Today's corona news in 60 seconds

+++ Greens in quarantine +++ Berlin cases could be four times higher +++ X-mas lockdown fears +++ the stats +++

Members of Berlin's local government are gathering today for a full assembly - minus some Greens.
Members of Berlin's local government are gathering today for a full assembly - minus some Greens.Imago Images

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 Wednesday, 4 November)

New cases in one day: +1,148 (Tuesday +1,513)

Total number of corona deaths: 272 (+7)

🟢 R number: 0.77 (0.92 Tuesday)

🔴 New infections per week: 182.5 / 100,000 inhabitants (178.1 Tuesday)

🟡 Share of Berlin ICUs occupied by Covid-19 patients: 18.2 per cent (17.1 per cent Tuesday)

Source: Berlin's coronavirus status page 

The lowdown...

Local parliament hit by corona quarantine... again

Yesterday we brought you the awkward news that Berlin mayor Michael Müller was in corona quarantine after the BER opening at the weekend - and he's now not the only one from Berlin's local government. Ahead of today's planned meeting of Berlin's house of representatives, Die Grüne's health policy spokesperson Catherina Pieroth has tested positive for the virus, so she and several other Greens won't be there.

These small outbreaks raise questions about whether the new rise in corona cases could limit local government work - at least half of all members must be present for a valid full assembly to take place. Berlin policymakers propose reducing the size of large committees from 19 to 12 members, and of the full assembly of 160 seats by 25 per cent, as was done in the spring. Unsurprisingly, the AfD opposes the idea.

Infections could be four times higher than recorded

Patrick Larscheid, medical officer for Reinickendorf district, says he suspects the numbers of those infected with corona in Berlin to be as much as four times higher than thought - and the risk of catching the virus is now higher than it was in spring. He said "we can no longer afford" an approach of only testing people with corona symptoms, despite the fact the virus is often asymptomatic. He also warned of outbreaks in retirement homes and care facilities in the near future, although these have been relatively safe so far.

Half of Germans fear Christmas in lockdown

A YouGov survey assessing public attitudes at the start of Germany's second lockdown has had mixed results. 52 per cent fear lockdown will still be keeping households apart at Christmas, and 62 per cent are expecting a festive period without Christmas markets, church services or New Years celebrations. 10 per cent said they felt angry and reported struggling with loneliness in the pandemic, while one per cent said they felt panicked. But it's not all bad - 19 per cent said they felt relaxed in spite of everything.

In case you missed it...

The present is stressful, so we've got another highlight from our B History magazine for you to read. More here on what kept the wheels turning in 1920s metropolis Berlin.

That's all for now folks. Stay safe!


The Berliner Zeitung English team

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