The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Monday, 22 February)
New cases in one day: +287 (73 Sunday)
Total number of corona deaths: 2,740 (+12 over Sunday)
🟢 R number: 1.24 (1.2 Sunday)
🔴 New infections per week: 57.2/100,000 inhabitants (56.5 Sunday)
🟡 Share of Berlin ICUs occupied by Covid-19 patients: 19.5 per cent (20.7 per cent Sunday)
Source: Berlin's coronavirus status page
The lowdown ...
Angie imagines a plan
Following a meeting of CDU top brass on Monday, Angela Merkel said she could imagine a three-step post-lockdown relaxation and reopening plan for (1) social contact, (2), schools and (3) culture venues, sport and restaurants/bars. True to form, she's appointing a working group to present such a plan at the next federal-state corona summit on 3 March. One can only shake one's head and ask, what took you so long? You've had all winter.
And yet the decline in infections has stopped: the R-number has risen again. And that pesky "British mutation" now accounts for about a quarter of infections in Germany. Despite these setbacks, politicians across Germany are again engaging in Öffnungsdiskussionsorgien (as Merkel put it last year). Every state is cooking up its own concept. The Bavarians, for example, want to open garden centres and hotels ASAP. Many had hoped that mass-scale quick corona testing would speed up the reopening process but health minister Jens Spahn's recent suggestion to provide free rapid testing kits by 1 March has evaporated. The idea will be on the table at the 3 March meeting though. At least you'll be able to get a haircut next week.
Biontech boss Ugur Şahin provided some hope with his prediction that Germany will achieve herd immunity by the end of the summer. Speaking at the Digital Life Design online conference, Şahin said the fact that more people had been vaccinated in Germany (3.3 million) than the number of recorded corona cases (2.4 million) was a "big success".
In case you missed it ....
The Netflix series Unorthodox has been nominated for multiple Golden Globes. Check out Elizabeth Rushton's interview with the show's Berlin-based writer and producer Anna Winger.
That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team