Today's corona news in 60 seconds

+++ Merkel upbeat about vaccine +++ Corona demo violence +++ Bundestag blowback +++ The stats +++

Karsten Hilse of the far-right AfD wears a scarf to cover his mouth and nose as he arrives to speak during a debate at the Bundestag on Friday morning.
Karsten Hilse of the far-right AfD wears a scarf to cover his mouth and nose as he arrives to speak during a debate at the Bundestag on Friday morning.Photo: Odd Andersen/AFP

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

🚥 The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Thursday, 19 November)

New cases in one day: +1,251 (Wednesday +1,572)

Total number of corona deaths: 422 (+21 over Wednesday)

🟢 R number: 0.94 (0.97 Wednesday)

🔴 New infections per week: 222.1 / 100,000 inhabitants (236 Wednesday)

🟡 Share of Berlin ICUs occupied by Covid-19 patients: 23.4 per cent (23.8 per cent Wednesday)

Source: Berlin's coronavirus status page 

The lowdown...

Merkel: let the vaxxing begin

Following a video call with EU leaders Thursday, Chancellor Angela Merkel said she believes a coronavirus vaccine will be ready for general use by mid-December or early January. "It has to be said that the news of the last few days regarding the development of a vaccine is very encouraging." Meanwhile, the state of Berlin has begun work setting up six vaccination centres across the city. One will be in the fairgrounds (Messe), another in the Arena event venue. Healthcare and emergency service workers will be the first to get the jab.

Tuesday demo report: dozens injured, hundreds arrested

Berlin police has presented its final report on Tuesday's large demonstration against the government's new corona measures near the Brandenburg Gate. Some 77 officers were injured, 365 protesters were arrested for violating hygiene rules or in a few cases, attacking police officers. The police used water cannons against the crowd, the first time in seven years (last time it was at a neo-Nazi demo), but didn't turn on the high pressure jets because children were spotted amongst the demonstrators, a police spokesman told taz newspaper. 

Bundestag debate after AfD let in rightwing YouTubers 

This morning the Bundestag will debate possible disciplinary measures against AfD politicians who allowed four far-right anti-corona demonstrators into the building as "guests" during Wednesday's protest. A Bundestag police report identified three culprit MPs. Economics minister Peter Altmeier (CDU) was filmed being harrassed by rightwing YouTuber Rebecca Sommer, while Green parliamentary leader Anton Hofreiter and others reported similiar incidents- and spoke of people trying to barge into members' personal offices. Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) says he wants to "examine all legal possibilities to take action" against the demonstrators - and those who granted them access.

In case you missed it...

Berlin's nightlife businesses have been hit harder than most by the corona restrictions. We checked in with a bar and a karaoke club to see how they were weathering the crisis. Find our piece here: "Berlin clubs stuck between a lockdown and a hard place."

That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!


The Berliner Zeitung English team

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