🚥 The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Tuesday, 22 December)
New cases in one day: 1,504 (953 Monday)
Total number of corona deaths: 1,066 (+42 over Monday)
🟢 R number: 0.98 (1.10 Monday)
🔴 New infections per week: 216.7/ 100,000 inhabitants (218.2 Monday)
Source: Berlin's coronavirus status page
It's become routine to type the words "a record number of people died of Covid-19 in a 24-hour period." It feels dehumanising and depressing to do, but here we are again. The Robert Koch Insitute registered 962 Covid-19 deaths in Germany yesterday.
So much for Germany's exemplary corona policies. They're clearly failing.
Strict lockdown till past 10 January?
With record deaths and an incidence rate hovering around 200 new cases per 100,000 people per week, don't get your hopes up that the rules will be relaxed anytime soon. Economy minister Peter Altmeier, speaking to dpa newswire, put it this way: "As all of Germany is a giant hotspot, relaxations [of restrictions] practically forbid themselves." Ok, that's Denglisch, but you get it.
Drugs still a thing
German drug commissioner Daniela Ludwig, speaking to the Rheinische Post newspaper, said this year's lockdown measures – no nightlife and so on – have not resulted in less consumption of illegal drugs and alcohol. She said the illegal drug trade had been affected but had simply shifted its distribution strategy: "The drugs now no longer come into the country by plane, but increasingly by ship, and internet trafficking has also increased." Or, as we found out, they're being grown at home.
In case you missed it...
For something more uplifting, read our Egyptian colleague Moustafa Daly's story Meet the Syrian refugee fighting homophobia with belly dance.
That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team