The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Wednesday, 14 April)
Berliners vaccinated with one vaccine dose: 17.1 per cent
New cases in one day: +1,327 (+677 Tuesday)
Total number of corona deaths: 3,134 (+6 over Tuesday)
🟡 R number: 1.18 (1.14 Tuesday)
🔴 New infections per week: 140.8/100,000 inhabitants (127.6 Tuesday)
🔴 Share of Berlin ICUs occupied by Covid-19 patients: 27.1 per cent (26.6 per cent Tuesday)
The lowdown ...
Digital vaccination passport by summer
Sources within the German government told dpa that a vaccination passport in the form of a smartphone app would be ready in time for the summer school holidays - the implication being that summer travel could be made easier for people who have received a corona vaccination. Reportedly, the vaccine info will only be stored on the user's phone and not on a server. People who don't own a smartphone would receive a sticker with a scannable QR-code containing the holder's vaccination data.
Spahn for stricter lockdown now
The uptick in vaccinations and testing isn't preventing exponential growth of infections in Germany, according to German health minister Jens Spahn. At a joint press conference with Robert Koch Institute president Lothar Wieler Thursday morning, the minister called for stricter lockdown measures to be implemented immediately in regions with an incidence rate of over 100 - without waiting for the federal government's amendment to the Infection Act to go through parliament next week. Currently, the national incidence rate lies at about 160 new infections per 100,000 people per week. At 140.8, Berlin isn't far behind.
The RKI president said 5,000 Covid patients were being treated in intensive care units in Germany. He expects that number to rise to 6,000 by the end of April, which could push the health system to the limit.
No masks in court?
The president of Berlin's district court, Hans-Michael Borgas, says court employees do not have to wear masks at the workplace. The courts are not businesses, he told the BZ newspaper, and therefore don't fall under the corona rules. In March, a Berlin judge submitted a constitutional complaint about masks in the courtroom, arguing they were a hindrance to being able to speak freely.
In case you missed it ....
The Hamburger Bahnhof museum is open for those with a current negative corona test. Our art critic checked out a provocative new video installation there by French artist Pauline Curnier Jardin.
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That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team