🚥 The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Sunday, 17 January)
New cases in one day: 284 (495 Saturday)
Total number of corona deaths: 1,833 (+11 over Saturday)
🔴 New infections per week: 160.2/100,000 inhabitants (164.1 Saturday)
Source: Berlin's coronavirus status page
New Merkel meeting
Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany's 16 state premiers will be meeting virtually with leading scientists today ahead of their lockdown review meeting tomorrow - which had originally been planned for next week. Concern over the more infectious Covid variant in the UK is one reason for the meeting, so British experts will be there, too. In terms of potential new lockdown rules, vice chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has said the current full lockdown could be extended for another two weeks from January 31, while economic minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) says compulsory working from home, a requirement to wear super-filtering FFP2 masks on trains and a nighttime curfew could be introduced, as well as clearer contact restrictions.
Vaccine centre no. 3
After the Arena in Treptow and Erika Hess ice rink in Wedding, the third of Berlin's six planned vaccination centres is opening today, at the Messe in Charlottenburg. Here, the Biontech/Pfizer jab will be administered from 9am-6pm every day, with a maximum daily capacity of 3,800 innoculations. Temperature checks will be performed on everyone arriving for their vaccination - anyone with a fever will be sent home.
"Compulsory admissions" for serial lockdown offenders?
Some of Germany's regions are introducing a drastic anti-corona strategy - admitting repeat lockdown rulebreakers to facilities like hospitals or young offenders' institutions. The practice already exists in extreme cases when ordered by a judge, but is about to be rolled out at two clinics in Baden-Württemberg, which will be staffed with security personnel. According to Bild am Sonntag, Berlin's health administration isn't ruling it out either, "for example, in a hospital". Welt am Sonntag also reported that Brandenburg's Ministry of Social Affairs is for setting up a specific facility - offenders have been housed in hospital so far.
In case you missed it...
English Edition boss Maurice Frank's take on why Germans aren't as orderly as they'd like to think has generated much discussion. Read it here in English, or here in German if you're feeling extra ordnungsfreudig.
That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team