The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Thursday, 15 April)
Berliners vaccinated with one vaccine dose: 17.7 per cent (17.1 per cent Wednesday)
New cases in one day: +1,022 (+1,327 Wednesday)
Total number of corona deaths: 3,143 (+9 over Wednesday)
🟢 R number: 0.99 (1.18 Wednesday)
🔴 New infections per week: 151.4/100,000 inhabitants (140.8 Wednesday)
🔴 Share of Berlin ICUs occupied by Covid-19 patients: 26.3 per cent (27.1 per cent Wednesday)
The lowdown ...
Parliament debating Merkel's update to infectious disease legislation
Friday morning, the Bundestag lower house of parliament discussed the governing CDU-SPD coalition's proposal to amend Germany's Infectious Disease Law, an attempt to implement uniform corona regulations across the country. Speaking at the podium, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) stepped up the rhetoric: "The virus does not negotiate, it understands only one language: the language of determination." The amendment would impose strict nighttime curfews and other harsher rules on regions with an incidence rate above 100 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week. The curfew is especially contested. Even parliamentarians belonging to Merkel's coalition partner, the SPD, are questioning whether a nationwide curfew would be a step too far.
Meanwhile, a coalition of "non-essential" stores calling itself "Retailers help retailers" says it is considering challenging current corona legislation in the Constitutional Court. The companies, including sporting goods and fashion stores, complain they're being unfairly treated compared to offices, for example, where large numbers of people continue to work together indoors without masks.
Record number of corona shots in one day
The Robert Koch Institute says a record 739,000 corona vaccinations were adminstered in Germany on Wednesday. About 6.4 per cent of the population has been fully inoculated.
Volunteer election helpers can skip the vaccination queue
To carry out the national and local elections on 26 September, Berlin needs about 34,000 volunteers to oversee voting and count ballots. Under the corona regulations Wahlhelfer*innen, as they're known, belong to vaccination group 3, to which normally only people over 60 belong, meaning volunteers can get the jab earlier than normal. Hence, authorities are recording more interest than usual in the job this year. Only German citizens can apply. The helpers receive between €50 and €60 compensation for their efforts - in addition to the vaccination.
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That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team