German health minister Jens Spahn gets implanted with a chip while gaining immunity against various flu strains (we made up the chip part).
Photo:Hannibal Hanschke/AP

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

🚥 First, the official corona stats for Berlin (tallied Wednesday, 14 October)

🟢 R number: 0.92 (1.09 Tuesday)

🔴 New infections per week: 76.3 / 100,000 inhabitants (71.5 Tuesday)

🟢 Share of Berlin ICUs occupied by Covid-19 patients: 4.5 per cent (3.8 per cent Tuesday)

Total number of corona deaths: 236 (no change)

Source: Berlin's coronavirus status page 

The lowdown...

Angie warns of disaster

On Wednesday the chancellor met with the heads of the 16 German states to hammer out uniform corona rules for "hotspots", regions where new infections over the past 7 days have surpassed 50 per 100,000 inhabitants. The result of the meeting was pretty bleh: basically a formalisation of what Berlin (itself a hotspot) already has in place: bars and restaurants must close at 11pm, 10-person limit to private parties and masks, masks, masks! The whole thing just wasn't good enough for Angie who predicted the paltry measures could lead to disaster. Read the full story here.

Stricter regs on hospital visits

Prompted by rising coronavirus infections, the city health department announced new regulations on visits to hospitals. Patients and mothers with newborn babies can be visited by one person for one hour per day. A newborn's under-16 siblings can come too. Exceptions can be made for terminally ill and dying patients. The rules kick in on Saturday.

No quick tests for das Volk

German health minister Jens Spahn shot down hopes that "quick tests" were a silver bullet that would be made widely available to the general public. The country was producing 1.5 million tests per week, Spahn told ARD breakfast TV on Thursday, but most of them were reserved for healthcare workers and people in care homes.

Flu vaccines, please

Speaking Wednesday, Spahn urged certain segments of the population to get a flu shot this autumn. He said over-60-year-olds, healthcare workers and pregnant women should get vaccinated – to prevent the healthcare system from becoming overtaxed as hospitals gradually fill up with Covid-19 patients.

In case you missed it...

Günther Krabbenhöft, aka "Berlin's oldest hipster", wrote a book on how to live the good life. Our fun interview with Krabbenhöft has been surprisingly popular with readers. Good vibes for these dark times.

That's all for now folks. Have a healthy Thursday!

Yours,

The Berliner Zeitung English team

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