🚥 The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Monday, 16 November)
New cases in one day: +1,337 (Sunday +432)
Total number of corona deaths: 371 (+8 over Sunday)
🟡 R number: 1.20 (1.25 Monday)
🔴 New infections per week: 224.8 / 100,000 inhabitants (209.1 Sunday)
🟡 Share of Berlin ICUs occupied by Covid-19 patients: 22.1 per cent (21.4 per cent Sunday)
Source: Berlin's coronavirus status page
First, the good news
Germany's disease specialists, the Robert Koch Institute, announced 14,419 new infections Tuesday, below the 15,332 of a week ago, indicating the lockdown may be working – last week the numbers continued to climb but growth appeared to be slowing.
No decision is also a decision
Chancellor Merkel and the heads of Germany's states met Monday but passed no new corona regulations because they disagreed on what should be done. But they hope to agree next Wednesday, 25 November, on regulations that will remain in force into the new year. Still, they agreed to advise people to further reduce social contacts and forego any parties until Christmas. People, including kids and teens, are asked to limit contact to just one other household. Risk patients are also supposed to be able to buy 15 FFP2 masks at a steep discount to boost protection measures.
Staggered school starts
Starting Wednesday, always-on mask regulations will apply for all secondary schools, meaning pupils will now have to wear masks during breaks and in the schoolyard in addition to during lectures and in hallways between classes. Berlin state education minister Sandra Scheeres also wants schools to start at different times to lessen the chance of infection during commutes. Officials will meet on Monday to figure out how exactly that will work. The education department is also continuing to distribute 480,000 masks it bought for students and staff.
Fireworks this year again, unfortunately
As every year ahead of Silvester, the Green party Monday attempted to have New Year's fireworks forbidden, this time blaming corona. Unfortunately for household pets, small children and anyone wanting to walk a Berlin street during the post-Christmas season with normal blood pressure, the city's interior ministry said the senseless ignition of black powder will be allowed again this year as area hospitals apparently don't have enough to do and can re-attach an errant finger or two.
In case you missed it...
That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team