🚥 The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Monday, 8 February)
New cases in one day: +284 (156 Sunday)
Total number of corona deaths: 2,485 (+15 over Sunday)
🔴 New infections per week: 71.1/100,000 inhabitants (70.5 Sunday)
Source: Berlin's coronavirus status page
At least six more weeks?
German doctors continue to see no alternative to the lockdown. Despite a decline in the number of severe cases of Covid, intensive care wards remain stretched, warned the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (Divi) in Munich on Monday.
"Of course we can't continue the lockdown indefinitely," said association president Gernot Marx. But he said it was imperative to extend the current measures beyond mid-February. "We should discuss it again at the beginning of March." Don't get your hopes up, though. Marx expects the situation to remain critical at least through Easter (4 April).
On Wednesday, Angela Merkel meets with the 16 state premiers to discuss extending the lockdown beyond Valentine's Day.
EU re-ups on Biontech/Pfizer
Is the tanker - as EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen recently referred to the EU - beginning to change course? The commission says it has ordered 200 million additional doses of the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine and holds an option on a further 100 million. What took y'all so long?
Minister says he's sorry for slow business aid
Economics minister Peter Altmeier likes to call himself the "advocate of business" but he's come under fire for his ministry's sluggish rollout of aid for firms pummeled by the pandemic. Speaking on Bild Live, Altmeier said "I apologise for it taking so long. If I had seen any way to speed it up, I would have done it." Germany's corona aid is a confusing patchwork of state and federal programmes and till recently bickering between authorities about who would set up which plaform and sort out the software issues caused long delays in the application and payout process. Berlin businesspeople who need support can find the info on the Investitionsbank Berlin website.
In case you missed it...
Brooklynite turned Berliner Syd Atlas' husband fell terminally ill with ALS - then had an affair and moved out. She's written a book about the experience.
That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team