more federal states are going their own way. After North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, Hesse, Schleswig-Holstein and Berlin, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania also announced on Saturday evening that it would allow hotel stays for family visits over the festive period - contrary to a recommendation from the Chancellery. Cosmetic salons in the northeast should possibly be allowed to reopen on December 5, when the number of infections is clearly pointing downwards.

7:25 a.m.: Great Britain secures another two million doses of Moderna vaccine

The British government says it has secured a further two million doses of the vaccine candidate from the US pharmaceutical company Moderna. In total, she now has access to 357 million doses from seven different vaccine developers.

07.12 a.m.: Tax relief for companies required

Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Hesse are campaigning for tax relief for companies. At the conference of economics ministers this Monday, they want to propose expanding the so-called loss carry-back. This means that if you lose one year, you can reduce the tax burden by offsetting it against positive income from around the previous year. The maximum amount limits for this were recently increased once.

"Due to the economic crisis as a result of the pandemic, many healthy companies got into liquidity difficulties through no fault of their own, which is particularly at the expense of important future investments," said Baden-Württemberg's head of department Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut (CDU) according to the announcement. "We have to enable our companies to develop long-term prospects again and to be able to finance them even in difficult economic times."

7:10 a.m.: A narrow majority of Germans consider the warning app to be unsuitable

According to a survey, the Corona warning app is met with skepticism from a majority of Germans. 51 percent do not consider the app to be a suitable means of containing the pandemic, as the survey by the Kantar opinion research institute on behalf of the Funke media group shows. On the other hand, 49 percent consider the instrument useful. There is widespread approval of the mask requirement. 90 percent consider wearing a face-to-face mask to be helpful in shops, public transport and in busy places. 85 percent are in favor of avoiding unnecessary contacts and business and private travel.

06:58: Göring-Eckardt criticizes easing on New Year's Eve as "risky"

The chairman of the Greens parliamentary group, Katrin Göring-Eckardt, does not consider the results of the latest Corona summit to be consistent enough. It is risky that the easing of the measures should also apply on New Year's Eve, she tells the newspaper "Bild am Sonntag" according to a preliminary report. "Maybe more needs to be closed after Christmas so that the infections really go down." Göring-Eckardt criticizes the fact that Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the Prime Ministers of the federal states have once again failed to agree on clear rules. "We have to put an end to the constant proclamation of new measures, which the prime ministers can only agree on with difficulty every few weeks." What is required is rather a "fixed set of rules for all of Germany" resolved by the Bundestag. "We propose a step-by-step plan with which it is clear when it can be relaxed and when it has to be tightened," emphasizes the Green politician.

6.46 a.m.: No observation order from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution for "lateral thinking"

According to Bavaria's Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU), the protection of the constitution has not yet formally declared the "lateral thinking" movement to be an object of observation. The movement, which has been organizing protests against the policy to contain the corona pandemic for months, is an extremely heterogeneous group that is being closely monitored, Herrmann told the editorial network Germany. "At the moment, however, the formal legal observation mandate of the protection of the constitution has not been opened."

06.35 a.m.: IW: The federal government is said to have paid ten billion euros too much in corona aid

According to a calculation by the Institut der Deutschen Wirtschaft (IW), the federal government pays ten billion euros more than actually necessary for the November and December aid. According to the calculation, the affected businesses - mainly from the catering and event industry - earned more money in many cases than if they had opened thanks to the compensation from the state, reported the "Welt am Sonntag". With reference to figures from the Bundesbank, the institute assumes that on average half of the costs in the sectors concerned are variable, i.e. that they do not even arise when the companies are closed. Nevertheless, the federal government pays the companies up to 75 percent of the turnover from the same month of 2019.

06.27 a.m.: Justice Minister Lambrecht wants to extend compensation until the end of the lockdown

Federal Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht considers state compensation payments to the economy to be legally necessary until the drastic Corona requirements are lifted. "We all assume that we will have a vaccine as soon as possible. As long as we experience such serious restrictions, however, as long as there must be help in my opinion," said the SPD politician of "Welt am Sonntag". At the same time, Lambrecht admitted that the federal government's financial possibilities are not unlimited: "Fighting the pandemic is a national task that must be met by the federal and state governments together." The minister stood at the side of Union faction leader Ralph Brinkhaus, who had also called for financial participation from the federal states.

06.16 a.m.: Federal President: "Pandemic will not take our future away"

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier encouraged the population at the beginning of Advent. Although because of the Corona crisis, Germany could be full of confidence, wrote the head of state in a guest post for "Bild am Sonntag". Because the advances in medical research give hope that the pandemic will not dominate everyday life in the long term. "The pandemic will not take the future from us," said Steinmeier.

The Federal President praised the behavior of the population in the crisis since the spring. "Consideration and solidarity of the overwhelming majority of Germans show that our society sticks together, even when times are rough." The diverse support for those who have been particularly hard hit by the crisis shows that democracy is not powerless in the face of the crisis.

6:13 a.m.: Lufthansa Cargo is getting ready to distribute the vaccine

Lufthansa wants to get involved in the global distribution of corona vaccines. In all probability, larger quantities would be produced in Central Europe, said the head of the freight subsidiary Lufthansa Cargo, Peter Gerber. "In this case it is clear that Lufthansa Cargo plays an important role." Negotiations are already underway because vaccines are expected to receive first approvals in December. Gerber expects the transport orders to peak between May and October 2021. "The tenders are already running. We have of course responded to them and I assume that the first deals will be concluded shortly."

6:05 a.m.: Health authorities register over 14,600 new infections in Germany

As expected, the health authorities reported comparatively few new corona infections to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) over the weekend. According to the RKI, 14,611 new cases were transmitted within one day. The previous high was reached on Friday a week ago (November 20th) with 23,648 reported cases. Last Sunday the number was 15,741.

The numbers are comparatively low on Sundays and Mondays because, according to the RKI, fewer samples are taken on the weekend and therefore fewer tests are carried out overall. The German health authorities also reported 158 new deaths within 24 hours.

05.50 a.m.: Croatia's Prime Minister Plenkovic in quarantine

Croatia's Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic has been in quarantine since Saturday because his wife had a positive corona test. A first test by the Prime Minister was negative, however, reported the newspaper "Jutarnji List", citing a statement from the government. After slight symptoms, Ana Maslac-Plenkovic had herself tested on Saturday morning. The test was positive, and her husband was automatically quarantined for ten days.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

8:05 p.m.: New daily record for corona deaths in Greece

Greece has reported a new daily record for corona deaths. The authorities announced on Saturday that 121 people had died as a result of an infection within 24 hours. This means that the number of corona deaths since the start of the pandemic has been more than 2,200. In addition, there were around 1,750 new infections, which means that more than 103,000 people have been infected in the country with around eleven million inhabitants. A lockdown is in place until December 7th, and government officials have announced that the measure will be extended. If anything, there should be gradual relaxation of restrictions. Schools could go first - restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs could be the last to open.

7:35 p.m.: Large Berlin hospital before admission freeze

One of the largest hospitals in Germany is facing an admission freeze due to many Covid 19 cases. The Vivantes hospital in Berlin-Neukölln will no longer accept patients from the emergency services in the future, as reported by the Berlin "Tagesspiegel", citing clinical circles. The fire brigade and ambulance would then have to drive to other clinics with their patients.

The hospital has a busy emergency room, which is one of the most important in the capital region. According to the report, 85 percent of the hospital's 1,200 beds are currently occupied.

The problem, however, is "not the occupied beds, but a lack of nursing staff," said the Friedrichshain Vivantes doctor Thomas Werner the "Tagesspiegel". "Around 15 percent of the nurses are absent from most wards - because they are sick themselves or are in quarantine," he said. Werner is also a works council and clinic expert at the Berlin Medical Association.

7:25 p.m.: Record for corona intensive care patients in Japan

Increased numbers of corona cases are also causing headaches for the authorities in Japan. The number of intensive care patients in the clinics is now at a record 440, said the Ministry of Health. Calculations by local media showed more than 2,600 confirmed new infections within 24 hours. More than 500 per day were recently reported from the capital Tokyo - in the past few months it was around half less.

It is true that there has not yet been a lockdown in Japan, such as Germany has imposed. But restaurants and bars have been closed at times, for example in Tokyo, where these measures will take effect again from Saturday. More than 2,000 people in the East Asian country have already died with or from the virus.

6:55 p.m.: The number of new virus cases in Italy is falling slightly

In Italy the number of cases is falling slightly. The number of new infections is 26,323, after 28,253 on Friday, according to the Ministry of Health. The number of deaths increases by 686 after 827 the previous day.

6.10 p.m.: The number of new virus deaths in Turkey has never been higher

The number of new virus deaths in Turkey rose to a record high for the sixth day in a row. The Ministry of Health announced that 182 people had died in connection with Covid-19 in the past 24 hours. The total number increases to 13,373. According to the information, the number of new infections also climbed to a record high of 30,103.

4.42 p.m.: Great Britain wants to allow Biontech vaccine

According to a newspaper report, the UK will approve the corona vaccine developed by Biontech and Pfizer in the coming week. The delivery should start only hours later, reports the "Financial Times".

3:33 p.m.: Berlin wants to help poor countries more

The Federal Government wants to increase its support in the fight against Corona worldwide. These days, the health expert group will start operations in Kyrgyzstan, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, as the Development Ministry announced in Berlin on Saturday. "We have to do everything we can to curb any further spread," said Development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU) with a view to increasing numbers of infections in poorer countries. Often there is already a lack of laboratory facilities to detect the virus. Therefore, Germany helps its partner countries with medical experts, tests and the training of laboratory staff.

3:22 p.m.: Long lines in front of shops in France

In France, after the first easing, long queues are forming in front of reopened shops. Hairdressers in particular are in demand after the strict one-month lockdown. But the French also want to strike with Christmas decorations or gifts. Shops that sell non-essential goods such as shoes, clothing or toys are allowed to reopen for the first time since October 30th. Bars and restaurants will be closed until January 20th.

2:45 p.m.: Johnson appoints vaccine minister

The UK Prime Minister appoints a vaccines minister. Nadhim Zahawi was tasked with organizing the vaccine distribution, Johnson's office said. Zahawi reported to Secretary of Health Matt Hancock. The office is limited, but will be there until at least next summer. So far, Zahawi has been State Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

2:25 p.m.: NRW is expanding aid for the homeless in winter

In the state initiative "Finally a home!" Against homelessness, the state government is providing 340,000 euros for protective measures to prevent health and corona-related impairments in the cold season, as the Ministry of Social Affairs announced in Düsseldorf on Saturday. Once again, there will be unbureaucratic help with which the independent providers of assistance to the homeless can procure sleeping bags and backpacks, for example, said NRW Social Minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU).

In the winter before last, the state said it had made 100,000 euros available for cold aids for the first time. In the spring of this year, an emergency package for immediate aid in the amount of 500,000 euros was provided to care for homeless people during the Corona crisis.

1:29 p.m.: Demonstration against Corona measures started on the Polish border

Accompanied by a large police force, a demonstration by opponents of the corona restrictions began on Saturday in Frankfurt (Oder) on the border with Poland. According to the police, 1,500 participants were registered for the demonstration of the "lateral thinking" initiative from Duisburg. The organizers want to set a "sign for peace and freedom" together with guests from Poland. Two counter-demonstrations are planned. A spokesman for the city of Frankfurt (Oder) called on citizens in the "Märkische Oderzeitung" to stay at home.

The police had pointed out that the minimum distance must be observed during demos and that a mask must be worn. Some of the participants in the demo by Corona opponents stood close to each other on the stage, most of them were not wearing a mask.

1:25 p.m.: Experts: Corona situation and winter sports in Italy are not compatible

In view of the corona infection numbers in Italy, experts from the Ministry of Health have clouded the prospect of winter sports and a normal Christmas. It will be a different Christmas, said the President of the Health Council, Franco Locatelli, on Saturday. The current figures are also "not compatible with the opening of winter sports". A New Year's Eve and New Year as usual are unimaginable this year.

According to the current management report, the corona data indicate that the measures taken in recent weeks are having an effect. The number of new infections every day is still significantly high. In many regions, a high risk continues to apply.

1:03 p.m.: The Patient Protection Foundation criticizes Merkel and Spahn

The prospect of the first corona vaccines is fueling the debate about who should be vaccinated first in Germany. The German Foundation for Patient Protection accused Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) of raising false expectations. Comments by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) about changing the planned order are also irritating, said board member Eugen Brysch on Saturday at the dpa news agency in Berlin.

The German Ethics Council, the National Science Academy Leopoldina and the Standing Vaccination Commission based at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) recommended on November 9th that the elderly and previously ill should belong to the group of people to be prioritized. A second preferred group should therefore include health and care workers. Merkel had said in her government statement on Thursday: "We have agreed that these vaccines will then be offered to people who work in the medical and nursing fields and they will be the first to have access to them."

Brysch now warned that the vaccine will not initially be available for those in need of care, seriously and chronically ill. "The high-risk group must not lose their first place," he demanded. "That is why the Bundestag must immediately set a clear prioritization for people and professions." Brysch pointed out the unanswered questions about the effectiveness of the serums. "The vaccines help prevent the disease as much as possible," he said. "Whether a serum can prevent the infection is pure speculation."

Health Minister Spahn should not give the impression that the vaccinations would protect against the virus as if a switch was thrown in the body afterwards. Spahn had said in the BR interview that he expected employees in hospitals and nursing homes to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

12.50 p.m.: Several European countries relax corona rules before Christmas

In France, the first easing of the strict corona restrictions came into force on Saturday. All shops were allowed to reopen under hygienic conditions. After four weeks of strict exit restrictions, people are also allowed to leave their homes longer for walks or outdoor sports. So far, walks or sports have been limited to an hour and a radius of just one kilometer a day, now the French are allowed to leave their homes for three hours and move within a radius of 20 kilometers. However, restaurants, bars and cafes as well as sports and cultural facilities will remain closed.

Several other EU countries have also announced easing for the Advent season. In Italy, residents of the Lombardy, Piedmont and Calabria regions are again allowed to move freely in their communities between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. Shopping centers are allowed to reopen. The Aosta Valley, the province of Bolzano, Tuscany, Abruzzo and Campania are still considered "red zones". People there are only allowed to leave their homes under certain conditions.

The Irish government also wants to relax the requirements for more companies and institutions before Christmas. From December 1st, shops, museums, galleries and libraries are allowed to reopen under hygienic conditions. In Belgium, shops will also be allowed to reopen from December 1, as Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced in a speech. "The situation in our country is improving," he said. However, the partial lockdown continues to apply.

12.28 p.m.: India registered over 41,000 new infections within 24 hours

In India and especially in the particularly hard hit capital New Delhi, the number of confirmed new corona infections continues to decline. 41,322 new cases came in the country with its around 1.4 billion inhabitants within 24 hours, as the Ministry of Health announced on Saturday. There were 5,482 in New Delhi, which had hit a high of 8,593 on November 12th. Since then, at least 100 deaths have been reported from New Delhi almost daily, on Saturday the figure was still 98. 485 people across the country died from or with the virus.

The fact that the number of new infections remained constantly below 50,000 this week raised hopes that a feared increase in cases after the Hindu festival of lights Diwali two weeks ago might not materialize.

12:10 p.m.: More than 1,300 positive corona tests in Great Britain are invalid

In the UK, more than 1,300 people have falsely been given positive corona test results. 1,311 citizens from more than 100 municipalities who had been tested between November 19 and 23 had a positive result, but it was invalid, the British health authority said on Friday evening. There were problems with the chemicals used. Those affected would be notified and should undergo another test.

It is not the first breakdown of the British testing and tracking system: in October, thousands of positive cases were initially not included in the statistics because they had not been correctly transferred to an Excel spreadsheet. Great Britain now has more than 1.5 million confirmed corona infections. In more than 72,000 deaths, Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate.

11:54 a.m.: US vaccination plans are taking shape

In the United States, health care workers and care workers are said to be given the corona vaccine first. A committee of the CDC disease centers will discuss this in an emergency meeting on Tuesday. The experts vote on a recommendation, which they then address to the FDA, a CDC spokeswoman said.

11.49 a.m.: Belgium criticizes German Corona Christmas rules

Belgium's Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke has criticized the planned relaxation of the corona rules over Christmas in Germany. "If there is something that the virus likes, it is fixed, especially with changing participants, we absolutely have to avoid that," said Vandenbroucke on Friday evening after a report by the Belga agency. "That's why I think that our neighboring countries are not doing what is appropriate."

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo had advised against traveling to red zones abroad and announced checks at the Belgian borders to see whether travelers had filled out the required form. Then random checks should be carried out to determine whether the required quarantine time is being adhered to. "We see that the numbers in our country are developing well," said De Croo. "The last thing we want is to get the virus back into Belgium."

11:31 a.m.: Persistently high numbers of infections are worrying South Korea

Despite significantly fewer corona cases than in Germany, for example, the persistently high number of new infections is also causing concern in South Korea. On Saturday, the health department reported more than 500 new cases for the third day in a row, bringing the total to 33,375 for a population of 51 million. 522 people have died from or with the virus in South Korea since the pandemic began.

Before this week, more than 500 new infections were reported within 24 hours in March. With rigid contact tracking and restrictions, South Korea had come through the crisis comparatively well since then. Since the corona requirements were relaxed in October, the number of cases has increased again, especially in the greater Seoul area, where half of all South Koreans live. There it is becoming increasingly difficult for the health authorities to track infections in clinics, schools and gyms. So new restrictions have been in effect in Seoul since Tuesday.

11.20 a.m.: AfD party conference: Meuthen promises compliance with the requirements

The AfD has opened its controversial federal party conference in Kalkar, North Rhine-Westphalia. The approximately 600 delegates are to decide on the first pension and social concept of the party founded in 2013. The party congress in the middle of the second corona wave had been heavily criticized in advance. Strict hygiene requirements apply to the party congress. Mouth and nose protection must also be worn at the seats, but a complaint from the AfD to the Münster Higher Administrative Court was unsuccessful. AfD boss Jörg Meuthen told NDR Info about the Corona requirements: "We will strictly adhere to this and there will be no exceptions. (...) If someone opposes this, he will be kicked out." Such a meeting in times of the corona pandemic only works with the utmost discipline. "We want to show the republic that this is possible," said Meuthen.

11.00 a.m.: Merkel encourages citizens

Chancellor Angela Merkel encourages the citizens. "We have come a long way," said the CDU politician in her video podcast on the corona crisis published on Saturday. A lot has happened since the coronavirus began to spread, said Merkel. At the beginning of the year one had to deal with a completely unknown virus. "Today we know so much more about the pathways to infection, about the ways to protect yourself, about symptoms and treatment options." Vaccines would be developed in record time. "We can assume that one or more vaccines will not be available on Saint Never, but in the foreseeable future."

Merkel appealed to the people in the country to also adhere to the safety rules during Advent and Christmas. "Let us show people what we are made of by adhering to the rules that apply to us all now - in winter, before Christmas, at the turn of the year -" she said. "Because we will experience that it will be worth it. Because we will be stronger together than the virus."

10:48 a.m.: More than 27,000 new corona cases in Russia

In Russia, the authorities report 27,100 new infections within 24 hours. In the capital Moscow alone, 7,320 people tested positive for the corona virus. In total, more than 2.24 million cases of infection were detected. The number of people who died with or from the virus rose by 510 to 39,068.

10.44 a.m.: Lower Saxony's finance minister rejects corona solos

Lower Saxony's finance minister Reinhold Hilbers speaks out against corona solos. He does not consider this to be "expedient," says the CDU politician on Deutschlandfunk. Lower Saxony's Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD), on the other hand, advocates a corona solos to cushion additional health costs in the pandemic.

Hilbers is also skeptical about the move by Union faction leader Ralph Brinkhaus that from January the states would have to contribute to the costs of closings, for example in the catering trade. "We pay a lot. ... We countries are also getting involved." No level should be redeveloped at the expense of another.

10.12 a.m.: Free State is preparing corona vaccinations

With calculation models and a lot of logistics work, the Free State is preparing for the large vaccination campaign against the corona virus. "As soon as a vaccine is approved, we want to start vaccinating as soon as possible," stressed Health Minister Melanie Huml (CSU). How long it will take to vaccinate all those who want to be vaccinated cannot be reliably estimated at the moment.

For the planned vaccination centers in all Bavarian counties and cities, the Ministry of Health is assuming that two teams of five can vaccinate 100 people within four hours. "A doctor is necessary for such a team," said Huml of the German press agency. The other team members are medical professionals and administrative staff.

9.26 a.m.: Strict exit restrictions in Passau have begun

In view of the sharp increase in the number of corona infections, strict exit restrictions have applied in Passau since Saturday. The measures should initially take a week, as Mayor Jürgen Dupper (SPD) announced on Friday. Passau residents are only allowed to leave their apartment for a valid reason, for example to go to work, to the doctor or to go shopping. There is also a ban on alcohol in public places. The city decrees alternating lessons for grades 7 to 11 - with the exception of final classes at middle and secondary schools. If you want to visit a relative in a nursing home, you have to do a quick test beforehand to prove that you are not infected. On Friday, Passau had a corona incidence value of almost 440 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days.

8:57 a.m.: Altmaier also expects Corona restrictions for 2021

Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU) has agreed to extend the corona lockdown until spring. "We have three to four long winter months ahead of us," Altmaier told the "Welt" on Saturday. "Therefore, unfortunately, we cannot give the all-clear: it is possible that the restrictions will remain in place in the first few months of 2021."

As long as there is an incidence value of over 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in large parts of Germany, the pandemic is not under control. "It was clear to me from the start that there had to be restrictions as long as the number of new infections was above a reasonable level," said Altmaier. "This is not an arbitrary decision, it is based on the efficiency of the health authorities and hospitals."

The heads of the federal and state governments decided on Wednesday to extend and partially tighten the corona requirements until December 20. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) had already made it clear that she was expecting a further extension beyond the turn of the year.

8:36 a.m.: Taxi Association sees thousands of jobs at risk

According to the association, the situation in the taxi industry is worsening dramatically due to the partial lockdown in the Corona crisis. "At the moment we are losing masses of companies, a number of people are losing their jobs and thus their economic existence," said a letter from the Board of Directors and Presidium of the Federal Association of Taxi and Rental Cars to Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD).

In Berlin alone, more than 1,000 taxis were permanently deregistered in 2020. According to the association, there were around 8,100 taxis in Berlin by February. Without additional help, the association expects a nationwide loss of 12,000 companies and around 80,000 jobs in the letter by the end of 2021 - with around 55,000 companies with around 250,000 jobs so far.

8:22 am: Schäuble: "There will be no compulsory vaccination"

Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble has ruled out compulsory vaccination. "We need people's willingness to be vaccinated," said the CDU politician to the "Augsburger Allgemeine". "But there will be no compulsory vaccination. Nobody who bears responsibility wants that." Schäuble was confident that various vaccines would soon be available. "And so, like many others, I will probably be able to say relatively soon after weighing the risks and possible side effects: Yes, I am happy if I can get the vaccination."

8:11 a.m.: Partial lockdown hardly affects the economy

According to economists at leading financial and research institutes, the prolonged partial lockdown in Germany will hardly have any serious effects on the economic strength of the Federal Republic. The industries that are mainly affected, such as gastronomy, the cultural scene or the transport industry, have a comparatively small share of gross value added, said Veronika Grimm, the "economy" and holder of the chair for economics at the University of Erlangen. The hospitality industry, which is currently largely closed, has a share of 1.6 percent of the total gross value added - the industry, which is currently doing relatively well, on the other hand, accounts for around 25 percent and the retail trade, which is also open, around 10 percent. "The economy will not collapse as a result. It is now a matter of getting the affected companies through the crisis well," said Grimm in a survey by the German press agency. That is why the billions spent by the federal and state governments on aid programs are justified.

8:05 a.m.: Survey: majority supports the closure of ski areas

According to a survey, a large majority in Germany would support the closure of ski areas across Europe.In a representative survey by the opinion research institute Civey on behalf of the "Augsburger Allgemeine", 73.8 percent of those questioned stated that it was "unequivocally" or "rather correct" to close all European ski areas for the time being in order to contain the corona pandemic. In Bavaria, where ski areas are not allowed to open until December 20, according to the survey, around two thirds of respondents (68.6 percent) are in favor of a Europe-wide closure.

7:51 a.m.: Over 16,000 new corona infections in Ukraine

In Ukraine, 16,294 new infections were reported within 24 hours. This was announced by Minister of Health Maksym Stepanov. The total number of corona cases in the country is 709,701. The number of people who died with or from the virus rose by 184 to 12,093.

7.44 a.m.: Brinkhaus warns of easing on New Year's Eve

Union parliamentary group leader Ralph Brinkhaus (CDU) fears that the latest resolutions to contain the corona virus will have to be tightened again. "There is a lot of good in it. But I have doubts that they will be enough to sustainably break the corona wave," Brinkhaus told the "Passauer Neue Presse". For example, it is very ambitious to promise easing for Christmas and New Year's Eve. From Brinkhaus' point of view, the main question is whether the planned easing over the holidays should also apply to New Year's Eve. Christmas is very important to many people, as a family festival, as a Christian solemn festival. "New Year's Eve is first and foremost a party - it is also important, but not as important as Christmas. We must not tear down through a boisterous night of partying, which was worked out hard for two months," he said.

7:32 a.m.: City Day: Countries should provide enough staff for vaccinations

The German Association of Cities has asked the federal states to quickly provide enough medical staff for corona vaccinations. "If the vaccine is there, the vaccinations must not fail due to a lack of staff," said City Council President Burkhard Jung of the dpa news agency. "The federal, state and local governments all want the vaccinations to be a success," emphasized Jung. They are a crucial component in fighting the corona pandemic. "The cities of course actively support the construction and operation of the vaccination centers. They are able to quickly make the necessary organizational preparations. That means, for example, renting and equipping buildings." The costs incurred by the municipalities would have to be offset by the federal, state and health insurance companies. The vaccinations themselves are the responsibility of the statutory health insurance associations and their resident doctors, according to the Mayor of Leipzig. "Due to the pandemic, the medical staff of the health authorities will remain at full capacity for the foreseeable future and will not also be able to take care of the vaccinations mobile vaccination teams to take care of. "

07.18 a.m.: Hoteliers demand opening for family visits over Christmas

The Bavarian Hotel and Restaurant Association (Dehoga) has asked the Free State to allow hotel stays for family visits over Christmas - as is also planned in other federal states. "Our factories have not been closed because staying with us is dangerous, but because people should move as little as possible," said Thomas Geppert, state manager of Dehoga Bayern, the Münchner Merkur.

"That is why we consider it expedient if visits to relatives are equated with business trips," said Geppert of the newspaper. This is especially true for Christmas. "When people visit their relatives, they could spend the night in a company with a functioning hygiene concept."

07.16 a.m.: 5,000 companies are waiting for bridging aid

Around 5,000 Bavarian companies are currently waiting for the promised Corona bridging aid II to be paid out. The first applications were made in October, but only 127 payments had been made by Friday, the German press agency learned from business circles.