The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Thursday, 18 March)
Berliners vaccinated with one vaccine dose: 8.4 per cent (8.24 per cent Wednesday)
New cases in one day: +629 (+630 Wednesday)
Total number of corona deaths: 2,967 (+11 over Wednesday)
🟢 R number: 1.22 (1.42 Wednesday)
🔴 New infections per week: 97.6/100,000 inhabitants (91.3 Wednesday)
🟡 Share of Berlin ICUs occupied by Covid-19 patients: 16.8 per cent (17.3 per cent Wednesday)
The lowdown ...
AstraZeneca back on the menu
Now that the European Medicines Agency has effectively re-approved the AstraZeneca vaccine, Berlin's state health minister Dilek Kalayci has said those whose vaccination appointments were halted should just show up at the centre where they had an appointment to get their shot. Also, the Tegel and Tempelhof centres will re-open. The centres have added extra hours over the weekend to accomodate the expected increased traffic.
Why not a German-cation?
Manuela Schwesig (SPD), the top politician in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, criticised the federal government for allowing people to travel to Mallorca over the Easter holiday (29 March to 10 April in Berlin) while discouraging them from a "contact-less" holiday in a holiday house or apartment in her picturesque northern state that borders the Baltic Sea. She, like seemingly everyone else, said family doctors need to be quickly included in the vaccination programme.
Meeting to discuss doing something
Chancellor Angela Merkel and the heads of this country's 16 states are meeting once again today (vaccination summit!) to discuss the best way forward for the vaccination programme. May we suggest fewer meetings and more action? We'll keep you posted of what they decide (which always includes a decision on when to meet again).
Public transit unpopular
Germany's DLR aerospace outfit asked 1,001 Berliners and 501 Brandenburgers at the end of November how they now felt about public transit. Sixty per cent in both now feel less safe in public transit and 27 per cent of Berliners felt safer in cars compared to 18 per cent of our neighbours. The percentage of people relying solely on cars has climbed to 34 per cent from 25 per cent in Berlin and to 56 per cent from 42 per cent in B-Burg.
In case you missed it ....
Since the chancellor and state premiers are meeting again today, we thought we'd remind you of the time one of them told us what he does during such meetings: Play Candy Crush. Seems about right.
Don't miss an article: sign up to Ze Newsletter!
That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team