Today's Berlin corona news in 60 seconds

+++ New federal lockdown law +++ Reserve hospital ready +++ British variant +++ The stats +++ 

Merkel at Tuesday's cabinet meeting.
Merkel at Tuesday's cabinet meeting.AFP

Berlin - Every weekday at 11am come to the Berliner Zeitung English Edition for the corona/Covid-19 news at a glance.

The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Monday, 12 April)

Berliners vaccinated with one vaccine dose: 14.64 per cent (14.38 Sunday) 

New cases in one day: +539 (+493 Sunday)

Total number of corona deaths: 3,127 (+4 over Sunday)

🟢 R number: 1.12 (0.96 Sunday)

🔴 New infections per week: 115.4/100,000 inhabitants (114.1 Sunday)

🔴 Share of Berlin ICUs occupied by Covid-19 patients: 26.3 per cent (25.8 per cent Sunday)

Sources: Berlin's coronavirus status page

The lowdown ...

Federal lockdown legislation

Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet Tuesday approved draft legislation to change the country's infectious disease law to end regional differences in lockdowns. To get the amendment swiftly passed in both houses of parliament, the chancellor will now need the help of opposition politicians since an expedited procedure requires a 2/3 majority. However, representatives of both Die Grüne (Greens) and the business-friendly FDP have said they oppose different parts of the leaked draft legislation. The law would spark automatic lockdowns as well as a 9pm to 5am curfew any time the incidence in a county stays above 100 for three days. Schools could remain open until the incidence hits 200. The bill now goes to the Bundestag, or lower house of parliament.

The reserve hospital

A €31m corona hospital built at the Berlin convention centre in Charlottenburg may soon be called into action as patient numbers at the city's intensive care units rise and patients from nearby states are brought to Berlin for treatment. The 86-bed facility would be used to treat less severe cases to free up capacity and resources in local clinics. "We've seen an increase since 20 March of about 58 per cent in the usage of intensive-care beds and about 36 per cent in other peripheral in-patient beds," Moritz Quiske, spokesperson for health minister Dilek Kalayci (SPD), said. 

UK variant now most common

About 86 per cent of the new corona virus cases in Berlin involve the more contagious British variant of the virus, health minister Kalayci said.

In case you missed it ....

Over 60s still have about a week to volunteer for the AstraZeneca vaccine at Tempelhof. 

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That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!


The Berliner Zeitung English team

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