Today's Berlin corona news in 60 seconds
+++ Schools re-opening +++ Record vaccinations +++ New orbit for Sputnik? +++ The stats +++
The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Thursday, 8 April)
Berliners vaccinated with one vaccine dose: 13.13 per cent (12.93 Wednesday)
New cases in one day: +923 (+545 Wednesday)
Total number of corona deaths: 3,110 (+12 over Wednesday)
🟢 R number: 0.63 (0.7 Wednesday)
🔴 New infections per week: 100.7/100,000 inhabitants (110.5 Wednesday)
🟡 Share of Berlin ICUs occupied by Covid-19 patients: 23.9 per cent (23.7 per cent Wednesday)
Sources: Berlin's coronavirus status page
The lowdown ...
Berlin Thursday agreed to re-open schools Monday in the same form as before spring break. Students in grades 1 to 6 as well as 10 to 13 will have hybrid classes (half online, half in school). Beginning 19 April, grades 7 to 9 will also begin hybrid schooling. Attendance isn't mandatory in schools during the pandemic. However, those who choose to attend in-school classes will have to be tested twice a week for corona at their school. Students were previously allowed to test themselves at home.
Corona policy tiff
A planned corona summit between the federal government and the country's 16 states on Monday may be replaced with a debate in the Bundestag, the country's lower house of parliament. State and federal politicians are sparring over who should have the say in corona policy. The chancellery as well as the head of the states have also been criticised for making decisions without consulting democratic bodies, like the Bundestag.
The country has set vaccination records two days in a row since family doctors began giving the jabs to their patients. On Wednesday 668,799 injections were given, more than twice the previous day, with 719,927 on Thursday. Doctor associations all along have been saying they should be vaccinating. They appear to have been right.
Sputnik orbit moving closer to Germany
First Bavaria, then Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and now Germany: Politicians admit they're in talks to buy the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia - as soon as the European Medicines Agency approves it (which is expected in July). German health minister Jens Spahn said in a TV interview that the deliveries would have to happen sooner rather than later because at some point there will be enough of the other vaccines available. Side note: A pharmaceutical manufacturer in Bavaria will likely be contracted to produce the vaccine, a possible reason for the sudden interest.
In case you missed it ....
Tiktok has been one of the big winners of this pandemic, and it's made stars out of many a Berlin immigrant, including an Australian secondary school teacher.
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That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team