The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Tuesday, 16 March)
Berliners vaccinated with one vaccine dose: 8.08 per cent (7.85 per cent Monday)
New cases in one day: +662 (+208 Monday)
Total number of corona deaths: 2,947 (+5 over Monday)
🔴 R number: 1.42 (1.46 Monday)
🔴 New infections per week: 91.3/100,000 inhabitants (75.1 Monday)
🟡 Share of Berlin ICUs occupied by Covid-19 patients: 16 per cent (16.9 per cent Monday)
The lowdown ...
It's the incidence, stupid
Incidence Monday: 75.1. Incidence Tuesday: 91.3. But Berlin's government yesterday hinted that even if it does pop up above 100, the current situation would likely remain (retail, museums and schools sort of open). At the same time it delayed further plans for opening that were scheduled for 22 March.
Kids back in school
Pupils in potentially terminal classes - think grades 6, 10, 12 and 13 - headed back into school today for class at half-capacity. Younger children have already been in school since earlier this month and officials Tuesday agreed to ignore a court order saying grades 7 to 9 also had to return or it would violate those kids' constitutional rights.
Volunteers for AstraZeneca?
Our mayor, Michael Müller (SPD), Tuesday said he hoped to make the the AstraZeneca vaccine available to people outside the government's priority list to ensure it's used - if it's re-approved. Only 57,000 of the 437,000 doses administered in Berlin were from AstraZeneca. He will also push to allow family doctors to provide vaccinations ASAP when he meets with other state heads Thursday. Müller's not a flashy pol but he's making sense, kind of like a Ford estate wagon.
Sputnik ready for lift-off
While the European Medicines Agency works on its approval of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, Russia has already signed production agreements in Germany, France, Italy and Spain in preparation, according to TASS news agency. The German deal was probably with IDT Biologika in Dessau-Roßlau, one of a trifecta of biotechs that received €750 million in vaccine development subsidies from the German government. Biontech was also one of the three but that apparently doesn't guarantee Germans access to the vaccine.
In case you missed it ....
You can get a free quick-test a week now. Having done it yesterday in Prenzlauer Berg, I found it was super-easy, super-quick and probably a massive money maker for the entrepreneurs who had the foresight to open centres.
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That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team