Today's corona news in 60 seconds

+++ BSR strike +++ daycare closures +++ more mask rules? +++ hospitalisations up +++ the stats +++ 

The emergency corona hospital in one of Berlin's trade fair buildings. Unused so far.
The emergency corona hospital in one of Berlin's trade fair buildings. Unused so far.Christoph Soeder/dpa

Berlin-Every 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 Monday, 19 October)

🟢 R number: 1.20 (1.19 Sunday)

🔴 New infections per week: 89.2 / 100,000 inhabitants (86.9 Sunday)

🟢 Share of Berlin ICUs occupied by Covid-19 patients: 5.3 per cent (no change)

Total number of corona deaths: 241 (no change)

Source: Berlin's coronavirus status page 

The lowdown...

27 daycare centres closed in Berlin

Just one per cent of the 2700 daycare facilities (Kitas) in the city have been closed due to corona outbreaks, a spokesperson for the department of education said on Monday. Based on studies, including one by Charité hospital, daycare centres are not driving the current increase in infections. 

More rules coming?

The Berlin Senat is meeting today to discuss further anti-coronavirus measures, including a possible masks requirement for busy shopping streets and outdoor markets. We'll keep you posted.

Hospitalisations on the rise

Currently, 300 patients are being treated for Covid-19 in Berlin clinics. According to Germany's Intensivregister, which tracks ICU capacity across the country, 90 people are in intensive care, 39 of whom are being treated with ventilators. Berlin has a total of 1238 ICUs (which must also cater to patients suffering from other conditions). Of those, only 197 are free - not including an additional 451 emergency beds that can be made available at short notice. At the highpoint of the first wave of the pandemic last spring, about 600 people were being treated for the disease simultaneously in Berlin hospitals. 

Trash collectors on strike

Remember back in the spring when we were clapping for essential workers from our balconies? The garbage men and women of state sanitation company BSR unquestionably belong to that group and today they are striking for more pay - an average of an additional €150 per month. If you notice that the bins in your yard are overflowing and remain uncollected today - take a second and spare a thought for them. 

In case you missed it...

Anna Funder's book Stasiland - which looks into the lives of ordinary East Germans who were persecuted by the Stasi - is a classic of post-Wall literature. Thirty years after German reunification we gave her a ring. Read our interview here.

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


The Berliner Zeitung English team

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