The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Wednesday, 17 March)
Berliners vaccinated with one vaccine dose: 8.6 per cent (8.08 per cent Tuesday)
New cases in one day: +630 (+662 Tuesday)
Total number of corona deaths: 2,956 (+9 over Tuesday)
🔴 R number: 1.22 (1.42 Tuesday)
🔴 New infections per week: 91.3/100,000 inhabitants (75.1 Tuesday)
🟡 Share of Berlin ICUs occupied by Covid-19 patients: 17.3 per cent (16 per cent Tuesday)
The lowdown ...
Berlin is AZ-ready
The European Medicines Agency is expected to announce its decision on whether AstraZeneca can continue to be used after 13 EU countries suspended vaccination with the vaccine. If it gets the go-ahead, Berlin - which has fridges full of the stuff - will be able to start administering AZ shots on Friday. In the meantime, educators and cops are being offered a choice of the other brands. Which seems fair: Kita workers have been found to have the highest risk of infection in Berlin, according to a study by AOK.
The Berlin Club Commission - bless their poor souls - have put forward a six-point plan to "reactivate" nightlife. The plan includes pilot events which will be monitored by scientists to see if corona measures are sufficient. The first event will be a concert at Säälchen at Holzmarkt on 27 March. Guest list spot? Dream on. Looks like mostly journos and officials will attend. Other aspects of the plan: quick tests at the door, app-based entry management, and a public awareness campaign on hygiene measures. Fingers crossed. This was kind of already announced and involves lots more venues.
Cosmetic surgery boom
Germany's cosmetic surgeons say demand for their services has risen significantly during the pandemic. Liposuction is currently popular - perhaps due to pounds gained on the sofa during lockdown. Surgeons also say people are getting nose jobs and the like now precisely because they will be able to stay home and be spared the embarassment of explaining to co-workers and friends why their post-surgery face is bruised and bandaged.
In case you missed it ....
Israel, as we know, is the global pioneer in corona vaccinations. Read our interview with Israeli government advisor Avi Simhon for an inside look in the country's corona strategy.
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That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team