🚥 The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Sunday, 13 December)
New cases in one day: 548 (1,038 Saturday)
Total number of corona deaths: 821 (+8 over Saturday)
🟢 R number: 0.99 (0.98 Saturday)
🔴 New infections per week: 192.3/ 100,000 inhabitants (188.9 Saturday)
Source: Berlin's coronavirus status page
Yes, virtually everything's shutting down on Wednesday
In case you missed it, Berlin and the rest of Germany is imposing a stricter lockdown from Wednesday. Most shops will close – as will schools and daycare. All the details here.
Berlin running out of ICUs
According to public broadcaster rbb, 9 out of 10 intensive care beds (1,130 of 1,217) of are now occupied, thanks to the recent surge in corona cases. Nearly a third of the currently available ICU spots are filled by Covid-19 patients. Authorities say 400 additional emergency ICUs can be set up within a week. Then there is the corona field hospital at the Messe in Charlottenburg with 500 beds – but this is only intended to house less serious Covid-19 patients. Hospitals have also been hit by staff shortages and corona quarantining.
Altmaier: No last-minute shopping, please
German economy minister Peter Altmeier(CDU) appealed to Germans to restrain from storming the shops this Monday and Tuesday ahead of the lockdown that begins Wednesday. Speaking to Bild on Sunday, he said, "I wish and I hope that people will only buy the bare necessities and food that they really need." Altmeier recommended purchasing gift certificates online rather than heading to stores and potentially spreading the virus. Some FDP and CDU politicians are saying shops should open 24/7 on Monday and Tuesday to prevent overcrowding.
In case you missed it...
German-American couple Melissa und Christian Günther opened up an American-style bar and restaurant in Kreuzberg smack in the middle of the pandemic. Read their story here.
That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team