🚥 The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Sunday, 7 February)
New cases in one day: +156 (222 Saturday)
Total number of corona deaths: 2,470 (+4 over Saturday)
🔴 New infections per week: 70.5/100,000 inhabitants (70.1 Saturday)
Source: Berlin's coronavirus status page
Kalayci: No lockdown easing at incidence rate of 50
Berlin's health minister, Dilek Kalayci (SPD), says we shouldn't expect any easing of current lockdown rules once the weekly incidence rate of new corona cases per 100,000 people drops below 50. The goal is for the number to drop below 30. The presence of several more contagious variants of the virus in Germany was one of the reasons for her caution, she said. Kalayci also urged Berliners: "We have reduced the number of infections, including among the elderly, but we must be careful not to throw away what we've achieved so far."
Jabs for Kita staff
The German Education Union (GEW) is calling for the 33,000 staff in Berlin's Kitas to be prioritised in corona vaccination efforts. A study by AOK found this group to be the most at risk during the pandemic, with no other profession recording as many employees calling in sick with the virus between March and October 2020. Regional GEW boss Doreen Siebernik told press agency dpa: "This is not only about protecting staff themselves, but also about stopping chains of infection in centres." Kita staff are currently in the third vaccination category ("increased priority"), but kids in Germany are not expected to get vaccinated until the end of 2021 or early 2022.
Won't someone please think of the animals?
Although their outdoor viewing areas are still open, Berlin's zoos have recorded huge losses in the pandemic. A spokeswoman told dpa that the Zoo and Aquarium Berlin and the Tierpark lost about half their income in 2020, predicting losses of €12 million. However, she said they were "overwhelmed" by public donations, receiving €900,000 between December 2020 and January 2021 - double the total from the same period last year. The Zoo and Tierpark have received corona aid from Berlin's city government to help meet their daily operating costs of €140,000.
In case you missed it...
Running out of things to do during these long lockdown evenings? Fear not - get some inspo from our list of TV highlights from Germany's public broadcasters and don't let that Rundfunkbeitrag go to waste.
That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team