Friday's Berlin corona news in 60 seconds
+++ No school +++ Kids can get vaccinated +++ Testing fraud +++ The stats +++
The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Friday, 28 May)
Berliners vaccinated with one vaccine dose: 40.1 per cent Thursday (39.4 Wednesday)
New cases in one day: +281 (+120 Thursday)
Total number of corona deaths: 3,465 (+5)
🟢 R number: 0.53 (0.58 Thursday)
🔴 New infections per week: 35/100,000 inhabitants (34.1 Thursday)
🟢 Share of Berlin ICUs occupied by Covid-19 patients: 13.9 per cent (14.9 per cent Thursday)
The latest news
School's out for summer
The education department is right to keep schools in hybrid classes rather than return to regular schedules ahead of summer vacation, Tom Erdmann, the head of Berlin's teachers' union, told newswire dpa. Adults aren't allowed back in offices yet so kids shouldn't return to what is effectively their offices either. Education officials have come under fire from parents looking for a few weeks of relief after months of juggling jobs and parenting duties because most kids are spending the majority of their time at home. Brandenburg schools, for example, will re-open 31 May but Berlin officials are clinging to the pipe dream that pupils will somehow be vaccinated before the new school year starts in August.
That said, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the heads of the country's 16 states on Thursday agreed to allow kids 12 and older to be vaccinated beginning 7 June. The government has promised to make it possible for every kid to get a vaccination by August as long as the European Medicines Agency clears the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine for the use - the approval is expected by next week at the latest as other governments including the US and Japan have already greenlighted the drug for kids. Germany will lift restrictions on adult vaccines 6 June but supplies remain limited.
Corona test centre operators must provide little proof that they actually conduct tests on eligible residents to receive money from the government, leading to widespread fraud, according to a joint report by Süddeutsche Zeitung and regional broadcasters NDR and WDR. The centres merely have to tell a doctors' association how many tests they performed to pocket €18 per test. They don't have to provide proof of who the patients were or that they ever even bought tests to be used in their centres. Once again, we all missed a moneymaking opportunity that was literally in front of our noses.
In case you missed it ...
Our co-workers on the German side took a look at some of Berlin's most unique test centres.
Sign up for our weekly Ze Newsletter to keep informed with minimal Denglisch.