🚥 The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Sunday, 24 January)
New cases in one day: 160 (463 Saturday)
Total number of corona deaths: 2,040 (+1 over Saturday)
🔴 New infections per week: 110.3/100,000 inhabitants (111 Saturday)
Source: Berlin's coronavirus status page
Stop talking about an end to restrictions
Our mayor, Michael Müller, told this paper Sunday that it is too early to talk about loosening restrictions in mid-February as the effects of the current lockdown as well as the UK mutation are not yet clear. Several conservative politicians from the CDU, including Saxony's top pol Michael Kretschmer, told media over the weekend that schools and kindergartens should re-open around Valentine's Day followed by hair salons and then retail. "The mood is darkening," CDU parliamentarian Georg Nüßlein told a paper in Augsburg. "We need to take a different route than now, in mid-February at the latest."
The UK virus mutation
The Charite's Virchow branch in Wedding as well as the Humboldt hospital in Reinickendorf both have confirmed cases of the new UK corona mutation. The Humboldt hospital has now ceased accepting new patients after 14 patients and 6 staff members tested positive. Most alarming is that none of the patients in Reinickendorf have any connection to a trip to the UK, indicating the mutation may be more prevalent in Berlin than hoped.
As it turns out, Biontech and Pfizer aren't the only companies incapable of producing the amount of vaccines they promised - Astrazeneca now is also having trouble meeting promised deliveries, which could be very problematic. The EU had placed its hopes in the UK/Swedish company and lengthy delays would put EU citizens even further behind (Israel, for example, is already vaccinating select teenagers) and could spark a fresh row between the UK and the EU if Astrazeneca favours the former member - the vaccine was developed in cahoots with Oxford University. Nothing like the chaos of free market economics to make a bad situation worse.
In case you missed it...
Getting tested used to akin to getting an appointment at the Ausländerbehörde but these days it seems like private corona testing centres in Berlin are as prevalent as Spätis thanks to lax oversight.
That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team