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Berlin: Number of New Corona Infections Hits All-Time High

Berlin has never had 301 new Corona infections within 24 hours, until yesterday. The number of Berlin districts with high Seven Day Incidence Numbers is increasing as well.

Berlin, October 6th, 2020 (The Berlin Spectator) — In Berlin, 301 new Coronavirus cases were reported on Monday. It is the highest number ever recorded since the first Corona wave struck the German capital in March. As it turns out, this is not the only problem. Now, as many as seven Berlin districts have high Seven Day Incidence Numbers.

Out of Control

That number shows how many new Corona infections there in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants. Spandau and Reinickendorf reported values of above 34, which is high. From 35, the alarm bells ring in the sense that action is recommended to get the numbers down or at least to slow down the growth. The Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district hit 43.7, which is a lot higher than it should be.

Tempelhof-Schöneberg, Mitte and Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg all have Seven Day Incidence Numbers between 50 and 60. This is where the values are already alarming. In Neukölln, yet another large Berlin district, the number now stands at 87.6, which means that the infection situation seems to be getting out of control. For all of Berlin, the Incidence Number is 41.5.

Numbers with Implications

The only good news item in Berlin is the fact that the number of Corona patients who need to be treated at hospitals has hardly changed in the past days. One hundred and eleven Berliners are being cared for at clinics. Thirty-nine of them are in intensive care.

Based on the numbers, it is safe to say that the better part of Berlin is a Corona hotspot. This has implications. First of all, living in those districts is generally becoming more dangerous with numbers of this kind. Secondly, residents and visitors of some affected districts, namely, Mitte, Neukölln, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg and Tempelhof-Schöneberg, now have to go into quarantine when they travel to the northern federal state of Schleswig Holstein. Or they need to produce two negative Corona tests.

Spahn Criticizes Kiel

This means that more than 1.3 Germans are already restricted what their freedom of movement within parts of Germany is concerned. Berliners from the districts in question will not be allowed to spend their fall vacations in Schleswig-Holstein. Employees for transport companies are exempt from those rules up there in Germany’s north-west. So are MPs and EPs. There are fines of up to 10,000 Euro (11,775 U.S. Dollars or 9,076 Pounds Sterling) for violations.

Not everyone is happy with the solo action taken in Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein’s capital, including Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn. He said it was not helpful to split up Berlin into districts in this context. The MP and health expert Karl Lauterbach said it was hard to establish where a person could still go without mandatory quarantines.

Müller Slams Party Crowds

On RBB television, Berlin’s Governing Mayor Michael Müller said a curfew was an option. “If we do not act now we will have another lockdown”, he stated. He slammed those party people in several of the city’s parks by saying there were a few hundred individuals who are endangering “the successes we have had in the past months”. The police keep on ending illegal outdoor parties in Berlin.

Müller also wants to put the authorities into a position in which they can collect fines for violations of the hygiene rules at restaurants and pubs on the spot, he explained. He also said the health authorities needed more personnel.

Avoiding Second Lockdown

On Monday, Michael Müller and the districts decided to cooperate more closely in the fight against Corona. The Governing Mayor had welcomed several Senators and representatives from the districts affected at Red City Hall. After the meeting, the participants said another lockdown needed to be avoided at all cost.

The state-owned company ‘VisitBerlin’ just stopped all advertising for Berlin as a tourist destination, because of the serious Corona situation in the city. ‘Visit Berlin’s CEO Burkhardt Kieker told the RBB network, as long as there were reports about Berlin’s Corona hotspots all over the country, advertising visits to the German capital was inappropriate.

Three Thousand New Cases

On a nationwide level, things do not look good either. In Germany, more than 3,000 new Corona infections were reported between Monday and Tuesday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University. This is the highest number since March.

Even the Berlin Bundestag now has a mandatory mask rule. As of today, MPs are required to wear masks whenever the distance rule cannot be followed, unless they are in their own offices. In the assembly room, members may take off their masks while they hold their speeches.

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