🚥 The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Thursday, 10 December)
New cases in one day: 1,656 (1,348 Wednesday)
Total number of corona deaths: 768 (+19 over Wednesday)
🟢 R number: 0.95 (0.95 Wednesday)
🔴 New infections per week: 201/ 100,000 inhabitants (193.4 Wednesday)
Source: Berlin's coronavirus status page
Is it called a lockdown heavy then?
The Berlin mayor, Michael Müller, also moonlights as the city-state's premier. He went on Germany's second-most annoying talk show last night (Markus Lanz) and said he and the 15 other state premiers are discussing a real lockdown, starting 20 December and lasting until (at least) 10 January, because the Lockdown Light has not halted the disease. Schools and all but essential businesses will be closed. There will be stricter contact limits and maybe curfews. Saxony, Bavaria and now Baden-Wuerttemberg have already agreed on the new lockdown for themselves.
Vaccination centres slightly off their timeline
Only the centres in Arena in Treptow, the convention hall 21 in Charlottenburg and a hangar at Tempelhof will be ready-as-promised 15 December, construction head Albrecht Broemme said in an interview with our paper. Although internet and phone lines have been laid in all six centres, the construction of clean rooms where the serum is mixed has proven problematic – each location is unique and the centres must be custom-built.
About that vaccination ...
But it doesn't matter because vaccinations won't begin in Berlin until mid-January at the earliest because European regulators aren't expected to approve the drug until the end of December. And Berlin will only initially get 720,000 doses, below the 900,000 originally ordered. Pfizer and Biontech over-promised. Two doses are required and people over 80 as well as medical and care personnel will be vaccinated first, Robert Koch Institute, the government's health wing, said.
In case you missed it...
Online learning would be one way to help kids get through this pandemic were it not for Germany's obsession with privacy and fax machines. A case study: Brodowin elementary has to battle parents and bureaucracy.
That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team