Berlin has a huge international community. The Senate Administration of Health is trying to reach its members with an important message. The essence of it: “Get vaccinated and follow the Corona rules.”
Kaufbeuren, August 8th, 2021 (The Berlin Spectator) — “Attention, dear Berliners”, the city state’s government said in a statement to its international inhabitants earlier this week. “Please travel carefully. Protect yourself from the Coronavirus, particularly the dangerous Delta variant”, the message to expatriates reads. “When you return, please follow all entry regulations and quarantine rules”. The word Berlin is trying to get out to its big international crowd is rather polite, considering those who do not adhere to the rules in question will have to pay high fines if caught. The city is trying to make it sound as if people had a choice. They do not.
Incidence Septuples within a Month
“The best protection for you and for others around you is vaccination”, the message continues. “Take advantage of the vaccination service at at your doctors or at vaccination centers. This will contribute to us achieving herd immunity. Thank you for your solidarity.” Sure, this sounds a lot better than “Get vaccinated right now or you will have to pay your own Corona tests. Besides, you will get excluded from public life.”
Berlin does have reasons to worry. Its Seven Day Incidence has septupled within a month. It now stands at 37.9. Things look bad in the city’s big Neukölln district, where the Incidence reached 55.7. Yet again, Neukölln is one of Germany’s Corona hotspots. Three more Berlin districts are above 40. They are Reinickendorf, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg and Mitte. The only positive aspect is the fact that the number of hospitalized Corona patients is still low, compared to the situation Berlin was facing last winter. Back then, hundreds of people were treated at Corona wards and ICUs. Today, there are 87 Corona patients at Berlin’s clinics, 41 of them in intensive care. Twenty-three are connected to respirators.
Far Away from Herd Immunity
The rising Corona numbers are the reason the next Corona conference with Angela Merkel and the heads of government in Germany’s sixteen federal states was preponed. On Tuesday, its participants will discuss several big questions, including this one: Should persons who test negative for Corona be treated like vaccinated individuals? Or should they be excluded from public events and from visiting restaurants? What this issue is concerned, an argument is already going on behind the scenes. The conservative CDU’s candidate for Chancellor and First Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, insists on the same rights for tested, cured and vaccinated people.
Laschet will have to convince Bavaria’s First Minister Markus Söder, his Saxonian colleague Michael Kretschmer and Chancellery Minister Helge Braun. They want to give vaccinated persons more rights than those with tests. This kind of approach could apply more pressure on people to finally get vaccinated. Germany is still far away from the herd immunity it wants. By now, 54.4 percent of all Germans have been fully vaccinated, but at least 85 percent are needed.
Corona Traffic Light System
Another subject the Chancellor, thirteen First Ministers, one Governing Mayor and two First Mayors intend to talk about is less difficult: They intend to look for a new formula that could be used to show the Corona situation in the future. At this stage, the Seven Day Incidence level is what Germany mainly looks at. Soon, more factors are supposed to be part of the formula, including the number of Corona patients at hospitals. Some first ministers demand a “traffic light system” which takes into account several kinds of data. Berlin and other federal states already have systems of this kind.
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