🚥 The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Monday, 7 December)
New cases in one day: 640 (355 Sunday)
Total number of corona deaths: 699(+16 over Sunday)
🟢 R number: 1.20 (1.05 Sunday)
🔴 New infections per week: 186.1/ 100,000 inhabitants (182.9 Sunday)
Source: Berlin's coronavirus status page
Is a hard lockdown on its way?
With more than 400 Covid-19 deaths being reported daily and the national incidence rate of 156 still stubbornly above the target of 50 new cases per 100,000 over seven days, German experts are calling for stricter measures to combat the pandemic. Members of the Leopoldina Academy of Sciences in Halle have appealed to politicians to impose a stricter lockdown between now and mid-January to slow the spread of the virus.
In a statement, 28 scientists said a near total shutdown of public life and any group activities was required, included a longer-than-usual Christmas school vacation from 14 December to 10 January. Signatories include Charité virologist Christan Drosten and Robert Koch Institute president Lothar Wieler.
Politicos seem to be getting the message. Berlin mayor Michael Müller (SPD) has "not ruled out" more restrictions on retail and schools before Christmas. There's talk of holding another emergency video conference between chancellor Angela Merkel and the 16 state premiers this Thursday to discuss possible additional measures.
So why aren't current lockdown light measures helping? Frank Schlosser from Humboldt University has been analysing mobile phone data to track changes in people's mobility during the pandemic: "Pandemic-fatigue has set in and caused people to react differently to the restrictions and the illness." He says the level of mobility has dropped far less this autumn than during the first lockdown in March.
In case you missed it...
Post-corona, Europe wants to be greener. Part of the plan to tackle climate change is to promote rail travel. Several countries are cooperating and plan to launch new night train routes in 2021.
That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team