Latest coronavirus updates

Lauterbach: "We will win the fight against the pandemic" +++ Here you find the most important news about the spread of the disease in Germany.

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07.12.2021: Lauterbach: "We will win the fight against the pandemic"

Berlin (dpa) - "We will win the fight against the pandemic, and we will be better equipped for further pandemics," said the designated Health Minister Karl Lauterbach during his presentation at the SPD headquarters in Berlin. The occupation of the post of Minister of Health has been the most discussed question in Germany in the past few days. On Monday, the SPD decided in favour of the 58-year-old epidemiologist and health economist.

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06.12.2021: Doctors' representative: Vaccinate as much as possible at weekends

Berlin (dpa) - In order to achieve the goals of the vaccination campaign, the chairwoman of the doctors' union Marburger Bund, Susanne Johna, believes that massive efforts are also needed at weekends. "People have time on Saturday and Sunday and would also get boostered in much larger numbers," Johna told the newspapers of the Funke Mediengruppe. "No expense or effort should be spared now to advance the vaccination campaign." He said it was absolutely right to reach about 30 million vaccinations by Christmas.

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05.12.2021: Omicron co-discoverer Preiser: precursors of the variant have been around for a very long time

Stellenbosch (dpa) - Precursors of the recently discovered corona variant Omikron may have existed for a very long time, according to their co-discoverer from Germany. "According to current knowledge, an early form of Omikron evolved as a separate virus type even before Alpha and Delta emerged," said Wolfgang Preiser of Stellenbosch University near Cape Town. He is a member of the research consortium that discovered the variant. This type of virus then presumably evolved over many months without attracting attention, Preiser said. "The question is: Why did Omikron remain hidden for so long and only now get going? Were one or two mutations still missing to be able to spread quickly?" Omikron could be the dominant variant in Europe in just a few months, according to the EU health authority ECDC.

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04.12.2021: Poland and Switzerland to be high-risk areas as of Sunday

Berlin (dpa) - Due to high Corona infection figures, the German government is classifying Poland and Switzerland as high-risk areas from Sunday. Anyone entering from a high-risk area who is not fully vaccinated or recovered will have to be quarantined for ten days and can be exempted with a negative test no earlier than five days after entry.

The neighbouring countries Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands are also considered high-risk areas. This is automatically linked to a travel warning issued by the Foreign Office against unnecessary tourist trips. It makes it easier for tourists to cancel booked trips free of charge, but does not mean a travel ban. Thus, as of Sunday, more than 60 countries are fully or partially considered high-risk areas.

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03.12.2021: Survey: Large majority for stricter measures

Cologne (dpa) - The proportion of German citizens who also consider a "lockdown", including the closure of shops, clubs and leisure facilities, exit and contact restrictions and a ban on larger events, to be right if the number of infections continues to rise, is 70 percent. And meanwhile 73 percent of German citizens are in favour of a general vaccination obligation. This was the result of a Forsa survey commissioned by RTL and ntv.

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02.12.2021: Biontech boss: Vaccine also protects in case of Omikron

Mainz/Washington (dpa) - Biontech boss Ugur Sahin is confident that Corona vaccines will also protect against severe courses of disease in the case of Omikron and subsequent other virus variants. Omikron is not the first Corona variant to emerge, Sahin said. In addition to the ongoing laboratory tests to investigate the new Corona variant, the Mainz-based vaccine manufacturer is also working on the development of an adapted vaccine - as a preventive measure in case it might become necessary.  No one should lose their nerve over Omikron, rather the aim now is to give everyone booster vaccinations as soon as possible, Sahin said.

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01.12.2021: Future Federal Chancellor in favour of compulsory vaccination

Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor-designate Olaf Scholz is arguing for a general vaccination obligation in Germany from the beginning of March at the latest. "My proposal is that the date by which everyone will then have been vaccinated is also not too far away, so my proposal: the beginning of February or the beginning of March," Scholz said on Tuesday after a federal-state conference on the Bild television channel. He made it clear, however, that the decision on compulsory vaccination lies with the Bundestag.

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30.11.2021

30.11.2021: "Emergency brake" constitutional

Karlsruhe (dpa) - The federal government was allowed to impose exit and contact restrictions in the third wave of the pandemic in spring via the so-called Corona emergency brake. The measures had significantly interfered with various fundamental rights, but were compatible with the Basic Law "in the extreme danger of the pandemic", the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe announced on Tuesday. The Federal Government's ordering of alternating lessons and school closures was also approved by the Constitutional Court. Today, Angela Merkel (CDU), the current chancellor, and her designated successor, Olaf Scholz (SPD), want to discuss the further course of action in the crisis with the state premiers by telephone.

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29.11.2021

29.11.2021: Corona crisis team to start soon

Berlin (dpa) - The Corona crisis team planned by the future government coalition in the Chancellor's Office could start its work within the next few days and thus even before the government of SPD, Greens and FDP takes office. According to FDP leader Christian Lindner, the permanent federal-state body is to start in the new week, SPD leader Saskia Esken said on Twitter "shortly" as a time horizon.

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28.11.2021: Omicron variant of coronavirus also in Germany

Berlin (dpa) - The omicron variant of the coronavirus discovered in southern Africa has reached Germany. According to the Max von Pettenkofer Institute, the variant, which is classified as a cause for concern, was detected in Munich in two travellers who had arrived on a flight from South Africa on 24 November. The authorities in Hesse are investigating the case of another traveller returning from South Africa who, according to the Ministry of Social Affairs, is "highly suspected" of having the virus. The virus variant is apparently spreading rapidly, with cases now being reported from many countries. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier urged citizens to prevent a lockdown by voluntarily restricting contact.

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27.11.2021: Measures against new coronavirus variant

Berlin (dpa) - Due to the spread of a new coronavirus variant in southern Africa, the German government is drastically restricting entry from a total of eight countries in the region. South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Eswatini, Malawi and Lesotho will be classified as virus variant areas as of Sunday, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced. Airlines are thus essentially only allowed to transport German citizens or persons living in Germany from there to Germany. However, this is not a flight ban. A two-week quarantine obligation applies to those entering the country - even for those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered. It cannot be shortened by negative tests.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) classified the variant B.1.1.529 as "variant of concern" on Friday. Experts fear that the many mutations of the variant will cause the pathogen to spread more quickly or the vaccines to lose their protective effect. 

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26.11.2021: South Africa to become a virus variant area

Johannesburg/Berlin (dpa) -Germany will declare South Africa a virus variant area because of the newly emerging coronavirus variant B.1.1.529 there. The regulation will come into force on Saturday night, and airlines will then only be allowed to transport German citizens to Germany, the acting Federal Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, announced on Friday morning. If necessary, South Africa's neighbouring countries would also be affected. Experts fear that the B.1.1.529 variant could be highly contagious due to an unusually large number of mutations and could also penetrate the protective shield of the vaccines more easily.
 

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25.11.2021: More than 100,000 Corona deaths in Germany

Berlin (dpa) - The number of people in Germany who have died from or with Corona has exceeded the threshold of 100,000 deaths. The total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic is now 100,119, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). The health offices recently reported 351 deaths to the RKI within 24 hours. The seven-day incidence reached another peak on Thursday and now stands at 419.7 infections per 100,000 inhabitants within one week. The number of new infections reported within one day exceeded the threshold of 70,000 for the first time. According to RKI data, the health offices reported 75,961 new Corona cases in 24 hours.

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24.11.2021: Seven-day incidence exceeds 400 for the first time

Berlin (dpa) The number of new Corona infections registered within one day has once again reached a new high. In addition, the nationwide seven-day incidence rose above 400 for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the Robert Koch Institute on Wednesday. The Institute gave the value of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week at 404.5. For comparison: the day before, the value was 399.8, a week ago 319.5 and in the previous month 106.3. The health authorities in Germany reported 66,884 new Corona infections to the RKI within one day - compared to 52,826 infections exactly one week ago.

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23.11.2021: Social psychologist: Lax pressure on unvaccinated people has the opposite effect

Marburg (dpa) - According to a social psychologist, compulsory vaccination could change the attitude of vaccination opponents rather than just continuing to build up pressure to vaccinate. "A substantial part of the population has walled itself off in the self-image of not getting vaccinated," says Marburg social psychologist Ulrich Wagner. In their "bubble", this opinion is constantly reaffirmed and reinforced. "If political pressure is exerted, there is a danger that this bubble will become even tighter. Just being lukewarm and lax about increasing pressure leads to encapsulation. A clear announcement could lead to the fact that even opponents of vaccination who are actually walled off will eventually get vaccinated and then subsequently change their convictions," Wagner believes. Changing one's mind and defending it against the group is very difficult, he says. Compulsory vaccination would bring "a new argument into play, both for one's own conviction and against the group. "The external compulsion would be an excuse."

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22.11.2021: Biontech founder: vaccine protection still very high after 9 months

Berlin (dpa) - According to company founder Ugur Sahin, the protection against a severe corona disease is very high for the Biontech vaccine up to the ninth month. This was shown by recently published studies, Sahin told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag. However, the vaccination protection starts to decrease "from the fourth month". Sahin therefore advocated booster vaccinations. "On the one hand, a booster protects the vaccinated person very well against illness, but it also helps to break further chains of infection." This could help us through the upcoming difficult winter.

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21.11.2021: Belgium and most of the Netherlands now high-risk areas

Berlin (dpa) - Due to a sharp rise in the number of infections, Belgium and a large part of the Netherlands have been classified as Corona high-risk areas since Sunday. Greece, which is popular with holidaymakers, and Ireland also fall into this category according to a classification by the Federal Government. Anyone entering from a high-risk area who has not been fully vaccinated or has not recovered must be quarantined for ten days and can be exempted from this at the earliest five days after entry with a negative test.

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20.11.2021: Bavaria: Tough corona countermeasures

Munich (dpa) - Bavaria is reacting with tough countermeasures to the rising corona infection figures: Starting next Wednesday (24 November), strict contact restrictions will apply to unvaccinated people. Only a maximum of five people from two households will be allowed to meet - only children under 12 will not be counted, nor will vaccinated persons.

All clubs, discos and bars will have to close for the next three weeks, and there will be no Christmas markets this year. Cultural and sporting events will only be allowed to take place on a much smaller scale: with a maximum capacity of 25 per cent of spectators and with compulsory testing even for vaccinated persons. In extreme hotspots, large parts of public life will also be shut down. Schools and day-care centres, however, are to remain open throughout Bavaria.

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19.11.2021: Demand for drastic Corona measures

Berlin (dpa) - The President of the Robert Koch Institute, Lothar Wieler, has called for much tougher measures to be taken in the ever worsening Corona situation. "We must now pull the emergency brake," Wieler said. There needs to be a "massive reduction in contact to slow the spread of the virus". Wieler called for staying at home if possible, cancelling large events, reducing the number of people at smaller events and closing "hotspots such as poorly ventilated bars and clubs". "The whole of Germany is one big outbreak. This is a national emergency," warned the RKI president.

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18.11.2021: Future prize for Biontech vaccine developers

Berlin (dpa) - The developers of the Corona vaccine from Biontech have received one of the most important honours in German science. On Wednesday evening, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier awarded the German Future Prize 2021 to the team around the company's founders Özlem Türeci and Ugur Sahin, saying they had succeeded in an unprecedentedly short time in developing a vaccine against covid-19 based on mRNA technology and bringing it to the approval stage with completed studies. The award for technology and innovation is endowed with 250,000 euros.

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17.11.2021: Corona restrictions for the unvaccinated

Berlin (dpa) - Under pressure from rapidly rising Corona numbers, many federal states in Germany are tightening Corona rules: There are restrictions especially for the unvaccinated. In Baden-Württemberg, only vaccinated and recovered people have access to museums, restaurants and events since Wednesday. In Hamburg, unvaccinated people will no longer be allowed in bars and clubs from Saturday. In Thuringia, stricter access rules apply to large parts of public life, and in North Rhine-Westphalia for adults in the leisure sector.

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16.11.2021

16.11.2021: Stricter Corona rules planned

Berlin (dpa) Because of the worsening Corona situation in Germany, the possible government partners SPD, Greens and FDP are planning stricter measures to slow down the spread of the virus. Among other things, a 3G rule is planned for local and long-distance public transport. Only people with proof of vaccination, convalescence or testing would then be allowed to travel. It should also be possible to introduce new contact restrictions. An amended Infection Protection Act is to be passed in the Bundestag on Thursday. SPD, Greens and FDP are currently negotiating the formation of a federal government.

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15.11.2021: Corona incidence exceeds 300 for the first time

Berlin (dpa) - In Germany, the seven-day incidence has once again risen to a new high. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week at 303.0 on Monday morning. The previous day, the figure had been 289.0, and a week ago it was 201.1. Health authorities in Germany reported 23,607 new Corona infections to the RKI within one day. Last Thursday, the number of new infections reached a record high of 50,196 since the beginning of the pandemic. Exactly one week ago, the figure was 15,513 infections.

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14.11.2021: Research team proves massive lung damage caused by Corona

Mainz - An international team of researchers led by the Mainz scientist Dr Maximilian Ackermann has been able to prove for the first time that Corona can damage the blood vessels of the lungs. According to the study, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, when it enters the lungs, can cause blood vessels in the lungs to become blocked. This happens due to excessive blood clotting in the affected organ. These research results were made possible by a new, highly innovative X-ray technique. The researchers examined the lungs of COVID-19 victims in cooperation with the European Synchrotron Research Facility (ESRF), the world's third largest particle accelerator in Grenoble, France. With high-resolution X-rays, a three-dimensional image of the complete organ could be generated for the first time. Ackermann's team was one of the first users of this new technology.

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13.11.2021: Germany brings back free rapid Corona tests

Berlin (dpa) - In the fight against Corona infections, free rapid tests are once again available to all in Germany. As of today, the federal government is reintroducing the "citizen tests" offer, which was severely restricted only a month ago, on a broad front, as stipulated in a decree issued by the caretaker health minister Jens Spahn. This means that everyone is now once again entitled to at least one rapid test per week by trained staff - also regardless of vaccination or convalescent status. The test certificates can also serve as proof for access rules to certain indoor spaces and events.

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12.11.2021: Infectiologist: Many people are tired of the pandemic

Rostock (dpa) - According to the Rostock infectiologist Emil Reisinger, the enormous increase in the number of Corona infections is also due to an increasing pandemic fatigue among people. "The AHA rules and the wearing of protective masks are being observed less and less despite the acute threat," he said. Yet it is well known that the most important protection against infection comes right after vaccination, he said, with the wearing of masks.

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11.11.2021: Merkel for quick clarification

Berlin (dpa) - In the increasingly critical Corona situation in Germany, pressure is growing to quickly establish additional protective measures. Angela Merkel (CDU), the acting chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, called for urgent coordination with the federal states. The possible future government partners SPD, Greens and FDP want to introduce their own plans for the winter course in the Bundestag this Thursday. They are also looking at more restrictions for the unvaccinated and more speed in vaccinations. Corona rapid tests should soon be available again free of charge on a broader front.

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10.11.2021: Drosten sees "emergency situation“

Berlin (dpa) - Virologist Christian Drosten expects "a very strenuous winter" and also considers new contact restrictions conceivable. "We have a real emergency situation right now," said the head of virology at Berlin's Charité hospital in view of the situation in intensive care units on the NDR podcast "The Coronavirus Update". "We have to do something right now." In doing so, measures "which we actually hoped to have behind us" must also be discussed, Drosten said. "So now we probably have to control infection activity again through contact measures - not probably, but certainly." Health offices in Germany reported more new Corona infections to the Robert Koch Institute than at any time since the pandemic began. They transmitted 39,676 new cases within one day, according to figures released by the RKI on Wednesday morning.

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09.11.2021

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09.11.2021: Possible new government coalition plans 3G in the workplace

Berlin (dpa) - A return to free Corona rapid tests, 3G (vaccinated, recovered, tested) at the workplace and financial aid for clinics are intended to curb the drastically rising Corona numbers. This was announced in Berlin by representatives of the possible new government coalition of SPD, Greens and FDP. At the same time, the previous legal basis for drastic Corona restrictions is to expire despite the worsening Corona situation.

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08.11.2021: Highest incidence since the beginning of the pandemic

Berlin (dpa) - The 7-day incidence of new infections has reached its highest level since the start of the Corona pandemic. The Robert Koch Institute reported the number of confirmed cases per 100,000 inhabitants per week at 201.1 on Monday morning. The previous record value was reached at the peak of the second Corona wave on 22.12.2020 with 197.6.

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07.11.2021: Karliczek praises drug research

Berlin (dpa) - Acting Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek has welcomed the latest success stories in the field of anti-covid drugs. In addition to vaccination, safe and effective therapeutics are crucial to be able to cope with the pandemic, the CDU politician told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur. "The reports from Pfizer on the application for approval and Merck & Co. on the successful approval of their Covid-19 drugs are therefore good news for all of us." Pharmaceutical company Pfizer had reported that it had an effective pill in the fight against the Corona pandemic that was very successful in preventing severe disease progression in high-risk patients. An interim analysis of test results had shown that the drug reduced the risk of hospital admissions and deaths in Covid 19 patients by 89 per cent. Previously, the UK Medicines Agency had approved a tablet developed by pharmaceutical companies Ridgeback Biotherapeutics and Merck to treat Covid-19. The antiviral is safe and effective in reducing the risk of hospital admissions and deaths in covid patients with mild and moderate courses, a UK government statement said. Karliczek pointed out that the Ministry of Research was advancing drug research against Covid-19 with several funding measures and strengthening companies in the development of their drugs.

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06.11.2021: Ethics Council Vice-Chairman in favour of compulsory vaccination for some groups

Berlin (dpa) - In view of rising corona infection figures, the deputy head of the German Ethics Council, Julian Nida-Rümelin, has spoken out in favour of introducing compulsory vaccination for certain groups. For example, for medical staff and teachers, or from a certain age, compulsory vaccinations would be "ethically justified in view of the numbers", Nida-Rümelin said in a podcast of the "Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger" and the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND). Nida-Rümelin is a German philosopher. Under Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, he was Minister of State for Culture.

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05.11.2021: Corona booster vaccinations for all

Lindau (dpa) - In view of the worsened Corona situation in many regions of Germany, the federal and state governments want to make booster vaccinations possible for all vaccinated persons after six months. To this end, the federal states envisage, among other things, vaccination buses and vaccination centres, said Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) after a meeting of the federal and state ministers in Lindau on Friday. Doctors in private practice would also be involved in booster vaccinations. "Boosters after six months should become the rule - not the exception." He said this was particularly true for the elderly and the staff of nursing and health care facilities.

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04.11.2021: Record high in new corona infections

Berlin (dpa) - The number of new daily infections with the corona virus has risen to a record level in Germany. Health authorities reported a total of 33,949 new corona infections to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) within one day, as the RKI announced on Thursday. A week ago, the figure was 28,037 infections. The previous record was 33,777 cases on 18 December 2020. The nationwide seven-day incidence - the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within one week - is now 154.5.

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03.11.2021: Stricter Corona rules in some federal states

Berlin (dpa) - In view of the tense Corona situation, some federal states in Germany are tightening measures to contain the pandemic. In Baden-Wuerttemberg, stricter rules apply from Wednesday for people without a Corona vaccination: anyone who has not been vaccinated or has recovered must show an expensive PCR test for numerous leisure activities in enclosed spaces - for example in restaurants, cinemas, swimming pools, museums or canteens. Tighter regulations are also planned in Bavaria and Saxony. In Bavaria, among other things, the compulsory wearing of masks by pupils in class is to be reintroduced.

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02.11.2021: Bundeswehr flies Corona patients from Romania to Germany

Berlin (dpa) - The Bundeswehr is flying seriously ill Corona patients from Romania to Germany for treatment. For this purpose, an Airbus A310 of the German Air Force landed in Bucharest on Monday, the Bundeswehr Medical Service wrote on Twitter. A total of six patients were to be brought to Germany by air. Only just under a third of Romanians are fully vaccinated, according to the EU health authority. The 14-day incidence of new infections recently rose to over 1000 per 100,000 inhabitants, one of the highest in the EU.

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01.11.2021: Phone calls shorter again after Corona high

Munich (dpa) - After people made phone calls significantly longer than before in the first Corona year, some normality is now returning. In August and September, a mobile phone call in the O2 network lasted on average about 2 minutes and 40 seconds, the network operator Telefónica announced. In contrast, in the various lockdown months since the start of the pandemic, callers were on the phone 30 to 60 seconds longer. The reason for this: Because of the Corona restrictions, citizens were less on the move and no longer met friends or family on the spot, but made phone calls to them.

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31.10.2021: Corona levels higher than a year ago

Berlin (dpa) - The nationwide seven-day incidence has again risen significantly. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week at 145.1 on Saturday. For comparison: A year ago, the value was 104.9. The health offices in Germany reported 21,543 new corona infections to the RKI within one day. This figure was 18,681 a year ago.

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30.10.2021: Two thirds of Germans vaccinated against Corona

Berlin (dpa) - The vaccination rate in Germany has reached the two-thirds mark: according to data from the Robert Koch Institute, 66.6 per cent of the population have now been fully vaccinated against the corona virus. There are still considerable regional differences in the current status of Covid 19 vaccinations: While 78.1 per cent of people in Bremen have complete vaccination protection, the figure in Saxony is 56.6 per cent. Meanwhile, 41.2 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds nationwide have already been vaccinated against Corona. No vaccine has yet been approved for younger children. Meanwhile, the nationwide seven-day incidence is 145.1, significantly higher than a year ago.

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29.10.2021: Labour market defies pandemic

Nuremberg (dpa) - The number of unemployed in Germany fell sharply to 2.377 million in October thanks to a continuing autumn revival, according to the Federal Employment Agency in Nuremberg. The unemployment rate thus stands at 5.2 per cent. "Unemployment and underemployment are falling sharply, employment and corporate demand for new staff are increasing, and short-time work continues to decline," said Detlef Scheele, head of the Federal Agency's Executive Board.

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28.10.2021: Corona restrictions to be phased out gradually

Berlin (dpa) - The SPD, Greens and FDP want to phase out the legal basis for drastic Corona restrictions such as curfews by 25 November. According to the will of the possible coalition partners of a future federal government, the "epidemic situation of national scope" should end after about 20 months. Until spring, however, the federal states are to be allowed to set less comprehensive guidelines. By 20 March at the latest, there should be an end to all Corona restrictions.

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27.10.2021: Medical consultations via video consultation increase strongly

Berlin (dpa) - In the Corona crisis, medical consultations via video consultation have increased strongly. In the first half of 2021, there were more than 2.25 million such digital contacts at the practices of doctors and psychotherapists, according to an evaluation by the Zentralinstitut für die kassenärztliche Versorgung. Before the pandemic, no 4,000 video consultation hours had been billed in the whole of 2019.

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26.10.2021: Experts call for more speed in booster vaccinations

Berlin (dpa) - In view of rising incidences of corona, experts have called for more third-party vaccinations against covid-19 in the elderly and risk groups. The so-called booster vaccinations can usually be administered six months after the second prick so that further antibodies are formed. "Booster vaccinations for vulnerable groups are urgently needed, especially in view of the rising numbers," Dirk Heinrich, Federal Chairman of the Virchowbund der niedergelassenen Ärzte, told the "Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung".

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25.10.2021: Stiko head rejects Kimmich's vaccination concerns

Berlin (dpa) - The chairman of the Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko), Thomas Mertens, has dismissed the concerns of national football player Joshua Kimmich about the lack of long-term studies on vaccines. "In addition to the approval studies, we know from the accompanying studies that there have only been a few side effects, all of which occurred quite shortly after vaccination," said the Stiko head. The scientific community agrees that side effects occurring late after a vaccination "do not occur, or are an extremely rare rarity with individual vaccines". The FC Bayern Munich player admitted at the weekend that he had not yet been vaccinated. He still has "a few personal reservations, especially with regard to the lack of long-term studies".

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24.10.2021: Pandemic control at the centre of the World Health Summit in Berlin

Berlin (dpa) - Lessons learned from the Corona pandemic are the topic of the World Health Summit, which begins today and takes place in Berlin and online. The annual meeting at the Charité University Hospital is considered one of the most important international forums for global health issues. Since 2009, it annually brings together around 2,000 internationally renowned representatives from science, business, politics and civil society to discuss the most urgent tasks of global health care. Until Tuesday, speeches are expected from UN Secretary-General António Guterres, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Biontech founder Özlem Türeci, among others.

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23.10.2021: Corona incidence in triple digits for the first time since May

Berlin (dpa) - For the first time since mid-May, the seven-day incidence in Germany has reached 100. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week on Saturday morning at exactly 100.0. A week ago, the figure was 70.8. The number of Corona patients admitted to clinics per 100,000 inhabitants is 2.68; the previous highest value in Germany was 15.5 at the end of December 2020.

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22.10.2021: Biontech: Third Corona vaccination highly effective

Mainz/New York (dpa) - A third vaccination with the Corona vaccine from Biontech and Pfizer shows an effectiveness of more than 95 percent, according to the two companies. Safety concerns or unknown side effects have not been observed, the Mainz-based company and its US partner said, citing a series of studies involving more than 10,000 participants. "These important data add to the existing body of knowledge and show that booster vaccinations can help protect large segments of the population from this virus and its variants," said Biontech CEO Ugur Sahin.

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21.10.2021: New agreement between Biontech and Novartis

Basel (dpa) - Pharmaceutical group Novartis and biotech company Biontech have signed a new production agreement. According to Novartis, the filling and finishing of Pfizer-Biontech's Corona vaccine will be expanded. To this end, Novartis will use sterile manufacturing facilities at its Ljubljana site in Slovenia to fill at least 24 million doses in 2022. The new agreement follows earlier supply agreements for the filling and finishing of more than 50 million doses in 2021 at the Novartis site in Stein, Switzerland.

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20.10.2021: End of Corona emergency under discussion

Berlin (dpa) - In Germany, the Corona emergency could end this year. In consultations with the health ministers of the federal states, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn argued that the so-called epidemic situation of national scope should not be extended again. This would mean that it would expire on 25 November. The epidemic situation is the basis for regulations and central Corona measures in Germany. It was first established by the Bundestag in March 2020 and later extended several times by parliament.  Health Minister Spahn's move met with mixed reactions.

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19.10.2021: EU exports one billion Corona vaccine doses

Brussels (dpa ) - The European Union has exported more than one billion Corona vaccine doses to other countries around the world within ten months. "We have reached an important milestone," said Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen. The vaccine has been delivered to more than 150 countries since December 2020, she said. Some 87 million doses had gone to low- and middle-income countries through the UN Covax initiative. "We have always shared our vaccines fairly with the rest of the world," von der Leyen stressed.

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18.10.2021: Exhibition on the Corona distance

Mainz (dpa ) - An exhibition in Mainz is dedicated to the question of how the Corona minimum distance of 1.50 metres has influenced society. In the Kunsthalle in the capital of Rhineland-Palatinate, the works of nine artists and collectives are on display in the show "Eins Komma Fünf" (one comma five) until the beginning of January. Among other things, the exhibition features a work in which two hands stretch out towards each other in an allusion to Michelangelo's work "The Creation of Adam" in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel.

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17.10.2021: Ethics Council announces reappraisal of the pandemic

Berlin - The Ethics Council wants to present a paper on the reappraisal of the corona pandemic in 2022. Chair Alena Buyx told Focus magazine that the aim was not an "accusatory stocktaking" but rather a "critical outlook". For example, she said, the paper was to adress questions like: "What criteria could be used in the future to ensure faster and more precise risk assessments and balancing of interests?" The review was also intended as a contribution to "a kind of public healing process" that could counteract the increasing polarisation caused by the pandemic. 

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16.10.2021: Biontech and Pfizer apply for approval of vaccine for children

Mainz (dpa) - The Mainz-based pharmaceutical company Biontech and its US partner Pfizer have now applied for approval of their corona vaccine for children aged five to eleven in Europe. Both announced in Mainz and New York on Friday that they had submitted the relevant data on the clinical trials to the EU medicines agency EMA.

The same data had already been submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There, Biontech and Pfizer had applied for emergency approval of the corona vaccine for children aged five to eleven on 7 October.

According to Biontech and Pfizer, the clinical studies show that the vaccine is well tolerated by children in this age group and produces a stable immune response. Unlike adolescents, children in this age group were given only one-third of the dose. According to the companies, a total of 4500 children aged six months to eleven years took part in the study; the data on the five to eleven year olds were based on 2268 participants. More than 90 clinics in the USA, Finland, Poland and Spain were involved.

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15.10.2021: Partially high incidences of corona in children

Berlin (dpa) - A particularly high number of Corona infections among children and adolescents are being registered in individual regions of Germany. In eight districts, the seven-day incidence among 10 to 19-year-olds is currently more than 500, the Robert Koch Institute tweeted. For some time now, numerous Corona infections have been detected, especially in children of school age and older and in adolescents. At Kitas and schools are regularly tested for the virus. The Covid-19 vaccines have so far been approved for children over the age of twelve. The vaccination rate among 12- to 17-year-olds is still much lower than among adults.

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14.10.2021: WHO proposes Drosten for advisory board

Geneva (dpa) The World Health Organisation (WHO) has proposed the Berlin virologist Christian Drosten as a member of an important new advisory board. The advisory board is to develop guidelines for future studies on the origin of pandemics and epidemics and to supervise investigations, as the WHO announced. It proposed a total of 26 members from numerous countries. Political considerations played no role in the selection, explained WHO Emergency Relief Coordinator Mike Ryan. Member countries have until the end of October to comment on the list.

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13.10.2021: Corona lowers life expectancy

Wiesbaden (dpa) Life expectancy in Germany has fallen slightly in the wake of the Corona pandemic. It decreased by 0.3 years for men and 0.1 years for women between 2019 and 2020, according to the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB). Life expectancy is not only influenced by Covid-19, but detailed mortality statistics show a significant impact in many countries, explained BiB expert Pavel Grigoriev. In other countries, life expectancy decreased even more than in Germany.

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12.10.2021: Lufthansa repays state aid

Frankfurt/Main (dpa)-Lufthansa has repaid part of the billions of euros in state aid it received in the course of the Corona crisis. The repayment concerns the claimed part of the first silent participation of the Economic Stabilisation Fund (WSF) of 1.5 billion euros, as the Group announced. Lufthansa also intends to repay the second silent participation of one billion euros by the end of the year. With the help of the WSF, the German government had saved the airline from economic ruin during the Corona crisis, after the airline's flight business had almost completely collapsed.

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11.10.2021

11.10.2021: Corona rapid tests to be paid for by the patient

Berlin (dpa) In Germany, the Corona quick tests, which have been free of charge for all citizens since spring, must now mostly be paid for by the citizens themselves. Generally, they remain free for people who cannot be vaccinated, including children under the age of twelve. However, the regulation that came into force on Monday also lays down some transitional rules: for example, children aged 12 to 17 and pregnant women can still take at least one free test per week until 31 December.

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10.10.2021: Germany has donated more than 13 million vaccine doses

According to the German Federal Foreign Office, Germany has donated more than 13 million Corona vaccine doses to other countries. According to the report, 13,001,280 doses were delivered to 15 countries. 7.3 million of these were delivered bilaterally and 5.7 million vaccine doses via the international vaccination alliance Covax. Of these, 790,000 doses went to Bangladesh, 386,400 to Ghana, 300,000 to Botswana, 272,640 to Côte d'Ivoire and 117,120 to Egypt.

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09.10.2021: Germans have a positive view of Corona vaccination

The majority of the German population aged 16 and older has a positive attitude towards the Corona vaccination and feels well informed about it. This is shown by the results of a series of Germany-wide representative surveys conducted by the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) on corona vaccination in Germany (CoSiD study). 81 percent see vaccination as a communal task against the spread of Covid-19. However, especially in the group of the unvaccinated without a willingness to be vaccinated, confidence in the safety of a Corona vaccination is only low, according to the study.

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08.10.2021: Ministers of Education: Schools should remain open

Potsdam(dpa) - Even if the Corona situation in Germany worsens in autumn and winter, schools should not close again. This is what the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder are advocating. It is "indispensable to keep the schools open and to secure the presence of classes in the long term", according to a resolution passed by the ministers after consultations in Potsdam.

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07.10.2021: Corona tears holes in budgets, but revenues rise again

Wiesbaden (dpa) - The Corona pandemic has torn holes in state budgets. According to the Federal Statistical Office, expenditure of the so-called general public budget was 10.8 percent higher in the first half of 2021 than in the first half of 2020, amounting to 883.2 billion euros, the office reported on Thursday. "The increased expenditure of the general public budget can mainly be explained by increased allocations and grants as a result of the Corona pandemic," the Wiesbaden-based statisticians explained. These included, for example, aid to businesses or support for hospitals. Revenues rose by 6.0 per cent to 752.1 billion euros in the first half of 2021. Revenues from taxes and levies had declined significantly in the first half of 2020 - in the meantime, they have returned to the pre-pandemic level, according to the Federal Statistical Office. In total, however, there is a financing deficit of 131.1 billion euros for the first half of 2021.

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06.10.2021: Corona and flu wave feared

Berlin (dpa) - In its latest weekly report, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has predicted an increase in the number of Corona cases in autumn and winter. The RKI cited as reasons that there are still a large number of unvaccinated people and that indoor contacts increase in autumn. In addition, doctors fear a wave of influenza. Currently, there is already an accumulation of respiratory infections among minors. Doctors report that infections are now being caught up on, which did not occur last winter and spring due to the partial lockdown.

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05.10.2021: Corona crisis makes paper more expensive

Frankfurt/Bonn (dpa) - Paper has become considerably more expensive. And short-notice orders for special graphic papers and cardboard for bindings have become more difficult, reports the German Publishers & Booksellers Association. This is putting Germany's book and newspaper publishers under pressure. The price increase is due to higher costs for energy and transport, but also to the Corona crisis: because more and more paper mills have switched their production from graphic papers to cardboard, which is in demand because of the booming online trade.

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04.10.2021: Lufthansa in favour of compulsory employee vaccination

New York/Frankfurt/Main (dpa) - Under pressure from government requirements, more and more US airlines are obliging their employees to have Corona vaccinations. Lufthansa, too, wants to have its flight personnel fully vaccinated against Corona, but cannot rely on compulsory vaccination. Lufthansa board member Detlef Kayser affirmed in the "Bild am Sonntag" that "as a globally operating airline, we are in favour of mandatory vaccination for our crews and also need a way to record the vaccination data." In Lufthansa's view, otherwise a stable, worldwide flight operation will not be feasible in the future. Individual countries already require the vaccination for pilots, flight attendants and flight attendants, and others would follow.

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03.10.2021: One Million Visitors at Munich's Wirtshauswiesn

Munich (dpa) - The Wirtshauswiesn in Munich has come to an end after 16 days. A good one million visitors took part in the event, as Gregor Lemke, spokesman for the association of Munich city centre innkeepers, summed it up on Sunday. Because the Oktoberfest had to be cancelled for the second year in a row due to the Corona pandemic, 51 inns and beer gardens invited visitors to the Wirtshauswiesn, where dirndls and lederhosen, music, Wiesn beer, gingerbread hearts and ox on the spit were supposed to create Oktoberfest flair. Due to the positive response, the Wirtshauswiesn is to take place again next year - even if there is an Oktoberfest again.

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02.10.2021: Steinmeier awards Order of Merit

Berlin (dpa) - Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany to people who rendered outstanding services to art and culture during the Corona pandemic. The pandemic had made people aware of the importance of art and culture. The Corona crisis had hit all those who work for culture "particularly hard", said the Federal President.

The organiser Petra Schubert, for example, who organised classical concerts for senior citizens in nursing homes during the pandemic, and the President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, received an order for his commitment "against prejudice, ignorance, hatred and violence".

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01.10.2021: RKI expects Corona increase for autumn and winter

Berlin (dpa) - In the Corona pandemic, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) expects an increase in the number of infections again for autumn and winter. This is what the Institute writes in its weekly report of Thursday evening. The reasons given are in particular a "still large number" of unvaccinated people and the increase in indoor contacts.

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30.09.2021: Consumer mood almost at pre-crisis level

Nuremberg (dpa) - In its monthly survey for September, the Nuremberg-based consumer research company GfK has determined that consumer sentiment among people in Germany has almost reached the level seen before the Corona crisis. The trend is driven by optimism about income prospects and a positive assessment of the economic situation, GfK reported. However, consumer sentiment is still strongly influenced by the continuation of the Corona pandemic, the consumer researchers summed up.

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29.09.2021: Almost three quarters of adults in Germany fully vaccinated

Berlin (dpa) - Almost three-quarters of adults and one-third of children between the ages of 12 and 17 have now been fully vaccinated against Corona in Germany. According to data released by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on Tuesday, 74.7 per cent of all people aged 18 and older have now received the second shot, which is usually necessary, and 33.2 per cent of those aged 12 to 17. According to the data, 78.6 per cent of adults and 41 per cent of 12 to 17-year-olds have received at least one first vaccination.

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28.09.2021: Vietnam receives millions of vaccine doses from Germany

Ho Chi Minh City (dpa) - Germany is supporting Vietnam with another 2.6 million Corona vaccine doses. "This is another contribution by Germany to the Vietnamese vaccination campaign," the German Embassy in the capital Hanoi announced. It is already the second shipment of vaccines from Germany within two weeks, it said. "Together with the Covax shipment of 16 September, Germany's support for Vietnam now totals 3.45 million doses of vaccine," said German Ambassador to Vietnam Guido Hildner. He said the aid was an expression of solidarity with the Vietnamese people.

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27.09.2021: Study: Corona pandemic damages popularity of football

Dortmund (dpa) - The Corona pandemic has damaged the status of football. This is the result of a scientific study commissioned by the Bundesliga football team Borussia Dortmund in cooperation with Dortmund University. According to a survey of 28,000 BVB fans, just over 80 per cent of those questioned had rated the importance of football in their lives as "high" before the pandemic. Under the impression of the pandemic, this value was only 50 percent in the spring. Above all, the increasing commercialisation of professional football was rated as "critical" by 80 per cent of the respondents.

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26.09.2021: With mask to the Bundestag election

Berlin (dpa) - The Bundestag elections under the sign of the Corona pandemic have begun. Immediately after the polling stations opened at 8 a.m., Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier cast his vote in Berlin. Steinmeier, who went to vote wearing a mask, called on citizens to participate in the election. Strict hygiene rules apply in the polling stations, disinfectants are available everywhere. The approximately 60,000 polling stations are open until 6 p.m., almost 60.4 million people are called to vote.

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25.09.2021: "Long Covid" research receives funding

Berlin (dpa) - The German Federal Government is funding research into the late effects of Corona infections. Education Minister Anja Karliczek announced that ten research projects will be funded with a total of 6.5 million euros. So far, it is unclear which factors favour a "long covid" disease. In addition, there is a lack of specific therapies and treatment approaches.

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24.09.2021: Corona spurs trend to buy bicycles

Wiesbaden (dpa) - The e-bike boom in Germany has gained further momentum in the Corona crisis: About 7.1 million electric bikes were in private households at the beginning of 2021, according to the Federal Statistical Office. That was 1.2 million or 20 per cent more than a year earlier, according to the Wiesbaden-based agency. Overall, according to the Federal Office, around 30 million households and thus 79 percent of all households in Germany owned bicycles or electric bicycles at the beginning of 2021.

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23.09.2021: Germany has given away more than 5.1 million vaccine doses so far

Berlin (dpa) - Germany has given more than 5.1 million vaccine doses to other countries so far, according to the German government. This was done through the Covax alliance and bilaterally, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said in Berlin on Wednesday. "In total, Germany supplied 5,106,960 doses to other countries," she said. Of those, about 3.5 million were delivered via Covax and 1.5 million bilaterally, she said. Recipients, she said, were Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, also Mauritania and Sudan. "We continue to strive for equitable distribution of vaccines worldwide," the spokeswoman said.

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22.09.2021

22.09.2021: Spahn names date for the end of the pandemic for the first time

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn expects herd immunity against the coronavirus next spring and thus an end to the pandemic. "If no new virus variant emerges against which vaccination does not protect, which is very unlikely, then we will have overcome the pandemic in the spring and can return to normality," the CDU politician told the newspaper "Augsburger Allgemeine".

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21.09.2021

21.09.2021: Biontech: Vaccination effective and safe in younger children

Mainz (dpa) - Biontech/Pfizer's Corona vaccine has been shown to be well tolerated in children aged five to eleven and elicit a stable immune response, according to the two companies. Data from the clinical trial will be submitted to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as soon as possible, the two vaccine makers said. "We are happy to be able to submit the data for the group of school-aged children to the regulatory authorities before the start of the winter season," said Biontech CEO Ugur Sahin.

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20.09.2021: Spahn satisfied with vaccination campaign week

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn has drawn a positive balance of the campaign week for vaccination against the coronavirus. "During the campaign week, we managed a total of around 500,000 of the important first vaccinations, about half of which were probably due to campaigns," the CDU politician told the newspapers of the Funke Mediengruppe (Sunday). Associations, organisations, private initiatives and volunteers had organised about 1500 vaccination campaigns nationwide. There may have been many more. With creative actions on the spot, unvaccinated people should be convinced of a Corona vaccination.

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19.09.2021: Survey: Majority in favour of 2G rules for restaurants and events

Berlin (dpa) - A majority of people in Germany think it is right that only those vaccinated against the coronavirus and those who have recovered from it (2G) should be allowed to go to restaurants or attend events. In an Insa survey commissioned by "Bild am Sonntag", 57 percent expressed this opinion. 33 percent think it would be wrong if restaurants and events were only open to vaccinated and recovered people. Of those in favour, 66 per cent want 2G rules to be made compulsory, 31 per cent think that the introduction should be left to each restaurateur or event organiser.

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18.09.2021: Cyprus and all of Portugal no longer corona high-risk areas

Berlin (dpa) - The German government is removing Cyprus and the Algarve from the list of corona high-risk areas as of Sunday. This means that Portugal, which is very popular with holidaymakers, will now disappear from this category altogether, according to a statement issued by the Robert Koch Institute on Friday. The Algarve's tourism industry reacted with relief. "We are very pleased that the last travel restrictions for guests from Germany have fallen. The Algarve is now looking forward to a strong autumn and winter season, as it is becoming increasingly popular, especially with Germans," the president of the Algarve Tourism Board, João Fernandes, told the German Press Agency. In 2019, the last year before the pandemic, more than 1.5 million Germans spent their holidays in Portugal.

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17.09.2021: OECD: Classes disrupted on two out of three school days

Berlin (dpa) - Classes for the roughly eleven million pupils in Germany were disrupted on an average of more than 180 days between the start of the corona pandemic and the end of school closures in spring, according to an OECD survey. That is two-thirds of the roughly 270 school days in the period between January 2020 and 20 May 2021. The OECD presented the data on Thursday as part of its annual "Education at a Glance" survey. 

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16.09.2021: Forecast: Property prices to rise even faster after Corona

Hamburg (dpa) - If the Corona crisis was not able to affect the real estate market in Germany, experts now expect catch-up effects and further rising prices. According to a forecast by the Hamburg Gewos Institute for Urban, Regional and Housing Research, total real estate turnover will increase by 6.3 percent to 311.1 billion euros in the current year. In the previous record year of 2020, turnover amounted to just under 293 billion euros. The main driver is residential real estate, whose volume is expected to grow by 7.5 percent from the previous year to 237.7 billion euros. Market activity is increasingly shifting from the empty markets in the big cities to the suburbs and rural areas.

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15.09.2021

15.09.2021: New Corona criteria come into force

Berlin (dpa) - For the fight against the Corona pandemic in autumn and winter, several new regulations came into force on Wednesday. Among other things, this concerns assessment criteria for the pandemic situation and information on the vaccination status of employees. The main yardstick for assessing the situation is to be the number of Corona patients in the clinics. This is to replace the previous orientation on infection figures, which are no longer considered so meaningful in view of the vaccinations. In addition, employees in day-care centres, schools and nursing homes should be able to be asked by their employer whether they have been vaccinated during the crisis.

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14.09.2021: Vaccination action week to advance fight against pandemic

Berlin (dpa) - Citizens in Germany have been able to get vaccinated against Corona without an appointment and free of charge at hundreds of everyday places since Monday. In addition to the permanent vaccination opportunities, for example in vaccination centers, numerous temporary offers, for example in libraries or shopping malls, at volunteer fire departments, in the streetcar, at the edge of soccer fields or in mosques, should drive the vaccination rate up. German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) had called on citizens to take advantage of the offers. "It has never been easier to get a vaccination. It has never been faster," she said. The vaccination campaign week lasts until September 19.

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13.09.2021: Majority want to continue working at home after Corona

Munich (dpa) - More than two-thirds of employees in Germany who worked at home during the Corona pandemic want to continue doing so, according to a Yougov survey. The popularity of working at home had increased in the course of the pandemic, the energy supplier Eon, which had commissioned the survey, announced on Monday. In the survey, 71 per cent of the respondents expressed the wish to be able to work from home in the future. At the beginning of the pandemic in May last year, only 58 per cent said they would like to work from home. According to the survey, the main reason for the growing popularity of working from home is the time saved by not having to travel to work.

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12.09.2021: Biontech wants to apply for vaccine approval for children

Mainz (dpa) - Biontech plans to apply for approval of its Corona vaccine for children between the ages of five and eleven in the coming weeks. To this end, the results of a study would be submitted to the authorities worldwide, "also here in Europe", said the medical director and Biontech co-founder Özlem Türeci to "Der Spiegel".  The approval would make it possible to better protect younger children as well. According to Biontech, the study results are available and only need to be prepared for the regulatory authorities. Production is already being prepared at Biontech. "The vaccine is the same, but less highly dosed, and less needs to be filled," Türeci said.

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11.09.2021: Stiko in favour of corona vaccination of pregnant and breastfeeding women

Berlin (dpa) - The Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko) has generally spoken out in favour of corona vaccination for pregnant and breastfeeding women. "After thorough consultation and evaluation of the available evidence", the Stiko recommends vaccination for pregnant women from the second trimester of pregnancy and for breastfeeding women with two doses of an mRNA vaccine, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced on Friday. Until now, vaccination was only recommended for pregnant women at special risk.

According to the Stiko, all women of childbearing age should also be vaccinated "so that there is already very good protection against this disease before pregnancy occurs".

According to the Stiko, the new vaccination recommendation is based on new findings from recent weeks. According to this, pregnancy itself is an independent risk factor for a severe course of a corona infection. In addition, safety data on vaccination for women in pregnancy had not provided any indications that undesirable severe complications were to be expected.

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10.09.2021: Genuine immunity only through vaccination and infection?

Charité virologist Christian Drosten says in the current edition of his podcast "Coronavirus Update": "My goal - let's say: as virologist Drosten - how I would like to become immune now is: I want to have vaccine immunity and then saddling on top of that I definitely want to have my first general infection and the second and also the third." He has long since come to terms with this fact, Drosten continues. "And then I know I'm immune for a really long time." Regarding the risk of infection after vaccination, the virologist explains: he himself - as a healthy adult who has been vaccinated twice against the virus - can take responsibility for the risk. However, this does not apply to other people.

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09.09.2021: RKI head warns of violent fourth wave

Berlin (dpa) - The president of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Lothar Wieler, has warned of a fierce fourth wave of Corona in autumn. "If we don't drastically increase the current vaccination rates, then the current fourth wave can take a fulminant course in autumn," Wieler said in Berlin on Wednesday. The number of people who have to be treated in hospital is already rising - especially among younger people. The vast majority of them are unvaccinated, he said. "What really has to be clear to all of us: Anyone who does not get vaccinated will be infected with Sars-CoV-2 for the foreseeable future," Wieler warned.

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08.09.2021

08.09.2021: Corona warning app now offers warning option for events

Berlin (dpa) - The official Corona warning app of the German government for the containment of the Corona pandemic has been extended by an additional warning function for events. This allows event organisers to warn their guests of a possible risk encounter with a person who later tested positive, even if this visitor was not even checked in via the app. The new version 2.9 will be released this Wednesday. This additional warning procedure is made possible by a proxy rule for the organiser. The option is released by the health department. If the health department finds out that a person tested positive was at an event when following up infection chains, it can contact the organiser. If the organiser had created a QR code for check-in via the Corona warning app, the health department can then issue a transaction number. This allows the organiser to issue a warning that is sent to all people who were checked in for the event.

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07.09.2021: Majority in favour of stricter Corona rules for the unvaccinated

Berlin (dpa) - Possible stricter Corona restrictions for the unvaccinated than for the vaccinated, for example on access to indoor events, meet with majority approval, according to a survey. In the survey conducted by the opinion research institute YouGov, 58 percent were in favour of stricter rules for the unvaccinated - 28 percent, on the other hand, consider the same rules as for vaccinated and recovered people to be right. A further 9 percent of respondents said they opposed all measures to combat the Corona pandemic. With a view to autumn and winter, the so-called 3G rule applies nationwide to certain indoor areas such as events and restaurants: access only with proof of being vaccinated, recovered or having tested negative. However, the 2G rule is also being discussed, i.e. access only for vaccinated or recovered persons.

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06.09.2021: Germany to provide 100 million vaccine doses

 Rome (dpa) - Germany wants to provide 100 million vaccine doses in the international Corona vaccination campaign by the end of the year. "That is as many as we have also vaccinated in our country so far," said Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn on Sunday on the sidelines of the G20 meeting of health ministers in Rome. The goal is to have at least 40 percent of the world's population vaccinated by the end of the year. The pandemic is only over when it is over all over the world, the Christian Democrat said. Otherwise, variants could emerge that would then reach Germany again and cause problems.

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05.09.2021: Significantly less short-time work

Munich (dpa) - According to an Ifo survey, the number of short-time workers in Germany dropped significantly in August. There was a decrease to 688,000 from the previous 1.06 million persons, the institute announced. Ifo estimates the number on the basis of the monthly economic survey of German companies and data from the Federal Employment Agency.

According to the institute, the number of short-time workers is thus below one million for the first time since the beginning of the Corona crisis. The Institute estimates the share of dependent employees on short-time work in August at 2.0 per cent. In July, the share was 3.2 per cent.

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04.09.2021: General practitioners advertise for vaccinations

Berlin (dpa) - General practitioners are promoting more Corona vaccinations in autumn. "The main thing now is to reach those who are still undecided," said the head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV), Andreas Gassen. The motto is: "Whatever helps is allowed". For example, vaccination offers without appointments are good examples of sensible measures. The vaccination tempo had fallen sharply recently. Gassen emphasised: "The Corona vaccination is safe. Most people should have realised that by now. And those who don't want to understand this as adults simply have to reckon with infection and serious illness. That's exactly what people need to be aware of.

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03.09.2021: Virologist Drosten: "We cannot go into autumn with this quota"

Berlin (dpa) - Berlin virologist Christian Drosten believes new corona restrictions are possible in view of the declining vaccination rate in Germany. "We will have to restrict the number of contacts again in society as a whole. That is quite clear. The burden of infection increases in autumn," the researcher from Berlin's Charité hospital told Deutschlandfunk radio. It is imperative to work on the vaccination rate. The current rate of 61 per cent of fully vaccinated people is not enough at all. "We cannot go into autumn with this rate," Drosten said. In general, however, one can vaccinate oneself out of the pandemic.

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02.09.2021: 25,000 participants allowed at the Book Fair

 Frankfurt/Main (dpa) - As things stand, the Frankfurt Book Fair will be allowed to receive 25,000 participants a day in October. "We have been granted special permission to hold the Frankfurt Book Fair," the Book Fair announced. The maximum number of visitors permitted applies "in compliance with the present hygiene concept" and "according to the current planning status". The 3G rule applies: admission is only granted to vaccinated and recovered persons, all others need a current negative test. According to the organisers, publishers, companies and agencies from more than 60 countries have registered for the 73rd Frankfurt Book Fair from 20 to 24 October 2021.

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01.09.2021: WHO pandemic early warning centre opens in Berlin

 Geneva/Berlin (dpa) - The new pandemic early warning centre of the World Health Organisation (WHO) will open in Berlin this Wednesday. This is where the threads from all over the world are to come together in order to recognise threats such as those posed by the coronavirus at an early stage. Then governments could impose measures in time and, for example, issue behavioural or travel recommendations. Health experts warn that the emergence of a new virus with global dangers is only a matter of time.

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31.08.2021: EU recommends restrictions again for travellers from the USA

Brussels/Washington (dpa) - The EU is again recommending stricter entry rules for people from countries such as the USA and Israel. A total of six states were removed on Monday from the list of third countries for which Corona restrictions should no longer apply, as the Council of Member States announced. The reason is in particular high incidence figures. In addition to the USA and Israel, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Lebanon are also affected. However, the changes will have no consequences for people who want to enter Germany from the USA and Israel as well as the Balkan states mentioned above. The Federal Republic has already classified these countries as high-risk areas for some time. People entering the country who have not been vaccinated or have not recovered must therefore be quarantined for five to ten days.

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30.08.2021: Berlin S-Bahn offers vaccinations in special train

Berlin (dpa) - The Berlin S-Bahn is offering Corona vaccinations in a special train on the Ringbahn this Monday. The chief medical officer of Deutsche Bahn will administer the one-time Johnson&Johnson vaccination on the train, the company announced. "All people aged 18 and over who have not yet been vaccinated against Corona are cordially invited to receive a dose of Johnson&Johnson on board the train." Those interested could register in advance online for a vaccination dose. Online, all seats were already taken on Friday, a spokeswoman for the Berlin S-Bahn said. However, people could also drop by spontaneously without a place and get vaccinated.

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29.08.2021: More than 60 per cent of Germans now fully vaccinated

Berlin (dpa) - Some 50 million people (60.1 per cent of the population) have now received their second injection, the Health Ministry announced. Almost 65 per cent (54 million) have been vaccinated at least once. According to figures provided by the ministry, 213,092 vaccine doses were administered in Germany on Friday alone.

"Every single vaccination helps us to get through autumn and winter together," Health Minister Jens Spahn tweeted on Saturday.

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28.08.2021: Biontech tests vaccine production in Rwanda and Senegal

Berlin (dpa) - The German vaccine manufacturer Biontech has developed one of the world's first approved vaccines against the Corona virus. Now the company wants to produce malaria and tuberculosis vaccines in Africa. The Mainz-based company announced that it is looking into establishing sustainable production facilities in Rwanda and Senegal.

Biontech's technology could also be applied beyond Covid-19, explained CEO Ugur Sahin. Biontech is already working on vaccines against tuberculosis, malaria and HIV. Construction of the first production facilities is expected to begin in the course of next year, he said.

Sahin's comments came after a meeting with the presidents of Rwanda and Senegal, Paul Kagame and Macky Sall, and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the sidelines of the "G20 Compact with Africa" economic conference.

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27.08.2021: Biontech also produces in South America

 São Paulo/New York (dpa) - The German company Biontech and its US partner Pfizer want to produce vaccine against the coronavirus for Latin America together with a Brazilian pharmaceutical company in Brazil. This emerges from a letter of intent published by Pfizer and Biontech as well as Eurofarma on Thursday. According to the agreement, technology transfer, on-site development and installation of the equipment will begin immediately and more than 100 million doses of vaccine will be produced annually in the economic metropolis of Sao Paulo, exclusively for the Latin American market.

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26.08.2021: Musicians and bands launch vaccination campaign

 Berlin (dpa) - Numerous musicians, bands and festivals have launched a joint campaign calling on their fans to vaccinate millions of people against the coronavirus. The aim is to push forward the faltering vaccination rates. "So that life goes on", is the slogan of the Berlin band Die Ärzte, for example. Among those involved are Sarah Connor, Jan Delay (photo) and Peter Maffay. Bands like BAP, Die Toten Hosen, Silbermond and Deichkind are also taking part. Major German festivals are also taking part. The organisers spoke on Wednesday of a distribution list with millions of fans, users and interested parties.

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25.08.2021

25.08.2021: Book about Biontech founders coming

London (dpa) - A medical breakthrough as reading material: Interested people will soon be able to read or listen to the story of the Biontech founding couple Ugur Sahin and Özlem Türeci. The non-fiction book with the original title "Vaccine: How the Breakthrough of a Generation fought Covid-19" is to be published in the UK on 14 September as an audio book, as reported by the PA news agency. Later, the work will also be published in print and as an e-book. The author is the British "Financial Times" journalist Joe Miller, who is said to have interviewed the couple for a total of more than 150 hours.

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24.08.2021: "Milestone": Full US approval for vaccine from Biontech

Silver Spring/Washington (dpa) - The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted full approval to the drug from German manufacturer Biontech and its US partner Pfizer as the first Corona vaccine in the US. It is valid for people aged 16 and older, the FDA announced on Monday, calling the decision a "milestone" in the fight against the pandemic. In May, Biontech and Pfizer had applied for full approval. For this, the FDA, which used an accelerated procedure, had to examine about ten times as much data as for the emergency approval.

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23.08.2021: 1.5 million vaccine doses handed over to Ukraine

Kiev (dpa) - Ukraine has received 1.5 million doses of Astrazeneca's Corona vaccine from Germany. German Ambassador Anka Feldhusen handed over the vaccine, worth around six million euros, to Ukrainian Health Minister Viktor Lyashko at the weekend, the representation in Kiev announced. The impoverished country, which aspires to join the EU, is in urgent need of help from abroad. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Germany has given Ukraine respirators, masks and medical equipment worth 76 million euros, among other things, it said.

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22.08.2021: Sniffer dogs detect Corona infection

Hanover (dpa)- Sniffer dogs can sniff out a Corona infection with high accuracy. The dogs' success is independent of whether they are presented with a urine, saliva or sweat sample, researchers from the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (TiHo) in cooperation with the Hanover Medical School and the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf have found out.

Ten specialised sniffer dogs from the German Armed Forces were used for the study. After training, they were able to correctly identify 92 percent of the more than 5000 samples presented. Dogs are increasingly used in medical research. They can detect infectious and non-infectious diseases such as cancers, malaria, bacterial and viral infections.

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21.08.2021: Steinmeier: "Test of our humanity"

Berlin (dpa) - Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has thanked the many people in Germany who have worked or volunteered in a special way for their fellow human beings during the Corona crisis. The pandemic was nothing less than a crisis of the century and a "test of our humanity", he said at a thanksgiving ceremony in the park of Bellevue Palace. Steinmeier thanked all the people who have already had themselves vaccinated against the virus. At the same time, he renewed his appeal to everyone else to do so.

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20.08.2021: RKI: Fourth wave has begun

Berlin (dpa) - According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the fourth wave of the Corona pandemic has begun in Germany. The proportion of positive samples among PCR tests in laboratories has risen from four to six percent within a week until mid-August, according to the Institute's latest weekly report on Thursday evening. It is based on about half a million tests from almost 200 laboratories. It is mainly younger people who are affected by infections. Some of those affected have also been infected in holiday countries, for example in the Balkans, Turkey or Spain. The RKI estimates the risk to the health of German citizens who have not yet been vaccinated or have only been vaccinated once to be high. For those who have been fully vaccinated, the researchers rate it as moderate.

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19.08.2021: Drosten: Booster vaccination unnecessary for most people

Berlin (dpa) - According to virologist Christian Drosten, most vaccinated people will not need a booster vaccination against the corona virus in autumn. "The protective effect of the Corona vaccine is much better than, for example, the influenza vaccines," he told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur in Berlin. Nor does he expect the imminent emergence of a new virus variant that is resistant to the available vaccines. However, Drosten believes that a booster vaccination this autumn is definitely advisable for elderly people and certain high-risk patients.

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18.08.2021: Charité: This is why children are better protected against severe courses of the disease

It has long been speculated why children are much less likely to contract severe cases of covid-19 than adults, even though they are exposed to the same risk of infection. Now a team of researchers from the Charité in Berlin has discovered what is probably one of the reasons for this: the child's immune system is much more active in the upper respiratory tract than in older people. This leads to children eliminating the virus more quickly than adults.

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17.08.2021: Vaccination Commission for Corona vaccination for all children over 12

Berlin (dpa) - A few weeks before the end of the school holidays in many German states, the Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko) has come out in favour of general Corona vaccination for all children over the age of 12. After careful evaluation of new data, the independent body announced on Monday that "according to the current state of knowledge, the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risk of very rare side effects”. The federal and state governments welcomed the vote as important guidance for adolescents and parents and held out the prospect of rapid vaccination offers.

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16.08.2021: Worldwide hoarding purchases: Germany is left behind

Hamburg (dpa) - The economic boom after the Corona recession is leading to hoarding purchases by companies worldwide. European and especially German companies are often left behind, while the USA is ahead in the race for the much sought-after supplies. This is the result of a global trade study by the credit insurer Euler Hermes. The disparity is explained by the uneven recovery from the consequences of the lockdowns. The US economy got back on track much earlier and more vigorously this year than in Europe. As a result, goods deliveries from China to the USA are currently up by about 30 per cent, while deliveries to Europe are up by only about 10 per cent. "Hoarding is currently the order of the day in global trade," said Ron van het Hof, head of Euler Hermes in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

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15.08.2021: Survey: Vaccination rate could rise to over 80 percent among adults

Berlin (dpa) - The proportion of adults in Germany who have been fully vaccinated against Corona could rise to more than 80 percent, according to a survey. In the representative survey conducted by the opinion research institute YouGov on behalf of the Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 75 percent said they had already been vaccinated at least once. Another 6 percent said they still wanted to be vaccinated - together, that is 81 percent. Shortly before the start of the vaccination campaign in December 2020, only 65 percent had decided to be vaccinated.

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14.08.2021: USA, Israel and Turkey among new high-risk areas

Berlin (dpa) - The German government has classified the USA, Israel, Kenya, Montenegro, Vietnam and two French overseas territories as corona high-risk areas as of Sunday, and Turkey will be added as another high-risk area on Tuesday. Visitors from these countries who have not been vaccinated or have not recovered must be quarantined for five to ten days. Portugal, on the other hand, is removed from the risk list, with the exception of the coastal region of Algarve and the capital Lisbon, which are particularly popular with tourists.

Fully vaccinated and recovered travellers from high-risk areas are exempt from quarantine. All others must isolate themselves after entry and can only be exempted after five days with a negative test.

Countries and regions with a particularly high risk of infection are classified as high-risk areas. Unlike in the past, however, it is not only the number of infections that is decisive. Other criteria are the speed of the spread of the virus, the burden on the health system in a country or even a lack of data on the corona situation.

13.08.2021: RKI: Young people in particular are infected

Berlin (dpa) - Most infections with Sars-CoV-2 per 100,000 inhabitants within one week are detected in people under 50 years of age. Last week, the highest seven-day incidences of almost 60 were in the groups of adolescents and young adults between 15 and 24. Therefore, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) recommends laboratory tests even for mild symptoms. In doctors' practices, the number of such PCR tests has fallen sharply in recent weeks.

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12.08.2021: Bundesliga kick-off with spectators

Berlin (dpa) - This Friday, the Bundesliga soccer league kicks off with the match between Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayern Munich. According to a decision by the federal and state governments, up to 25,000 spectators are allowed in a stadium, as long as that does not mean a capacity utilization of more than 50 percent of the total capacity.

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11.08.2021: Spahn: No new lockdown for vaccinated people

Berlin (dpa) - After the Corona decisions by the federal and state governments, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn has given all vaccinated people hope for a more relaxed autumn and winter. "For those three out of four adults who have been vaccinated, there will be no renewed lockdown," the CDU politician said in an ARD "Extra" programme on Tuesday evening. That was the current legal situation and regulated by federal law. Those who had been vaccinated could be sure that there would be no new restrictions for them.

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10.08.2021: Germany releases first vaccine doses to five countries

Berlin (dpa) - Germany is giving the first Corona vaccine doses from the manufacturer Astrazeneca to five other countries with acute needs. The German government announced that in a first tranche 213,600 doses will go to Afghanistan, 271,200 to Ethiopia, 357,600 to Sudan, 100,800 to Tajikistan and 355,200 to Uzbekistan. The vaccines will be distributed through the international aid initiative Covax.

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09.08.2021

09.08.2021: Call for end to free corona tests

Berlin (dpa) - Ahead of the conference of minister presidents with Chancellor Angela Merkel this Tuesday, there are strong voices for an end to the free offer of Corona rapid tests. The minister presidents of Lower Saxony and Baden-Württemberg, Stephan Weil (SPD) and Winfried Kretschmann (Greens), both spoke out in favor. SPD candidate for chancellor Olaf Scholz also pleaded for it again in the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" (Monday). A suggestion of the Federal Ministry of Health plans for it in the middle of October as date. This concerns only those people for whom there is a vaccination recommendation of the Standing Commission on Vaccination - so according to the current status, no children - and for whom there are no medical reasons against it. "I expressly think it is right that unvaccinated people will have to pay for their own tests from the fall. Until then, everyone had the opportunity to be vaccinated free of charge," Weil told Berlin's Tagesspiegel newspaper (Monday).

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08.08.2021: South of France and other countries now high-risk area

Berlin (dpa) - The south of France has been considered a corona high-risk area since Sunday. The German government has classified the French regions of Occitania, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and the island of Corsica as well as the French overseas territories of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Réunion, St. Martin and St. Barthélemy accordingly due to increased infection rates. Those returning home who have not been vaccinated or have not recovered must now be quarantined in Germany and can end this quarantine at the earliest after five days by testing negative. Since Sunday, several other countries outside Europe have also been considered high-risk areas: Algeria, Bangladesh, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Korea (Democratic People's Republic of), Morocco, Mexico, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Senegal, Tajikistan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The Netherlands are no longer considered a high-risk area following the decline in the number of infections.

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07.08.2021: Analysis: Vaccination campaign has prevented over 38,000 deaths

Berlin (dpa) - The vaccination campaign against the coronavirus has prevented an estimated thousands of deaths in Germany, according to a model calculation by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). "Our data presented here demonstrate the overwhelming benefit of the COVID-19 vaccination already in the first 6.5 months of the vaccination campaign in Germany in 2021," write the authors of the analysis published on Friday. This shows that an estimated 38,300 deaths were prevented in the course of the third corona wave. The number of prevented reported cases is put at over 706,000, that of inpatients at more than 76,600, and that of patients in intensive care units at just under 20,000.

06.08.2021: Göttingen researchers develop highly effective antibodies

A Göttingen research team has developed antibodies that eliminate the coronavirus and its new variants. The active substances developed in the laboratory dock onto the surface of the coronavirus and render it harmless. They act like a drug, alleviate symptoms and shorten the course of the disease. These mini-antibodies, so-called nanobodies, are said to neutralise the virus 1,000 times better than previously developed antibodies. "For the first time, they combine extreme stability and maximum effectiveness against the virus and its alpha, beta, gamma and delta variants," says Dirk Görlich, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry. Moreover, they are easy to produce, process and store. Thus, the agent could be produced cheaply and quickly in large quantities to meet the worldwide demand for Covid-19 drugs. The Göttingen scientists are currently preparing clinical tests for their drug.

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05.08.2021: Biontech now worth more than 100 billion dollars

New York (dpa) - The shares of the Mainz-based company Biontech shot up by almost a quarter at times to 433.90 dollars in New York on Wednesday, continuing their record rally. A good half hour before the end of trading, they stood at 401 dollars. The stock market value thus amounts to more than 100 billion dollars (84.2 billion euros). The company will publish quarterly figures in a few days.

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04.08.2021: Vaccine delivery to poorer countries

According to Development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU), the German government wants to deliver the first tranche of the 30 million Corona vaccine doses promised in total to poorer countries this month. "We should gradually increase the amount of vaccine donations so that medical staff and other particularly vulnerable groups can be reached there much more quickly," Müller told the newspaper "Augsburger Allgemeine". Müller referred to the goal of vaccinating around one third of all people in developing countries by the beginning of 2022. He called on the other European states to give money as well as vaccine for their part.

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03.08.2021: Vaccination offer for all children from the age of 12

Berlin/Munich (dpa) - With a broader vaccination offer for children and young people, the health ministers of the federal and state governments want to accelerate the fight against the further spread of the coronavirus. The heads of department decided unanimously on Monday evening to offer vaccinations for 12- to 17-year-olds in all states, including in regional vaccination centers - as is already possible in doctors' offices. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved both Biontech/Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine and Moderna's vaccine for children and adolescents 12 and older.

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02.08.2021: Relaxations of Corona restrictions:  Retailers turn over more

Wiesbaden (dpa) - Germany's retailers benefited significantly from the easing of Corona restrictions in June. Sales adjusted for price increases (real) rose by 4.2 per cent and nominally by 4.6 per cent compared to the previous month, as reported by the Federal Statistical Office. A strong increase in turnover of 70.5 per cent in real terms compared to the previous month was recorded in June in the trade with textiles, clothing, shoes and leather goods, which was particularly affected by shop closures. It was thus above the pre-crisis level of February 2020 for the first time again.

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01.08.2021: Every fifth adolescent with first Corona vaccination

Berlin (dpa) - Every fifth adolescent in Germany between the ages of 12 and 17 has now received a first vaccination against the coronavirus. In absolute numbers, this is 900,000.

In May, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved the Covid-19 vaccine from Biontech/Pfizer for children and adolescents aged 12 and over, followed a few days ago by the approval for Moderna. For Germany, however, the Standing Committee on Vaccination (Stiko) has so far only recommended the Corona vaccine for children and adolescents with certain pre-existing conditions who have an increased risk of a severe course of the disease. The Stiko cited a lack of data on the safety of the vaccine as the reason.

Of the total population in Germany, 61.6 percent (51.2 million people) have now been vaccinated once, 52 percent (43.2 million) completely.

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31.07.2021: New entry rules to Germany apply

Berlin (dpa) - Stricter testing requirements when entering Germany are to prevent a Corona outbreak at the end of the summer holidays. They will apply from Sunday, 1 August:

REQUIREMENT TO PROVE: Everyone over the age of twelve must be able to provide proof of complete vaccination, proof of being a recovered person or a negative test result when entering the country. This requirement already existed for all air passengers, but now it also applies to entries by car, train or ship.

VIRUSVARIANT AREAS: Proof of testing is mandatory when travelling to areas with new virus variants of concern. Proof as a recovered or vaccinated person is not sufficient.

CONTROLS: You must have the respective proof with you when entering the country and present it during "random" checks. Air travellers must show the proof to the airline before take-off, in cross-border trains it should also be possible during the journey. Border checks of all cars are not planned.

TESTS: Rapid tests or PCR tests are possible abroad - at one's own expense. Rapid tests may be no more than 48 hours old when entering Germany, PCR tests 72 hours. For rapid tests, the time limit is reduced to 24 hours for virus variant areas.

RISK AREAS: In future, there will be only two categories for worldwide regions with a higher risk of infection instead of three. In addition to the virus variant areas, these are "high-risk areas" with particularly high numbers of cases. One indication: a seven-day incidence of "significantly more than 100". However, other factors should also be considered.

QUARANTINE: Those returning from high-risk areas must spend ten days in quarantine, which can be ended with a negative test on the fifth day at the earliest. For children under twelve, quarantine generally ends after the fifth day after entry. Vaccinated and recovered persons do not have to be quarantined. In the case of virus-variant areas, a quarantine of 14 days, which cannot be shortened as a rule, continues to apply.

REGISTRATION: Holidaymakers from high-risk or virus-variant areas must continue to register with the official digital entry portal. Test, vaccination or convalescent certificates must also be uploaded there as soon as you have them.

SANCTIONS: Violations may result in fines - for example, against the obligation to register, to present proof or to go into quarantine. Transport companies also face fines for violations. In general, fines can be up to 25,000 euros for blatant violations.

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30.07.2021: RKI: Increasing number of Corona cases after travelling 

Berlin (dpa) - According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Corona infections that probably happened while travelling are playing an increasing role in the current incidence of infections in Germany. This is what the RKI writes in its weekly situation report on Thursday evening. According to the report, 3662 cases were reported in the period from 28 June to 25 July in which the affected persons were probably exposed to the virus abroad. Spain, Turkey and the Netherlands were named most frequently as probable countries of infection in the four weeks under consideration, ahead of Croatia and Greece.

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29.07.2021: More than half fully vaccinated 

Berlin (dpa) - Seven months after the start of Corona vaccinations in Germany, more than half of all citizens now have complete protection. According to the Federal Ministry of Health, 41.8 million people or 50.2 percent of the entire population have now been fully vaccinated with the second shot, which is usually necessary. At least one first dose has now been given to 50.9 million people or 61.1 percent of the population. After months of vaccine shortages, Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) again called for people to take advantage of vaccination offers. "The more who get vaccinated now, the safer autumn and winter will be!" he wrote on Twitter.

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28.07.2021

28.07.2021: Extended testing obligation for all travellers probably already from 1 August

Berlin/Munich (dpa) - Holidaymakers must be prepared for extended testing obligations when returning to Germany as early as next month. The federal government had assured that it would try everything by 1 August to introduce a uniform testing obligation, "not only for air travel but also, for example, for everything that comes by normal car or train," said Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) on Tuesday evening on ARD's "Tagesthemen". In the afternoon, he said, he had been informed that a legal basis would be created so that implementation would work on 1 August. Currently, the testing obligation only applies to people entering Germany by plane. Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer (CSU) told the newspaper "Bild" (Wednesday): "Those who are demonstrably vaccinated or have recovered do not need a test, of course".

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27.07.2021: Political debate about restrictions for the unvaccinated

Berlin (dpa) - The rising Corona infection figures have reignited the long-standing debate about more restrictions for the unvaccinated. "This is not discrimination against the unvaccinated," said Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer in an interview with broadcaster RTL/ntv. He said he respects it if someone decides against vaccination for personal reasons. "But the person who has not been vaccinated must also realise that we have to protect society as a whole and therefore can only allow those who have been vaccinated to attend major community events." Chancellery Minister Helge Braun had at the weekend raised the possibility of restrictions on non-vaccinated people if Germany was threatened with a high fourth wave. "That could also mean that certain offers such as visits to restaurants, cinemas and stadiums would no longer be possible even for tested unvaccinated people because the residual risk is too high," he told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

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26.07.2021: Scientifically proven: Music helps in times of crisis

Frankfurt/Main (dpa) - Music helps people to get through crises such as the Corona pandemic. This is proven by a study of the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt am Main with people from six countries on three continents. Demographically representative samples were collected during the first lockdown from April to May 2020: More than 5000 people from Germany, France, the UK, Italy, India and the USA answered questions online about their interaction with music during the crisis. "More than half of the respondents reported using music to cope with emotional and social stressors," the researchers report in the journal Humanities and Social Sciences Communications.

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25.07.2021: First Minister President no longer rules out compulsory vaccination

Stuttgart (dpa) - The Minister President of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, considers compulsory vaccination conceivable in the further fight against the Corona crisis. "We are not planning compulsory vaccination. For all times, I cannot rule out compulsory vaccination," said the Green politician. "It is possible that variants will occur that make that necessary." He said it could well be that "at some point we will only allow certain areas and activities for vaccinated people". He cited measles as an example: "There's also a vaccination requirement for day-care centres, because measles is highly contagious." Kretschmann has been warning of a fourth wave for some time and is rather pessimistic about autumn and winter. The Greens are considered to have good chances in the upcoming federal elections.

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24.07.2021: Spain and the Netherlands become high incidence areas

Berlin/Madrid (dpa) - The German government will classify Spain, the most popular holiday destination for Germans, as a corona high-incidence area from Tuesday. The Netherlands will then also fall into this category, which prescribes stricter requirements when returning to Germany, as the Robert Koch Institute announced on Friday. The decision follows a significant increase in the number of infections in both countries in recent weeks.

Anyone returning to Germany from a high-incidence area who is not fully vaccinated or recovered must be quarantined for ten days, but can shorten that period by testing negative after five days. 

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23.07.2021: Incidence increase mainly among younger people

Berlin (dpa) - According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the increase in the seven-day incidence in Germany has so far mainly been observed in people between 15 and 34 years of age. While the values in the groups aged 60 and over have changed only minimally and at a very low level in recent weeks, the RKI has recorded relatively strong increases for younger people. The highest seven-day incidence of 32 in the past week is recorded by adolescents and young adults.

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22.07.2021: Biontech has its vaccine filled in Africa

Mainz (dpa) - The Mainz-based biopharmaceutical company Biontech will in future have its Covid 19 vaccine filled by a partner in Africa. The South African company Biovac will take over the last manufacturing step, the filling and packaging of the vaccine, and support the distribution in the 55 countries of the African Union, Biontech and the US partner company Pfizer announced. "The tech transfer and all other preparatory activities will begin immediately," a spokeswoman said. When fully operational, Biovac is expected to complete more than 100 million doses of the vaccine annually. Deliveries to Cape Town are to come from the Marburg plant, among others. First deliveries are planned for the beginning of next year.

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21.07.2021: Vaccination bus in disaster area

Mainz (dpa) - Worried about the spread of the Corona pandemic in the disaster area, the state government and district administration have started a vaccination bus in the Ahr valley. Residents of the region can be vaccinated there without registering for an appointment. Vaccines from Biontech and Johnson and Johnson are used. The bus also offers the possibility of quick Corona tests.

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20.07.2021: Researchers: late effects are often organ damage

Ulm (dpa) - A research project at Ulm University Hospital on corona late effects has so far found organ damage in about one in five of its patients. "We have had about 250 patients so far. 20 per cent of them have organ damage," said Dominik Buckert, supervising senior physician at the special outpatient clinic for covid late effects on lungs, heart and vessels at Ulm University Hospital. The specialists for internal medicine in Ulm mainly observe heart muscle inflammation and the consequences of this in the case of organ damage. This includes, for example, cardiac insufficiency and cardiac arrhythmias, says Buckert. "In the case of the lungs, we observe that the lung framework changes and thus a poorer gas exchange is possible." Shortness of breath is the result.

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19.07.2021: Survey: Two thirds against holidays in risk areas

Berlin (dpa) - Two-thirds of Germans do not consider it acceptable to go on holiday in a region classified by the federal government as a corona risk area. In a survey conducted by the opinion research institute YouGov on behalf of the Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 67 percent rejected tourist trips to such areas. Only 25 percent said they considered holidays in risk areas acceptable. 8 percent did not give any information.

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18.07.2021: First federal states reach mark of 50 percent of people fully vaccinated

Berlin (dpa) - In Bremen and Saarland, more than one in two people is now fully immunised, according to data released by the Robert Koch Institute on Saturday. In Bremen it is 50.6 and in Saarland 50.1 percent of the people. The differences between the federal states are large, however: in Saxony and Brandenburg, the figure is just over 42 per cent. Meanwhile, scientists at the Technical University of Berlin expect a fourth wave in autumn. The seven-day incidence rose for the tenth day in a row and was 9.4, according to the Robert Koch Institute.

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17.07.2021: More tourist centres classified as Corona risk areas

Berlin (dpa) - Due to sharply rising Corona infection figures, the German government will also classify the Netherlands, Greece and parts of Denmark around Copenhagen as risk areas from Sunday, after Spain. This means that the Federal Foreign Office advises against tourist travel to these countries and regions. Anyone travelling from there to Germany by land and who has not been vaccinated or recovered will have to take a Corona test again. Portugal and Cyprus have already been classified as high incidence areas.

However, the federal government is working on a new entry regulation from 1 August, which will eliminate the risk areas altogether.

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16.07.2021: Germany gives another 260 million euros for global Corona fight 

Geneva (dpa) - Germany is providing a further 260 million euros in the global fight against the Corona pandemic. This was announced by Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn on Thursday during a visit to the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva. The funds for the WHO will be used for the development, production and distribution of Corona tests, treatment methods and vaccines. The amount is part of a total of 2.2 billion euros from Germany for the international programme against the pandemic, "Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator" (ACT-A). In the coming months, it will be possible to vaccinate hundreds of millions of people in all parts of the world, said Spahn.

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15.07.2021: "Long Night of Vaccination" in Berlin

Berlin (dpa) - The state of Berlin wants to take new and more creative approaches to vaccinations against the coronavirus in the future, because the vaccination rate is still not high enough. "We want to make a long night of vaccination in the arena," said Berlin's health senator Dilek Kalayci. With other offers, especially younger people are to be addressed. On Friday, for example, there will be a pop-up vaccination mobile on Hermannplatz in Neukölln. And on Saturday, the first drive-in for Corona vaccinations is to start in the parking lot of the Ikea store in Lichtenberg.

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14.07.2021

14.07.2021: Slight majority wants to continue working digitally 

Berlin (dpa) - Slightly more than half of the German population wants to continue working digitally, according to a Forsa survey. Of those surveyed aged 18 and over, 51 percent said they would continue to use home offices and video conferencing even after the end of the Corona pandemic, according to a statement by the initiative "Germany - Land of Ideas", which commissioned the survey together with the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). Among 30 to 44 year-olds, as many as 71 per cent were of this opinion.

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13.07.2021: Maas for stronger international cooperation

Berlin/Detroit (dpa) - Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) has called for stronger international cooperation in the fight against the Corona pandemic before his departure for the USA. "Without global solidarity in vaccine distribution, Delta will not have been the last variant we have to defeat," he said. He will visit a production facility of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer near the former industrial metropolis of Detroit. Pfizer is working with the German company Biontech to produce Corona vaccines.

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12.07.2021: Steinmeier: Longing for encounters 

Treffurt (dpa) - After almost one and a half years of the Corona pandemic, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (photo: centre) recognises a longing for encounters and conversations. "We long - and so do all of you - for opportunities to meet and talk that could not have taken place for so long during the pandemic," Steinmeier said on Sunday during the third hike of his "#schrittfuerschritt" tour, which takes him from Thuringia to Hesse. The Federal President appealed to get closer again step by step.

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11.07.2021: Study: Simple window ventilation better than expensive air filters

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, have found in a new study on containing the Covid 19 pandemic and increasing air quality in classrooms that normal window ventilation supported by simple technical aids such as fans and extractor bonnets is superior to expensive filter systems. It works quite simply: fresh, cool air enters the classroom through a tilted window, the warm air breathed by the children causes the air, including the particles, to rise upwards, where they are captured by extractor bonnets and transported outside by a fan in the window.

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10.07.2021: Biontech: will we need a third dose?

The vaccine manufacturers Biontech and Pfizer have jointly announced that they expect a decrease in the protective effect of their coronavirus vaccine six months after the second vaccination. This is based, among other things, on data collected by the Israeli Ministry of Health from practical use. On this basis, "it is likely that a third dose will be required within six to twelve months after the full vaccination".

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09.07.2021: 70 tonnes of medical aid arrived in Namibia

Windhoek (dpa) - 70 tonnes of medical aid supplies from Germany arrived in Namibia's capital Windhoek on Thursday. On board a cargo plane were 500,000 FFP2 masks, 60,000 hospital beds and 300,000 protective gloves from German army stocks. According to the Bundeswehr, a field hospital has already been set up in Windhoek's central hospital in the south-west African state of Namibia. Around 462,000 surgical masks were already handed over in Windhoek in June. Namibia, with a population of almost 2.5 million, has officially registered around 97,100 corona infections and 1662 deaths so far. The country is reaching the limits of its medical infrastructure. So far, only 4.9 per cent of the population have had an initial vaccination, fewer are fully vaccinated.

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08.07.2021: Germany gives 30 million vaccine doses to developing countries

Berlin (dpa) - Germany will give at least 30 million Corona vaccine doses to developing countries and other states by the end of the year. This is according to a report by the Ministry of Health. At least 80 percent of the vaccine donation is to be distributed through Covax. As of mid-June, only 83 million vaccine doses had been distributed through the international vaccine programme, most of them to the poorest countries. A maximum of 20 percent of the donation is to be distributed bilaterally, especially to countries in the Western Balkans with up to three million doses, to Namibia and to countries in the Eastern Partnership. Eastern partners refers to EU neighbours such as Armenia, Azerbaijan or Ukraine.

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07.07.2021: "Fulminant reopening": people flock to the cinemas

Berlin (dpa) - From Thursday to Sunday, almost 830,000 people went to the cinema, HDF Kino and the Association of Film Distributors (VdF) announced. This is "a very good result under the existing conditions". A year ago, around 200,000 tickets had been sold on the calendar weekend, and in 2019, before the pandemic, around 1.29 million tickets had been sold. Another association - the AG Kino-Gilde - even speaks of a "fulminant  reopening". The association mainly represents art house cinemas.

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06.07.2021: RKI: High vaccination target to avoid fourth wave 

Berlin (dpa) - In view of the dreaded delta variant of the coronavirus, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has set a high vaccination target. According to RKI calculations, at least 85 per cent of 12- to 59-year-olds and 90 per cent of seniors aged 60 and older should be fully vaccinated. "If this vaccination rate is achieved in time, a pronounced fourth wave in the coming autumn/winter seems unlikely," says an RKI paper.

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05.07.2021: Berlin producer plans Corona film 

Munich (dpa) - Berlin producer Regina Ziegler wants to make a film about the Corona pandemic. "I will make it a tragicomedy, that's the only way," she said at the Munich Film Festival. Despite the serious and difficult situation, there are so many things to smile about, she said. "I'm in favour of tackling life as it comes to us, with the sad sides, but also with the cheerful sides." Ziegler did not give details yet. However, the film should be shown next year.

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04.07.2021: Slight increase in incidence rate for first time in weeks

Berlin (dpa) - For the first time in weeks, the seven-day incidence rate of new corona infections in Germany has risen compared to the previous day. It was 5.0 infections within seven days per 100,000 inhabitants and thus 0.1 higher than the day before (4.9; previous week: 5.7), according to figures released by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on Sunday morning. According to the figures, health authorities in Germany reported 559 new corona infections to the institute within one day. A week ago, the figure was 538 infections.

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03.07.2021: Lowest corona incidence in almost a year

Berlin (dpa) - For the first time in about eleven months, the incidence of corona in Germany has fallen below 5. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) gave the nationwide value on Saturday morning as 4.9 (previous day 5.0; previous week 5.9). The last time the value was below the 5 threshold was on 30 July 2020, when it was 4.8. According to this information, 16 deaths were recorded across Germany within 24 hours. A week ago, there were 68 deaths.

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02.07.2021: Stiko: Because of delta variant, second vaccination with mRNA vaccine

Berlin (dpa) - In view of the rapid spread of the particularly infectious delta variant in Germany, the Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko) is adjusting its Corona vaccination recommendation. Thus, people who have received a first dose of Astrazeneca should in future receive an mRNA vaccine such as those from Biontech or Moderna as a second injection, regardless of age. The experts justify the advice to combine vector and mRNA vaccine with the fact that the immune response after administering two different preparations is "clearly superior" to the immune response after two doses of Astrazeneca.

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01.07.2021: Digital EU vaccination certificate launches

Brussels (dpa) - On 1 July, the EU vaccination certificate will be officially launched. This means that, just in time for the summer holidays, it will be possible to read a proof of vaccination issued in Germany, a fresh test or an infection that has been overcome via a QR code anywhere in Europe. According to current figures from the Ministry of Health, 37.3 million EU vaccination certificates have already been issued in Germany alone, whereby there can be a certificate for a first as well as a second vaccination.

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30.06.2021: Maas warns against "vaccine diplomacy"

Matera (dpa) - German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has warned China and Russia against using the distribution of Corona vaccines to expand their influence in the world. The fight against the pandemic should not be about "achieving short-term geostrategic advantages", the SPD politician said on Tuesday at the G20 meeting in Matera in southern Italy. China and Russia gave vaccines to other countries very early on, earning accusations of "vaccine diplomacy". To date, China has delivered more than 350 million vaccine doses to more than 80 countries. What was donated, sold at market prices or sold cheaply remains unclear. Russia has delivered significantly less. There are no official figures.

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29.06.2021: RKI: Every second new infection with the delta variant

Munich/Berlin (dpa) - The more infectious delta variant is spreading more and more in Germany. It now accounts for at least 35 per cent of the samples examined, said the President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Lothar Wieler, in a statement by the federal and state health ministers. Since the data is already a few days old, the share can actually be estimated at around 50 per cent.

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28.06.2021: Spanish doctor awarded for commitment in Corona crisis 

Dresden (dpa) - The Spanish doctor Cristina Marin Campos has been awarded the Dresden Prize, worth 10,000 euros, for her commitment in the Corona crisis. The 32-year-old doctor at the Hospital Universitario de La Princesa in Madrid receives the prize on behalf of medical staff all over the world who performed outstanding work during the Corona crisis and continue to do so. When the first wave of the pandemic hit Spain particularly hard in the spring of 2020, she used social media to call on the public to write to the sick to alleviate the loneliness of Covid 19 patients isolated in intensive care units. Already on the first day, 35,000 letters were received.

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27.06.2021: Experts see upswing in German economy

Nuremberg (dpa) - Things are looking up for the German economy: rising private consumption will drive economic output upwards in the second half of the year, economists from leading economic and financial institutions predicted in a dpa survey. "In the wake of sharply falling infection figures and relaxations of the Corona restriction, the way is now virtually clear," said Katharina Utermöhl of the Allianz Group.

Meanwhile, economists warn against too much euphoria about the end of the Corona pandemic and its consequences for the national economy. One risk, they say, is a renewed surge in the number of infections. The experts see positive signals on the labour market. By the end of the year, at least half of the half a million people who became unemployed because of Corona could have found a new job.

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26.06.2021: Vaccination campaign for seafarers started in Hamburg

Hamburg (dpa) - On International Seafarers' Day, Hamburg has started vaccinating seafarers against the coronavirus. "We very much hope that this date will send a signal to German ports to vaccinate seafarers regardless of their nationality," said Ralf Nagel, Executive Member of the Executive Committee in the German Shipowners' Association, on Friday. Ports worldwide should join the vaccination campaign.

There are 1.7 million seafarers on 60,000 merchant ships. At present, ship crews are not allowed to go ashore in many Asian countries. In some cases, they are even denied medical care. The first 40 seafarers from India were vaccinated at the Seamen's Club on Friday.

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25.06.2021: Study: Consumers more optimistic than in a long time

Nuremberg (dpa) - According to a study by the Nuremberg-based consumer research company GfK, the consumer mood in Germany is better than it has been since August 2020. "We are leaving the lockdown more and more behind us," said GfK consumer expert Rolf Bürkl. A sharp drop in the number of infections as well as considerable progress in vaccination allowed for more and more extensive relaxations. Holidays are also possible again. "This is causing rising optimism, which is also expressed in the improved consumer mood," Bürkl said. He said that it was becoming apparent that there would be catch-up effects on expenditures that were foregone in 2020: Travel, restaurant visits and events, but also clothing or services such as those provided by hairdressers and beauty salons.

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24.06.2021: Biontech to build vaccine production facility in Singapore with Siemens

Munich/Mainz (dpa) - Siemens is to become a partner of Biontech in the construction of a vaccine production facility in Singapore. The intention is to intensify cooperation in the rapid establishment and expansion of capacities, Siemens announced. The Munich-based company was already involved in the rapid conversion of a production facility in Marburg. "Now we want to jointly transfer this success to other production sites - and thus make the Covid 19 vaccine available worldwide as quickly as possible," said Siemens board member Cedrik Neike.

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23.06.2021: Merkel has received second vaccination

Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has received her second Corona vaccination, a government spokesperson announced. After Merkel had received the vaccine from Astrazeneca for the first vaccination on 16 April, she had now been vaccinated with the vaccine from Moderna. After her first vaccination, the 66-year-old Merkel had declared via Twitter: "I thank everyone who is involved in the vaccination campaign - and everyone who gets vaccinated. Vaccination is the key to overcoming the pandemic."

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22.06.2021: Private consumption the driving force of the upswing

Frankfurt/Main (dpa) - According to the Bundesbank, private consumption should become a strong driver of the economic upswing. In the Corona crisis year 2020, many people kept their money together, closures in the retail sector and travel restrictions also slowed down consumption. Now, many economists expect consumers to make up for at least some of the postponed purchases, trips and ventures in the coming months - and thus boost the economy.

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21.06.2021: Majority of Dax corporations plan expansion of mobile work

The majority of the 30 corporations listed in the German Stock Index (Dax) are planning to expand mobile work even after the pandemic, according to a survey. This was reported by the Funke Mediengruppe with reference to a survey of the 30 Dax companies. In the survey, 22 companies expressed their interest in increasing the number of mobile working days in the future.

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20.06.2021: Drosten: Take delta variant really seriously

Berlin (dpa) - According to Charité virologist Christian Drosten, Germany must take the delta variant in the pandemic very seriously from now on. "I have now reached the point where I say we are now in the running here in Germany with the delta variant," Drosten said at the Online Congress for Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine. According to an analysis by the Robert Koch Institute for the first week of June, the share of the delta variant in Germany had almost doubled to six per cent within just one week. Drosten referred to Great Britain. There, the more contagious delta variant had clearly taken over the predominance of the infection incidence within a few weeks despite advanced vaccination rates. The 7-day incidences rose again - from 20 to 70. Relaxations were therefore stopped.

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19.06.2021: Merkel and Macron united on fighting Corona

Berlin (dpa) - Germany and France have shown unity in managing the Corona pandemic ahead of the European Union leaders' summit. German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) said in Berlin during a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron that the experience of the pandemic had taught that European action should be as unified as possible. Macron agreed with her, arguing for greater coordination.

Macron and Merkel also agreed on the relationship with Turkey: there were differences of opinion, but they were also dependent on each other on many issues. Russia is a great challenge for Europe, Merkel said. Macron stressed that a common line had to be found.

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18.06.2021: World Medical Association President concerned about delta virus variant 

Berlin (dpa) - The president of the World Medical Association, the German physician Frank Ulrich Montgomery, fears a rapid spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus, which is considered particularly infectious, and sees a need for action on the part of politicians. It is to be expected that the delta variant will spread even faster in Germany than the previous variants, Montgomery told the newspapers of the Funke Mediengruppe. "The tricky thing with this variant is that infected people very quickly have a very high viral load in their throats and can thus infect others before they even realise they have been infected," Montgomery said. As long as not enough people have been vaccinated, the risk of infection in everyday life must be reduced, the medical representative warned.

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17.06.2021: Spahn: More than 50 percent vaccinated this week 

In the course of the week, the 50 percent mark for first-time vaccinations will be cracked in Germany, said Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn on Wednesday after consultations with his state colleagues. By the end of July, beginning of August, every adult who wants to be vaccinated should be offered a vaccination. The second vaccination is more important than sometimes assumed - it protects against the delta variant of the coronavirus. 48.9 per cent of the population now have the first vaccination, 27.6 per cent have full vaccination protection.

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16.06.2021: Corona enters a "chronic phase"

Berlin (dpa) - The coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 will remain, even if once the majority of the world's population should be vaccinated - the majority of experts now assume this. In the future, Covid-19 will become a disease of everyday hospital life and will lose the horror of a pandemic running in waves. We are moving "into a chronic phase," said the president of the German Society for Internal Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DGIIN), Christian Karagiannidis.

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15.06.2021: More relaxed Corona situation in summer

Jülich (dpa) - A more relaxed Corona situation is expected for the coming months. "For the current summer, based on the current data, we expect a moderate infection incidence, similar to last year," explained Jan Fuhrmann from the Research Centre Jülich, who calculates possible pandemic courses. "On the one hand, the now predominant virus variants are more contagious than last summer, on the other hand, an increasing proportion of potentially infectable people are protected by vaccination." Forecasts for the autumn are not yet possible, he said. "That would be pure speculation," Fuhrmann emphasises.

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14.06.2021: SMEs facing "post-Corona boom“

German SMEs are gradually shaking off the Corona crisis. Currently, more than one in four companies is planning to hire new employees in the next six months. In some sectors, such as the electrical industry, the figure was as high as 44 percent, in the chemical and plastics industry it was about one third. This is the result of a representative survey by DZ Bank and the Federal Association of German Cooperative Banks (BVR), who speak of a "post-Corona boom".

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13.06.2021: The strongest school class in Europe

Berlin (dpa) - Schoolchildren in particular have felt the effects of the Corona pandemic. A team of motivation experts is bringing thousands of young people together for a digital school lesson to give them back the fun of teaching in 60 minutes online. Next Tuesday, personality trainer Tobias Beck will give young people aged 14 and over easy-to-implement tricks in a live stream – for more motivation, fun and self-confidence in class, as the initiators of the project "Together Now – the strongest school class in Europe" announced.

After registering on the project's website, the young people receive a link that leads them directly to the transmission. More than 10,000 pupils from Germany, Austria and Switzerland have already registered, they said.

According to the organisers, the project is not only aimed at pupils, but also at teachers, trainees and people interested in further education.

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12.06.2021: Federal Government lifts travel warning for Corona risk areas

Berlin (dpa) - After more than a year, the German government will lift the travel warning for tourist travel to Corona risk areas on 1 July. This currently affects almost 100 states worldwide in whole or in part. From 1 July, the Federal Government will also no longer generally advise against tourist travel abroad. From 1 July, the travel warning will only apply from an incidence of 200 and for areas where dangerous virus variants have spread strongly. These are about 40 countries worldwide.

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11.06.2021: Development Minister calls on G7 to provide billions for vaccination logistics 

Berlin (dpa) - German Development Minister Gerd Müller has called on the G7 countries to provide 16 billion euros for vaccination logistics in poorer countries. The seven industrialised countries want to pledge a donation of at least one billion vaccine doses at their summit in Cornwall, England, starting Friday, as the British government announced. "However, the vaccine doses must also get to the people," Müller told the "Augsburger Allgemeine". "For this, 16 billion US dollars are still missing this year - for example for cold chains, tests and medicines to treat the consequences of an infection." The G7 should quickly close this financial gap, Müller demanded. Germany had gone ahead and provided 2.2 billion euros. The sum matches Germany's previous pledges to the global initiative to tackle the Corona pandemic called ACT Accelerator, which funds Corona vaccines, drugs and tests, and its Corona vaccination programme Covax.

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10.06.2021: Stiko: Corona-vaccination only for children with previous illnesses recommended

Berlin (dpa) - The Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko) has not issued a general vaccination recommendation for healthy children and adolescents aged 12 and over in the pandemic. However, it recommends vaccinations against the coronavirus for 12- to 17-year-olds with certain pre-existing conditions, the Robert Koch Institute announced on Thursday. However, vaccination of healthy children is also possible.

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Start for digital vaccination certificate

Berlin (dpa) - In future, it will also be possible to prove a complete Corona vaccination via smartphone - with a digital vaccination passport that is to be launched on Thursday. The application called "CovPass" is to be able to be used as proof in the case of relaxed Corona restrictions and facilitate travel in Europe during the summer holiday season. This is a voluntary supplement to the yellow paper vaccination booklet that is still valid. It is also planned that several million people who have already been vaccinated will be able to obtain the digital certificate from doctors and pharmacies.

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09.06.2021: Stationary fashion trade almost back to pre-crisis level

Frankfurt/Main (dpa) - Falling incidence figures and the easing of corona requirements in many cities are again ensuring better business in the stationary fashion trade. According to an industry survey published on Monday by the trade journal "Textilwirtschaft", the sales of department stores, fashion retailers and brand shops last week were on average only 5 per cent below the level of the same week in the pre-crisis year 2019. For comparison: in the last week of May, the minus had still been 32 per cent, in the last week of April even 80 per cent.

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08.06.2021: Almost half vaccinated

Berlin (dpa) - According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on Monday, 38 million people (45.7 per cent) have been vaccinated at least once, 17.7 million people (21.3 per cent) have been fully vaccinated. A total of 54.9 million vaccination doses against the coronavirus have now been administered in Germany.

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07.06.2021: Vaccinations for all: prioritisation ends

Berlin (dpa) - From this Monday onwards, people who want to be vaccinated against Corona will be able to do so, regardless of the priority list that has been in force so far in Germany. With the end of prioritisation, the vaccine can generally be given to the entire population. In Germany, everyone over the age of twelve can now be vaccinated. However, it will take the summer until there is enough vaccine for everyone.

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06.06.2021: Drosten: Most plausible source for Corona is China's fur industry

Zurich/Berlin (dpa) - Among the various hypotheses on the origin of Sars-CoV-2, Berlin virologist Christian Drosten sees the route via the fur industry as the most plausible. "I don't have any evidence for this, except the clearly proven origin of Sars-1, and this is a virus of the same species. Viruses of the same species do the same things and often have the same origin," Drosten told the Swiss online magazine Republik. In 2002 and 2003, a wave of infections originating in China had led to about 800 deaths worldwide. The disease was called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars). The pathogen Sars-CoV-2, which was detected for the first time at the end of 2019, is very closely related to the virus at that time.
In the first Sars virus, the transitional hosts were tanuki and creeping cats, Drosten said. "That is certain." In China, tanuki are still used on a large scale in the fur industry. In the process, he said, wild tanuki are repeatedly brought into the breeding farms, which may have previously eaten bats - considered the most likely source of Sars-CoV-2. "Tanuki and creeping cats have their fur pulled over their ears while they are still alive," explained the Charité virologist. They emit death cries and roar, and aerosols are produced in the process. Humans can then become infected with the virus."

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05.06.2021: More and more Corona relaxations

Berlin (dpa) - In view of falling Corona infection figures, more and more everyday restrictions are being dropped in many places in Germany. In Berlin, shop visitors and guests of outdoor restaurants no longer need a negative test. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is allowing foreign holidaymakers into the state again. In Bavaria, the cabinet decided on Friday on comprehensive relaxations for restaurants, private meetings and celebrations, for example. As far as vaccinations are concerned, one fifth of the German population has now received full protection.

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04.06.2021: Spahn calls on G7 to hand over vaccines

Oxford (dpa) - German Health Minister Jens Spahn (photo: right) has called on all G7 countries to hand over vaccines, calling on the UK and the USA in particular to do so. He wanted to "once again promote the fact that it is not only the European Union that exports to the world", the politician said on Thursday at the start of a meeting of the G7 health ministers in Oxford, England. "The European Union is helping to vaccinate the world right now. Fifty percent of the vaccines produced in the European Union are and have been exported because we know very well: We are not safe until everyone in the world is safe," Spahn said. Great Britain, which holds the G7 Council Presidency, and the USA have exported almost no vaccines so far.

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03.06.2021: Development Minister: Finance vaccine doses for poorer countries

Berlin/Geneva (dpa) - Development Minister Gerd Müller has called for increased efforts to finance vaccine doses for poorer countries ahead of a top-level meeting of the Covax vaccination initiative. "We can only defeat Corona with a worldwide vaccination campaign. This must also apply to the poorest," the politician said. The international vaccination programme Gavi, which manages the Corona initiative Covax, brought together politicians and representatives of the private sector and foundations online for a fundraising meeting on Wednesday. At the virtual summit, several countries pledged an additional nearly $2.4 billion for equitable access to Corona vaccines. The new money brings Covax's total funding commitments to date to $9.6 billion. Germany has committed 2.2 billion euros to the World Immunisation Programme, according to Müller, and plans to distribute 30 million doses of vaccine to poorer countries by the end of the year.

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02.06.2021: Survey: Many want to wear masks even after the pandemic

Berlin (dpa) - Even after the Corona pandemic, almost half of the people in Germany want to continue wearing masks to protect themselves against diseases, according to a survey. According to a representative survey conducted by the opinion research institute Civey on behalf of the newspaper "Augsburger Allgemeine", 44.7 per cent of the respondents were in favour. On the other hand, 41.9 per cent of the respondents want to permanently do without the piece of cloth in front of their mouth and nose. The rest are undecided.

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01.06.2021: Merkel: Federal emergency brake can expire 

Berlin (dpa) - The "federal emergency brake" with uniform measures in case of high Corona infection numbers can expire at the end of June in the view of Chancellor Angela Merkel. "It can expire now," Merkel said in Berlin on Monday. At the same time, the Chancellor made it clear for the case of nationwide rising infection numbers again: "Should something develop through mutations, which we hope nothing will, then we can reactivate it at any time." The uniform federal rules that came into force in April are limited in the Infection Protection Act until 30 June at the latest.

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31.05.2021: Development Minister calls for fairer distribution of vaccines 

Berlin (dpa) - Development Minister Gerd Müller has called for a more equitable distribution of the Corona vaccines. In the whole of Africa, he said, only less than two percent of the people had been vaccinated. "It cannot be that some rich countries secure four or even eight vaccine doses per capita. Distributing this overcapacity fairly on a global scale is the fastest way to vaccinate as many people as possible," the CSU politician told the newspapers of the Funke Mediengruppe. The vaccine doses should therefore also be made available to risk groups in developing countries as quickly as possible, Müller said. "We defeat the pandemic and its consequences worldwide or not at all."

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30.05.2021: "A big step back to normality"

EU Parliament President David Sassoli expects rapid progress on Corona vaccines in Europe. "More than 237 million doses of licensed vaccines have now been delivered across Europe. The roll-out continues to accelerate and Member States are on track to have at least 70 percent of the adult population vaccinated by mid-July," Sassoli told Funke Mediengruppe newspapers. The EU Parliament President went on to say that a digital vaccination card would come into force on 1 July, which "should enable travel to be as smooth and safe as possible as early as this summer." This is a big step back to normality.

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29.05.2021: After EMA approval: Vaccination priority for sick children?

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek has spoken out in favour of offering covid-vaccination to at least children with severe diseases by the start of the school year. On Friday, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) had given the green light for EU approval of the Biontech preparation for children aged 12 to 15. However, formal approval by the EU Commission is still pending, as is the review by the German Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko) as to whether it recommends vaccination for Germany.

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28.05.2021: Spahn in South Africa: support for vaccine production 

Pretoria (dpa) - German Health Minister Jens Spahn plans to meet with politicians and scientists in South Africa on Friday for talks on the international fight against the Corona pandemic. In the afternoon, a kick-off meeting of an initiative is planned in the capital Pretoria, with which Germany and France want to reaffirm their support for the establishment of their own vaccine production in Africa. The CDU politician plans to attend on behalf of the German government. French President Emmanuel Macron is also expected to attend. The background to the visit also includes announcements by the EU to promote the production of and access to vaccines in Africa. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had announced last week at a health conference of the 20 most important industrialized and emerging countries (G20) in Rome that the EU would support the construction of sites for vaccine production in Africa with one billion euros.

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27.05.2021: RKI: Only 2 per cent share of Corona variant discovered in India 

Berlin (dpa) - According to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the Corona variant B.1.617, which was discovered in India and is now widespread in many countries worldwide, remains quite rare in Germany. For the third week in a row, the proportion of this mutant in the samples examined is in the range of around two per cent, according to an RKI report published on Wednesday evening.

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Corona

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26.05.2021: Drosten: At the forefront of vaccination

Berlin (dpa) - Virologist Christian Drosten believes Germany is well on the way to vaccinating against corona. After the initial difficulties, Germany is now at the forefront compared to other European countries, the Charité scientist said on Tuesday evening in the podcast "Coronavirus Update" on NDR-Info. "This is already happening very quickly in our country." This will lead to a decrease in the severity of the disease, so that at some point over the summer we will have to "come to a different view of the entire threat situation".

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25.05.2021: German heads UN panel on pandemic prevention 

Geneva (dpa) - Two dozen leading scientists are to work out strategies on behalf of the United Nations to prevent further pandemics of animal origin. The German virologist Thomas Mettenleiter was introduced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva as one of the chairs of the new panel. Mettenleiter is president of the Friedrich Loeffler Institute (Federal Research Institute for Animal Health) on the Baltic Sea island of Riems. "We hope to deliver the first tangible results by autumn this year," Mettenleiter said at an online press conference. The expert council was initiated by Germany and France.

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24.05.2021: Spahn promotes international pandemic treaty

Geneva/Berlin (dpa) - Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn has advocated an international pandemic treaty. After the worldwide spread of the coronavirus could not be prevented last year, international cooperation must become more binding, the CDU politician said. "States must commit to cooperating and implementing jointly set regulations," Spahn demanded before the start of the virtual annual meeting of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday. The meeting is to set the course for a pandemic treaty. "Now the momentum for a reform of the WHO is there," Spahn said. "We should use it."

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23.05.2021: Germany is largest donor to the WHO

Geneva (dpa) - Germany has become a kind of WHO champion in the pandemic: No country has increased its contributions so significantly. For the WHO budget 2020-21, Berlin is transferring the equivalent of around 900 million euros, almost four times as much as in the previous two years. Germany has gone from being the fifth largest donor to the largest by far. With 30 percent less, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is behind as things stand today, according to a WHO budget analyst.

A WHO pandemic early warning centre is also being built in Berlin, which Germany is funding with 30 million euros. Here, supercomputers will analyse vast amounts of data on animal and human diseases from all over the world. The aim is to sound the alarm before a pandemic breaks out at the slightest sign of a possible threat.

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22.05.2021: Biontech: 2 billion doses of vaccine for poorer countries

Rome (dpa) - The 20 most important industrialised and emerging countries (G20) want to prevent health crises in the future with stronger international cooperation in the production and distribution of vaccines. Vaccine manufacturers pledged to supply poorer countries with more than one billion Corona vaccine doses by the end of the year at a digital world health summit in Rome on Friday.  Vaccine manufacturers Biontech and Pfizer, for example, plan to deliver a total of two billion doses of their Corona vaccine to poorer countries this year and next year. The recipient countries are reportedly to pay either only the manufacturing costs or a "low-cost price", depending on the possibility.

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21.05.2021: Europe-wide Covid 19 certificate is coming

Brussels (dpa) - Just in time for the summer season, the EU countries and the EU Parliament have agreed on details of a Europe-wide certificate for the proof of Corona vaccinations, tests and survived Covid 19 diseases. This increases the chance of further travel facilitation in the EU. However, it is still unclear when exactly the digital European Covid certificate will be introduced in the individual countries.

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20.05.2021: Ciesek: No failure of vaccination with Indian variant 

Frankfurt/Hamburg (dpa) - According to the Frankfurt virologist Sandra Ciesek, the Indian variant of the coronavirus can weaken the effect of the vaccination, but not eliminate its protection. The B.1.617 mutant, which is already circulating in dozens of countries, recently had a share of less than 2 per cent in Germany, although the trend is increasing. "The variants from India have a slight immune escape, i.e. a slightly reduced effectiveness," said the director of the Institute for Medical Virology at the University Hospital Frankfurt on Tuesday in the NDR podcast "Das Coronavirus-Update". What is observed is "a slight limitation, but not a complete failure of the vaccinations".

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19.05.2021: Bundeswehr plant supplies 400,000 litres of oxygen a day for India 

New Delhi (dpa) - 400,000 litres of concentrated oxygen per day are produced by the plant in New Delhi that the Bundeswehr recently flew to India. It filters ambient air and compresses oxygen, which is then bottled, as Lieutenant Colonel Claas Gärtner, spokesman for the team of medical soldiers from Germany, explains. This more concentrated oxygen is needed for patients whose lung function has been severely impaired by Corona. Ventilation is intended to ensure that the organism is supplied with sufficient oxygen.

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18.05.2021: Vaccination prioritisation to be lifted

Berlin (dpa) - Vaccination prioritisation is to end on 7 June 2021. This was decided by Health Minister Jens Spahn on Monday evening after consultations with his state colleagues. The priority lists according to age, diseases and occupation, which have been introduced since the start of vaccination five months ago, are then to be dropped in practices and regional vaccination centres. In three weeks, company and private doctors are also to be vaccinated regularly. However, Spahn also said: "This does not mean that we will then be able to vaccinate everyone within a few days. I must continue to ask for patience." It will take until the summer to be able to vaccinate everyone who wants to.

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17.05.2021: Biontech greatly expands vaccine production

Mainz (dpa) - Biontech has increased its production capacity for this year from the original 1.3 billion vaccine doses to up to three billion, CEO Ugur Sahin said when presenting economic data. Of that, more than 40 per cent is expected to go to middle- and low-income countries, he said. Biontech will also establish a subsidiary in Singapore and set up a production facility for the mRNA vaccine there, Sahin said. "Together with other vaccine developers, more than enough vaccine will be produced in the next nine to 12 months and there is not the slightest need to cancel patents."

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16.05.2021: Willingness to vaccinate rises sharply

Berlin (dpa) - More than 30 million people in Germany have already received a first Corona vaccination - and in the next few months it is likely to be at least as many again: Since the start of the vaccination campaign in Germany almost five months ago, the willingness to be vaccinated has increased significantly. This is the result of a YouGov survey commissioned by the Deutsche Presse-Agentur. According to the survey, 74 percent of Germans over the age of 18 want to be immunised against the coronavirus. Shortly before the start of the vaccination campaign on 27 December, only 65 percent had decided to be vaccinated. At that time, 19 percent refused the immunisation, now it is only 15 percent. The proportion of undecided people has dropped from 16 to 11 percent since the end of December.

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15.05.2021: Seven-day incidence again below 100

Berlin/Quakenbrück (dpa) - Health offices in Germany have reported 7,894 new corona infections to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) within one day. This is according to figures released on Saturday morning. The number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants reported within seven days was 87.3 nationwide on Saturday morning, according to the RKI (previous day: 96.5; previous week: 121.5). Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn has described the further decline in the number of new corona infections in Germany as encouraging. The fact that the nationwide seven-day incidence had fallen below the threshold of 100 for the first time since 20 March gave cause for confidence, he said on Friday during a visit to the Bundeswehr pharmacy in Quakenbrück, Lower Saxony. However, the situation varies greatly across the country, as there are districts with an incidence value of 35, but also those with over 200.

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14.05.2021: Germany relaxes entry regulations

Berlin (dpa) - In view of falling Corona infection figures across Europe, the German government has removed a major hurdle to summer holidays abroad: with a decree in force since Thursday, it lifted the general quarantine requirement for entry from more than 100 countries. Among them are some of the most popular holiday destinations for Germans, such as Spain, Italy, Greece, Austria and Switzerland. Anyone entering Germany from these countries can be exempted from quarantine by taking a negative Corona test. This test is obligatory for air travellers anyway. For those who have recovered and have been fully vaccinated against Corona, the relaxation goes even further. They only have to be quarantined if they come from an area with new virus variants. Vaccinated and recovered people who come to Germany from the approximately 190 other countries in the world also no longer have to be tested for Corona before or after entering the country. The regulation is the most far-reaching relaxation of entry regulations since Corona began spreading in Germany at the beginning of last year.

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13.05.2021: "Summer can be quite good in Germany"

Berlin (dpa) - Virologist Christian Drosten expressed optimism on German television about the period from June onwards because that is when vaccinations would have a noticeable effect for the first time. "Summer can be quite good in Germany." The head of the Charité virology department believes that the situation will consolidate greatly once the young, very mobile people are also vaccinated. These would have special functions in the transmission network of the virus.

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12.05.2021: Drosten: Virus will become endemic

Berlin (dpa) - Virologist Christian Drosten estimates that the population in Germany will become immune to the coronavirus in about the next year and a half. This will happen through vaccination or natural infection, the Charité Berlin scientist told the podcast "Coronavirus Update" (NDR-Info) on Tuesday. "This virus will become endemic, it will not go away. And anyone who actively decides against getting vaccinated now will inevitably get infected." Nothing could be done about it, he said, because the measures would be cut back more and more over time.

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11.05.2021: USA approves Biontech vaccine for children aged twelve and older 

Silver Spring (dpa) - The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Corona vaccine of German manufacturer Biontech and its US partner Pfizer also for children and adolescents aged 12 to 15. The existing emergency approval for administration from the age of 16 has been adapted and expanded accordingly, the FDA announced on Monday. Before the USA, Canada and other countries had already approved the vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds. The EU will probably follow soon.

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10.05.2021: Lollipop tests begin in primary and special schools 

Düsseldorf (dpa) - This Monday, North Rhine-Westphalia will be the first federal state to introduce so-called lollipop tests nationwide at all primary and special schools. The tests are called lollipop tests because the pupils have to suck on the test stick like on a lollipop for 30 seconds. The samples are examined in PCR test procedures by laboratories. The testing is first done in groups. Only when a group has tested positive are individual tests of the group members done. "The lollipop tests will help us to break chains of infection in schools from the very beginning," said NRW School Minister Yvonne Gebauer (FDP).

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09.05.2021: Biontech vaccine cheaper for poor countries

Mainz (dpa) - Vaccine manufacturer Biontech does not consider a patent release to be expedient, but wants to accommodate poor countries on price. "We will continue to supply low or lower middle income countries with our vaccine at a non-profit price," the company announced. It said it was confident that the continued expansion of production capacity would help end this pandemic. A political debate had flared up around patent protection. The World Health Organisation is in favour of suspending patent protection in general in order to be able to supply the population of poorer countries with vaccine at low cost. The US government has joined this demand. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has spoken out against it, and the EU also sees it as "not a miracle cure".

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08.05.2021: Germany allows Astra-Zeneca's COVID-19 vaccine for all adults

Berlin (dpa) - Prioritised vaccination against COVID-19, for example of nursing home residents, the chronically ill as well as nursing staff and doctors, is coming to an end in Germany. Next week, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn announced on Friday, one million doses of the vector vaccine will be delivered to doctors' offices, which will then be allocated without prioritisation. The vaccine Vaxzevria of the British-Swedish manufacturer Astra-Zeneca is now to be available to every adult willing to be vaccinated in consultation with the doctor. Those who are not afraid of the feared loss of efficacy can receive the two necessary injections at intervals of only four weeks. With a little luck, vaccinated people can expect a relaxation of the Corona measures before the summer holidays.

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07.05.2021: Corona rules relaxed for vaccinated and recovered people

Berlin (dpa) - The pandemic rules will be relaxed for those who have been fully vaccinated and those who have recovered from Corona. One day after the Bundestag, the corresponding ordinance also passed the Bundesrat on Friday. If it is now quickly published in the Federal Law Gazette, the relaxations could apply as early as this weekend. According to the ordinance, contact and exit restrictions for fully vaccinated and recovered persons will be abolished. They will not be counted when meeting other people. So, for example, even in regions with high infection rates, two unvaccinated people could meet with an unlimited number of vaccinated people. Vaccinated people also no longer have to take a test in shops or at the hairdresser.

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06.05.2021: Maas presses for speed in global vaccine distribution 

London (dpa) - German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is pressing for faster distribution of Corona vaccine to poor countries. "We want to continue this initiative, we want to be even faster, we want to deliver even more vaccine to the world," the SPD politician said on the sidelines of the G7 foreign ministers' meeting in London. According to Maas, the G7 countries USA, Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Canada together finance three quarters of the Covax initiative. By the end of the year, two billion vaccine doses should be made available through Covax.

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05.05.2021: Air Force flies oxygen production facility to India 

Wunstorf (dpa) - The German Air Force is flying an oxygen production facility to India, which has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic, on Wednesday. The equipment is to be flown to New Delhi by two A400M transport planes from the Wunstorf air base in Lower Saxony as aid from the German government. The second aircraft is scheduled to take off on Thursday. Hospitals in India are running out of medical-grade oxygen because of the increasing number of coronavirus patients. The facility converts outside air into medical-grade, high-percentage oxygen, which can then be bottled.

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04.05.2021: University of Würzburg researches corona inoculation

If Professor Thomas Rudel, holder of the Chair of Microbiology at the Julius Maximilians University of Würzburg (JMU), has his way, there could be significant reinforcements in the fight against the worldwide Corona pandemic in the future: A vaccination that is not administered by syringe, but in the form of a capsule that can simply be swallowed. The preclinical development, which should pave the way for the first clinical trials on humans, has already begun. Professor Rudel came up with the idea for the oral vaccine just over a year ago. "We are using an approach that has been in use for many years millions of times over as protection against typhoid infection". The oral typhoid vaccine is based on a special strain of bacteria. Rudel and the scientists in his laboratory are now working with the same bacterial strain. However, with a significant modification: "We have programmed the bacteria to produce SARS-CoV-2 antigens," says the microbiologist.

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03.05.2021: Provisional approval for German Corona drug?

The Braunschweig-based company Corat Therapeutics considers an application for provisional approval of its drug against Covid-19 still possible in 2021. This was said by the company's scientific director, André Frenzel, referring to the current development. A few days ago, the company had announced the start of clinical tests with the active substance on patients in hospitals. The drug, with the development name Cor-101, is intended to help moderately to severely ill Covid-19 patients. This is reported by NDR.

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02.05.2021: German Corona aid arrives in India

New Delhi (dpa) - An air force plane has brought aid material from Germany to India, which is currently hard hit by the pandemic. On board the aircraft were 120 respirators and 13 medical personnel. It arrived in the capital New Delhi on Saturday evening (local time). Hospitals in India are running out of medical oxygen because of the increasing number of Corona patients. The soldiers are to set up a mobile oxygen production facility of the German Armed Forces in India, instruct local Red Cross personnel and stay in the country for 14 days for this purpose. The very large oxygen production plant is to be delivered on Wednesday and Thursday by two transport planes.

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01.05.2021: Biontech: Application submitted for vaccine approval for children aged twelve and older

Mainz (dpa) - German vaccine manufacturer Biontech and its US partner Pfizer said they have applied to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for approval of their corona vaccine for children and adolescents aged 12 to 15. The companies announced that the aim is to adapt and extend the existing marketing authorisation to this age group. As soon as the EMA approves the amendment, the adapted conditional marketing authorisation will be valid in all 27 EU member states.

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30.04.2021: Spahn starts production of Biontech vaccine in Schleswig-Holstein

Reinbek (dpa) - The pharmaceutical company Biontech is starting an important step in the production of its Corona vaccine in Schleswig-Holstein. Production began at Allergopharma in Reinbek on Friday with a visit by Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn. Without the new site, it would not be possible to further accelerate the vaccination campaign as planned, Spahn said. Of the 80 million vaccine doses in the second quarter, 50 million would come from Biontech. "Reinbek has its share in that."

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29.04.2021: Air Force to fly coronavirus aid to India from Saturday 

Berlin (dpa) – From Saturday, the German Air Force is to fly medical aid supplies to India, which has been hit by the worst coronavirus wave so far. In addition, a complex oxygen production facility will be flown to the country next week by two A400M transport aircraft, announced the Defence Ministry on Thursday. Sixteen paramedics will be on site to set up the equipment and provide instruction. The Ministry had previously stated that 120 ventilators are to be transported to India on board a first flight on Saturday, on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Health.

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28.04.2021: Poll: Majority in favour of lifting vaccination prioritisation 

Berlin (dpa) - A large majority of Germans are in favour of the planned abolition of the vaccination order in June. This was stated by 72 percent of respondents in a survey by the opinion research institute YouGov. Only 13 percent "rather" or "completely" rejected it. Fifteen per cent did not make any statements. For the representative survey, 1449 people in Germany aged 18 and over were questioned on 27 April.

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27.04.2021: Merkel: Vaccinations for all from June at the latest

Berlin (dpa) - Corona vaccinations are to be available to everyone in Germany from June at the latest - that is, without the previous prioritisation with a fixed order. "This does not mean that everyone can then be vaccinated immediately," Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) said in Berlin on Monday after consultations with the state premiers. "But then everyone can apply for a vaccination appointment, and they will be given according to supply." For the ever-increasing number of vaccinated people, relief from Corona regulations is also on the horizon - among other things, for entry into Germany or access to shops. The federal government is planning an ordinance on this.

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26.04.2021: Doctors and politicians: vaccinated people should get their rights back

Berlin (dpa) - Before the Corona vaccination summit of the federal and state governments, doctors' associations and politicians are calling for vaccinated people to be given back their basic rights soon. For example, vaccinated nursing home residents should be allowed to eat together and have visitors again, said Katrin Göring-Eckardt, chairperson of the Green Party in the Bundestag, to the "Rheinische Post". She added that proof suitable for everyday use was also needed for citizens who had been vaccinated or tested negative. According to her, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the state premiers should also ensure this Monday that withheld vaccine doses are released and that no vaccine is thrown away. Like Göring-Eckardt, the Federal Chairman of the General Practitioners' Association, Ulrich Weigeldt, called for all supplies to be used up immediately.

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25.04.2021: 150.000 people use reporting app after Corona vaccination

Langen (dpa) - More than 150.000 people have reported to the authorities via a smartphone app how well they tolerated the vaccination since the start of the vaccination campaign. According to the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) in Langen, this was 1.5 per cent of those vaccinated so far. The information is stored in encrypted form on the smartphone and transmitted to the PEI with a random number. The participants are asked about health complaints after each vaccination: seven times within three weeks after the first vaccination and eight times within four weeks after the second vaccination. Further surveys follow six and twelve months later.

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24.04.2021: Health Minister recalls burden on nursing staff

Berlin. "We are in a difficult situation," said Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn at a press conference in Berlin on Friday. Currently, more than 5000 patients are being treated in intensive care units. The burden is above all "very, very high for the staff." This should never be forgotten, the Federal Health Minister warned. "The remedy of choice, the most effective, is and remains reducing contacts," Spahn said. (deutschland.de) 

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23.04.2021: Federal emergency brake comes into force

Berlin (dpa) - People in Germany will have to prepare for new Corona restrictions starting this weekend. The new Infection Protection Act comes into force this Friday. The emergency brake is to be pulled if the number of reported new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in a district or city exceeds 100 for three days in a row within seven days. Then, as a rule, people are no longer allowed to leave their own homes after 10 pm. Only walking and jogging are allowed until midnight. No more than one household may meet with another person, with the exception of children up to 14 years of age. Shops may now only open for customers who present a negative Corona test and have booked an appointment. Classroom attendance at schools is to be stopped at an incidence of 165.

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22.04.2021: RKI: Flu wave failed to materialise - a novelty 

Berlin (dpa) - With only 519 laboratory-confirmed cases so far, what is probably the weakest flu season in decades in Germany is coming to an end. According to the definition of the Influenza Working Group (AGI) at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the criteria for the beginning of an influenza wave have not been met, an RKI spokeswoman announced. This means: "There has been no flu wave at all this season." This is a novelty since the beginning of flu surveillance by the working group, which was founded in 1992. One reason for the absence of the wave of infections is the Corona protection measures.

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21.04.2021: Federal emergency brake passed in Bundestag

Berlin (dpa) - The law for a federal emergency brake against the third Corona wave has cleared an important hurdle in the Bundestag. The CDU/CSU and SPD members of parliament approved the draft amendment to the Infection Protection Act in its second reading on Wednesday. The emergency brake is to establish binding rules for stricter Corona countermeasures nationwide. In case of high infection rates, far-reaching curfew restrictions from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. are to take effect. A halt to face-to-face classes and stricter regulations for shops are also to serve to curb new infections. The regulations could take effect from Saturday at the earliest. Before that can happen, they still have to pass the Bundesrat on Thursday. In addition, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier still has to sign the law, and it still has to be officially promulgated.

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20.04.2021: German citizens spent significantly less on consumption

Cologne (dpa) - According to calculations by the Institute of the German Economy (IW), consumers in Germany spent on average at least 1250 euros less on private consumption in the Corona year 2020 than in the year before the crisis. In total, this corresponds to a decrease in consumer spending of 116 billion euros, according to a study by the research institute. The authors of the study emphasise that in 2020, German citizens bought particularly few short-lived consumer goods such as clothing or shoes.

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19.04.2021: Germany funds Covid drug research

Berlin (dpa) - The Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding drug research for the treatment of Covid-19 with 50 million euros. But Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek has dampened hopes for quick success. The CDU politician said that many discussions with researchers have repeatedly made it clear that one should not expect miracles. Drug development usually takes years, sometimes even decades. "There will not be one miracle pill against Covid-19," Karliczek said. Instead, patients need different therapies depending on the severity or stage of the disease. This is where we want to start.

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18.04.2021: Steinmeier hosts memorial service for victims in Corona pandemic

Berlin (dpa) - A good year after the start of the Corona pandemic, the state will commemorate the deceased and express its sympathy to the relatives at a central event on Sunday. Five bereaved families and the heads of the five constitutional bodies will take part in the memorial service hosted by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at Berlin's Konzerthaus am Gendarmenmarkt. So far, according to the Robert Koch Institute, around 80,000 people have died in Germany from or with the involvement of a confirmed Sars-CoV-2 infection.

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17.04.2021: Merkel vaccinated with Astrazeneca

Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has received her first Corona vaccination. "I am happy to have received my first vaccination with Astrazeneca today," Merkel announced via Twitter on Friday. She added: "I thank everyone involved in the vaccination campaign - and everyone who gets vaccinated. Vaccination is the key to overcoming the pandemic." The chancellor is 66 years old, falling into the group of those eligible for Astrazeneca vaccinations in Germany. Merkel did not include a picture of her vaccination in the tweet.

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16.04.2021: Pfizer boss: third and annual vaccination doses probably necessary

New York (dpa) - The fight against the coronavirus pandemic could require a third shot as a booster and then an annual vaccination, according to Pfizer chief Albert Bourla. "A likely scenario is that there will be a need for a third dose, somewhere between six and 12 months, and then an annual revaccination, but all of that has yet to be confirmed," the US pharmaceutical company's chief executive told US broadcaster CNBC. Other scientists and pharma representatives had already expressed similar views. Pfizer and its German partner Biontech are already studying the effect of possible boosters of their Corona vaccines.

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15.04.2021: Survey: Germans defy pandemic with positive attitude

Berlin (dpa) - Germans remain confident and optimistic about the future despite more than a year of the Corona pandemic, according to a survey by the Opaschowski Institute for Future Studies. "The population's longing for a good and better life is growing stronger," Horst Opaschowski told the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland. Subjectively, hope is growing, although people are not objectively better off, the futurologist said. "The mental strength is surprising. With the duration of the pandemic, new forces are rather released: instead of fear and pessimism, perseverance, confidence and hope prevail."

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14.04.2021: Drosten considers further measures necessary in addition to Corona emergency brake

Berlin (dpa) - Due to the situation in intensive care units, virologist Christian Drosten expects that further measures will be necessary in addition to the planned nationwide Corona emergency brake. "I think that based on the situation that is now developing in the hospitals, we will have to react differently," said the corona expert from the Berlin Charité in the podcast "Coronavirus Update" on NDR-Info. This would certainly have to happen in the "very near future".

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13.04.2021: Aerosol researchers warn against wrong corona measures

Berlin (dpa) - Leading aerosol researchers from Germany have addressed politicians with clear words. "If we want to get the pandemic under control, we have to make people aware that there is danger lurking INSIDE," they say in a letter to the federal and state governments. "Wearing a mask in the pedestrian zone and then having a coffee table in your own living room without a mask is not what we as experts understand by infection prevention."

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11.04.2021: More than 15 percent of Germans have received first vaccination

Berlin (dpa) - More than 15 percent of people in Germany have received a first vaccination. According to the Robert Koch Institute, 12.7 million people had already been vaccinated once by Saturday, and 4.9 million people had already received a second vaccination. After the general practitioners' practices had started Corona vaccinations and also more vaccines were available, the number of vaccinations per day had strongly increased in the past week.

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10.04.2021: Biontech and Pfizer want to use vaccine from 12 years onwards

Washington (dpa) - The Corona vaccine of the German-American partnership Biontech/Pfizer is to be used in the USA in future also for adolescents from the age of twelve. An application to expand the existing emergency approval for the vaccine has been submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US pharmaceutical company Pfizer said. Similar applications will be submitted to other regulatory agencies worldwide "in the coming days", it added. So far, the use of the vaccine has only been approved in the USA for people over the age of 16. The manufacturers have also already started a clinical trial for babies from six months and younger.

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09.04.2021: Surge in Corona vaccinations in Germany

Berlin (dpa) - Following the entry of general practitioners, the number of Corona vaccinations in Germany has jumped. Around 656,000 doses were administered on Wednesday - 290,000 more than the previous day. This is according to the daily vaccination statistics of the Robert Koch Institute. On Wednesday, vaccinations started in most of the federal states in the total of 35,000 participating GP practices. So far, no more than 367,000 Corona vaccine doses had been administered in Germany on any single day.

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08.04.2021: World Medical Association President calls for choice in vaccines

The president of the World Medical Association, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, calls for a choice in vaccines on the occasion of the discussion about the AstraZeneca vaccine. One should now focus even more on Biontech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson in order to prevent irritation among the population, the German physician told the "Rheinische Post". "And you have to give people the right to choose the vaccine as soon as possible."

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07.04.2021: Curevac to produce coronavirus vaccine in Heidelberg

Tübingen (dpa) - The Tübingen-based biotech company Curevac wants to have more than 100 million coronavirus vaccine doses produced in Heidelberg. More than 50 million doses are to be produced this year, as Curevac announced on its website. To this end, Curevac and the Swiss pharmaceutical contract manufacturer Celonic have entered into a cooperation agreement. Celonic has a site in Heidelberg in addition to its headquarters in Basel. Curevac confirmed that it intends to apply for marketing authorisation for its vaccine in the second quarter of 2021. The company expects approval by the end of June.

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06.04.2021: General practitioners start vaccinations

Berlin (dpa) - Now the second stage of the vaccination campaign in Germany begins: This week, 35,000 GPs nationwide want to start with vaccinations against Corona. Some practices are already starting this Tuesday, others are still waiting for vaccine and want to follow in the next few days. Since the start of the vaccination campaign at the end of December, the vaccines have so far been administered mainly in the 430 vaccination centres nationwide.

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05.04.2021: First Bundeswehr vaccination centre works around the clock

Lebach (dpa) - The first vaccination centre of the German Armed Forces in Lebach, Saarland, has been working around the clock since Sunday. In a three-shift operation, up to 1000 vaccinations per day are possible, the Ministry of Defence announced on Twitter. Around 110 soldiers are deployed for this purpose. More than 14,000 night appointments have been made until May, the ministry said on Sunday. Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (photo) was in Lebach for the premiere.

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04.04.2021: Federal Minister of the Interior promotes uniform Corona rules by federal law

Berlin (dpa) - According to Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, the Corona rules in Germany should be anchored uniformly by federal law. "There is a great longing among the population for uniform rules. My proposal is therefore to establish the uniform rules by a federal law," the CSU politician told the newspaper Welt am Sonntag. "This law should prescribe exactly which steps would have to be taken for the respective incidence values - from tightening to relaxing."

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03.04.2021: Steinmeier: Germans should stick together 

Berlin (dpa) - Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has called for a joint show of strength against the third wave of the Corona pandemic. "Let us all join forces, dear compatriots! Let's get out what we have in us," he said in a televised Easter address. The head of state spoke of a "crisis of confidence" and failures in testing, vaccination and digitisation. "After 13 months, holdout slogans do not help." What is needed now is clarity, decisiveness and pragmatic regulations "so that people have orientation".

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02.04.2021: Poll: More powers for Merkel

Berlin (dpa) - A good two-thirds of Germans would like Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) to be given a more active role in the fight against Corona. In a survey conducted by the opinion research institute Civey, 67 per cent of the respondents were of the opinion that the Chancellor should be allowed to intervene more in the Corona policies of the federal states. According to the survey, more than half also said Merkel should "definitely" take action against the prime ministers.

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01.04.2021: Federal President vaccinated - with Astrazeneca

Berlin (dpa) - German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, 65, has received his first Corona vaccination. The head of state was injected with the vaccine from Astrazeneca at the Bundeswehr Hospital in Berlin on Thursday, according to the Office of the Federal President. The Federal President then appealed to all citizens to follow his example: "I trust the vaccines approved in Germany," he stressed in a statement. "Today I received my first vaccination with Astrazeneca. Vaccination is the decisive step on the way out of the pandemic. Take advantage of the opportunities. Get involved!"

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01.04.2021: British Corona variant already at almost 90 per cent

Berlin (dpa) - The very contagious Corona variant B.1.1.7, which was first discovered in Great Britain, is spreading rapidly in Germany. It has reached 88 per cent, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported on Wednesday evening, referring to tests conducted last week. The spread of the variant is worrying because "according to current knowledge, it is significantly more contagious and probably causes more severe courses of the disease than other variants." A further increase in the number of covid cases in hospitals is therefore to be expected.

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31.03.2021: Air travellers to Germany need negative Corona test

Berlin (dpa) - In the fight against the Corona pandemic, a general testing obligation now applies to all air travel to Germany. The test must be taken before take-off in the country of departure. Anyone who cannot provide the airline with proof of a negative result will not be allowed to board the plane. The new requirements came into force at 0.00 a.m. on Tuesday night and are to apply until 12 May inclusive for the time being.

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30.03.2021: Major treaty to combat pandemics

Berlin (dpa) - More than twenty heads of state and government from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America have proposed drafting a new international treaty to prevent and combat future pandemics, according to a report. This should draw lessons from the mistakes made in dealing with Covid-19, according to an appeal published in the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" and on "faz.net". Among the signatories are German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, EU Council President Charles Michel, Chile's President Sebastian Pinera, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa, South Korea's President Moon Jae In and Indonesia's President Joko Widodo.

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29.03.2021: Merkel: No relaxation and model projects

Berlin (dpa) - In view of the third Corona wave, Chancellor Angela Merkel has clearly rejected all planned relaxation measures and model projects in Germany. On Sunday evening, the CDU politician exerted massive pressure on the Länder in the ARD programme "Anne Will" to persuade them to implement the emergency brake and even tougher measures. Merkel also hinted that the federal government could take action if the Länder did not take the necessary measures.

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28.03.2021: Johnson & Johnson vaccine expected to be used from mid-April

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will probably be used in Germany from mid-April, according to Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn. He made his comments at an online discussion event organised by the federal government, where citizens could ask questions. The President of the Paul Ehrlich Institute, Klaus Cichutek, who also took part, was optimistic about the ongoing testing of other vaccines. At present, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is testing three vaccines: an mRNA vaccine from the Tübingen-based company Curevac, the Russian vaccine Sputnik V and a vaccine from the US manufacturer Novovax.

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27.03.2021: Financial stability after crisis

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz expects a stable national budget also for the time after the Corona crisis. The Vice-Chancellor said in an interview that the past years had been managed seriously. Scholz assumes that at the end of the pandemic there will be less national debt in relation to economic output than at the end of the last crisis ten years ago. And, Scholz added: "We will even have less government debt at the end of the crisis than all the other big G7 countries had before the crisis."

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26.03.2021: Germany sends aid flight to Brazil

Due to the dramatic corona situation in Brazil, the German Government is sending an aid flight with 80 breathing apparatuses to the South American country today, according to the Federal Foreign Office. The equipment comes from stocks of the Federal Ministry of Health and will be transported to Manaus by the German Armed Forces. The delivery is the Federal Government's response to a request from Manaus. The Amazon city has become a hotspot of the Corona pandemic in recent weeks.

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25.03.2021: Vaccine commissioner expects second German vaccine soon

The German government's vaccine commissioner, Christoph Krupp, expects a second German coronavirus vaccine to be available soon. "The government has high hopes for the vaccine production by Curevac," Christoph Krupp told the newspapers of the Funke Mediengruppe. If the approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) goes through as planned by the company, "then we will be able to use the Curevac vaccine from the second half of the year".

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24.03.2021: Merkel withdraws "Easter calm“

Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has decided to stop the federal-state decision on the so-called "Easter calm" after massive criticism. Merkel made the announcement on Wednesday in a meeting with the state premiers that was convened at short notice. Among other things, the "Easter calm" stipulated that Maundy Thursday would be a day of rest and that only grocery shops would be allowed to open on Easter Saturday.

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24.03.2021: Russian vaccine Sputnik V to be produced in Germany

Moscow (dpa) - The Russian pharmaceutical company R-Pharm wants to produce the Corona vaccine Sputnik V, developed in Moscow, in Illertissen (photo), Bavaria, from June or July. "We are making every effort so that it can start in the summer," said R-Pharm manager Alexander Bykov in Moscow. Millions of doses could be produced monthly in Illertissen. "We already have the equipment there and the cadres," Bykov said. He did not name the exact production capacity. At the moment, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is reviewing the approval of the preparation.

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23.03.2021: Radical lockdown over Easter

Berlin (dpa) - In view of the drastic increase in the number of Corona infections, the federal and state governments are sending the whole of Germany into the most severe lockdown over Easter since the beginning of the pandemic a year ago. From 1 to 5 April inclusive, i.e. from Maundy Thursday to Easter Monday, public, private and economic life is to be largely shut down in order to break the third wave of the pandemic. This was decided by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the state premiers in a marathon meeting lasting more than eleven hours on Tuesday night.

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Corona

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22.03.2021: Lockdown until 18 April

Berlin (dpa) - In view of the high number of Corona infections, people in Germany must be prepared for a general extension of the lockdown until well after Easter. A draft resolution from the Chancellor's Office for the federal-state round of talks this Monday names 18 April as the date for this. It emphasises that additional openings would be ruled out in the event of exponential growth in the number of infections, even below an incidence threshold of 100. Without "significantly restrictive measures", the number of new infections will rise so quickly that an overload of the health system is "likely" as early as April, the draft emphasised.

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21.03.2021: Test concert in Berlin Philharmonie as pilot project

A "test concert" with chief conductor Kirill Petrenko has been given in the Berlin Philharmonie as a pilot project. The audience had to be tested for the corona virus before the event. The approximately 1000 tickets for the concert with works by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov were sold out online within three minutes. Berlin's Senator for Culture Lederer had stressed that for him the project was a blueprint for testing how cultural events could function safely during the corona pandemic.

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20. 03.2021: Vaccination summit: General practitioners will also vaccinate

Berlin (dpa) - General practitioners in Germany are to start vaccinating against the coronavirus as a matter of routine immediately after Easter. This was decided by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the Minister Presidents of the federal states at the vaccination summit during a telephone conference. It was also agreed that five federal states would receive additional vaccination doses to protect against the introduction of mutated coronaviruses by commuters from neighbouring states. This concerns Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate with their border to France as well as Bavaria, Saxony and Thuringia because of the high infection figures in the Czech Republic.

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19.03.2021: Green light for Astrazeneca

Amsterdam/Berlin (dpa) - The EU's competent authority has once again put Astrazeneca's vaccine to the test. The result: the European Medicines Agency (EMA) considers the benefits of the vaccine to be significantly greater than the risks. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) had stopped vaccinations with the preparation in Germany on Monday for the time being. On Thursday evening, Spahn gave the green light again.

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18.03.2021: RKI: Share of the more dangerous Corona mutant already at 72 percent

Berlin (dpa) - The more infectious and probably also more dangerous Corona variant B.1.1.7 discovered in Great Britain is increasingly displacing other forms of the virus in Germany. According to a report by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), it now accounts for 72 per cent of all cases. This means that it is now found in about three out of four samples. The spread of variant B.1.351 (first detection in South Africa), on the other hand, is declining somewhat, while variant P.1 (first detection in Brazil) continues to be found only sporadically in Germany. Due to the now high proportion of B.1.1.7, an exponential increase in the number of Corona cases in Germany is to be expected, the report said.

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17.03.2021: Vaccination summit probably on Friday

Berlin (dpa) - The vaccination summit with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), which was cancelled at short notice, will probably be held this week. The telephone conference with the heads of government of the federal states will take place soon - "possibly already on Friday", a government spokesperson said on Tuesday. By then, the assessment of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on the safety of Astrazeneca's vaccine should be available. The EMA plans to issue a recommendation on further use on Thursday.

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15.03.2021: Germany suspends vaccinations with Astrazeneca as a precautionary measure

Berlin (dpa) - As a precautionary measure, Germany is also suspending Corona vaccinations with the preparation of the manufacturer Astrazeneca. This was announced by the Federal Ministry of Health on Monday and referred to a current recommendation of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute for necessary further investigations.

AstraZeneca vaccinations have already been suspended in several European countries. This is due to cases of blood clots that occurred in connection with vaccinations. The European Medicines Agency (Ema) knows of 30 such cases in a total of five million vaccinated people in the EU and another 12 million in the UK. Ema and the World Health Organisation (WHO) see no reason to suspend vaccinations. (deutschland.de)

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Private consumption shrinks more than at any time in 50 years

Wiesbaden (dpa) - The Corona crisis has severely curbed private consumption in Germany. Last year, households spent 5.0 per cent less than a year before, adjusted for prices, as reported by the Federal Statistical Office on Monday. This was the sharpest decline since 1970. Especially during the first half of the year, spending fell in almost all areas. In the first lockdown, costs for train and air travel, among other things, were eliminated, as were restaurant visits. People only spent more money on food and beverages. In the second half of the year, however, people were more willing to buy durable consumer goods. These include cars, furniture and larger electrical appliances.

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14.03.2021: First drive-in vaccination station in Lower Saxony

Sitting in their cars, numerous senior citizens in the town of Bremervörde in the district of Rotenburg in Lower Saxony received a Corona vaccination on Saturday. The offer was aimed at women and men aged 80 and over. Almost 480 people had registered for the drive-in vaccination. A vaccination line was set up on the market and fair grounds for this purpose. The women and men first had to register from the passenger seat, followed by a doctor's consultation, the vaccination and finally the approximately 15-minute monitoring phase. The district cited speed as an advantage of the drive-in vaccination. In the vaccination centre, several rooms had to be visited for the stations. This costs time - especially for people who are less mobile.

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13.03.2021: Vaccine self-sufficiency by 2022

Berlin (dpa) - The Federal Government is aiming for Germany to be able to supply itself with vaccines next year. From 2022 onwards, "a secure supply for Germany through its own production capacities should be guaranteed", said the government's vaccine commissioner, Christoph Krupp (SPD), to the newspapers of the Funke-Mediengruppe. To this end, a "task force will draw up a concept for production capacities in Germany from 2022 onwards" by May.

According to Krupp, in the event of a pandemic, the Europeans should also be able to produce a new active ingredient for the entire European population in a quarter of a year. "That would be 500 million vaccine doses. Germany should make a powerful contribution to this."

Meanwhile, 12,674 new Corona infections have been reported in Germany within one day. That is 3,117 more than a week ago. According to the Robert Koch Institute, the seven-day incidence rose further to 76.1.

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12.03.2021: Fourth vaccine approved

Berlin/Amsterdam (dpa) - In the fight against the coronavirus, a fourth vaccine is coming onto the market in the EU, for which just one injection is enough. On Thursday, the EU Commission granted approval to the US manufacturer Johnson & Johnson on the recommendation of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The EU expects the first deliveries in April. Germany is to receive 36.7 million doses.

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11.03.2021: RKI: Third wave has begun

Geneva (dpa) - One year after a pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) believes that the third wave of coronavirus has begun in Germany. "We have very clear signs of this: the third wave has already started in Germany," said RKI President Lothar Wieler, speaking to the Association of Accredited Correspondents at the United Nations (ACANU) in Geneva. "I am very concerned." Strict implementation of protective measures such as wearing a mask and keeping a distance is still urgently needed despite vaccinations, he said.

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10.03.2021: Study: Pollen count can increase spread of corona virus

Munich (dpa) - According to a study, heavy pollen count can increase the risk of corona. If there is a lot of pollen in the outdoor air, the number of infections increases, reports an international team led by researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Helmholtz Zentrum München in the scientific journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" ("PNAS"). According to the authors, pollen leads to an altered immune defence in the mucous membranes, so that fewer defence messengers directed against viruses are produced, so-called antiviral interferons. According to experts who were not involved in the study, however, the observation does not give cause for excessive concern.

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09.03.2021: Almost half of the German population has already been tested

Almost half of the German population has already had a coronary test. According to survey data from the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in Berlin, 43 percent of respondents have already had themselves tested for the virus. The survey, which has been conducted regularly for almost a year, documents how the population deals with the situation, how they protect themselves and how they inform themselves about current events.

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08.03.2021: Cross-border research project on virus variants starts

In a cross-border project on the spread of coronavirus variants, samples from Saxony, the Czech Republic and Poland will be analysed in Dresden in future. Thus, starting on Monday, 150 tests will be collected and sequenced weekly at the University Hospital. "The sequencing will help us to obtain an even more precise overview of the occurrence and spread of mutations and, if necessary, to adapt appropriate protective measures," explained Minister President Michael Kretschmer (CDU). "The coronavirus can only be fought together." The federal government is supporting the project financially.

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07.03.2021: Germany takes in Corona patients from Slovakia

Düsseldorf (dpa) - The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia is taking in seriously ill Covid 19 patients from Slovakia, which has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, at short notice. On Saturday, the first two patients were expected at Dortmund airport to arrive in Germany by charter plane, the state government announced. They are to be treated at the Dortmund hospital. More patients could arrive in the next few days. In relation to the population, Slovakia now has the highest number of corona deaths worldwide.

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06.03.2021: Maas offers Czech Republic treatment for Corona patients

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has offered the neighbouring Czech Republic, which has been hit particularly hard by the Corona pandemic, to have patients treated in German hospitals. "We would very much welcome this if it would alleviate somewhat the difficult situation that exists in the Czech Republic." The Czech Republic had asked Germany on Friday to take over and treat at least a dozen Covid 19 patients. In response, the state of Saxony had offered to take in intensive care patients and deliver vaccine and rapid tests to the border regions that were particularly affected. Already during the first wave of the Corona pandemic last spring, a total of 232 intensive care patients from the particularly hard-hit countries of Italy, the Netherlands and France were brought to German hospitals.

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05.03.2021: Corporations want to vaccinate employees themselves

Berlin (dpa) - A growing number of large German companies want to take the protection of their employees against the corona virus into their own hands because of the lame vaccination campaign. Dax companies such as Allianz and Deutsche Telekom are just as willing to have their own workforces vaccinated by company doctors as the chemical industry, the Baywa conglomerate or the Versicherungskammer, which is affiliated with the savings banks. "We stand by our offer to support the vaccination strategy through a coordinated deployment of company doctors," said employers' president Rainer Dulger on Thursday.

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Corona

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04.03.2021: Lockdown in Germany is extended and softened

The lockdown to combat the Corona pandemic in Germany will be extended in principle until 28 March, but with many opening options depending on the infection situation. This was announced by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the state premiers late on Wednesday evening in Berlin.

 

  • The strict limitation of private contacts in the fight against the Corona pandemic will be relaxed. From next Monday, private meetings of one's own household with another household will again be possible, but limited to a maximum of five people plus children up to 14 years of age. If the number of infections is low, even more contacts are allowed: In regions with a seven-day incidence of less than 35 new infections per week, it may also be meetings of one's own household with two other households with a maximum of ten persons together. Children up to 14 years of age are excluded from this.
  • Bookshops, flower shops and garden centres can reopen nationwide if hygiene requirements are met.
  • If infection figures are good, further gradual relaxation of the Corona restrictions is planned. For example, in regions where the incidence is below the seven-day threshold of 100 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants, museums, galleries, zoos, botanical gardens and memorial sites could open for visitors with appointment bookings, in addition to appointment shopping offers in the retail sector. Individual sports alone or in pairs as well as sports in groups of up to ten children up to 14 years of age will then also be permitted outdoors. With a stable seven-day incidence of less than 50, the requirements will be dropped or weakened. Then, non-contact sports in small groups outdoors will also be possible again.
  • According to the decision, the next opening steps will be conditional on the previous step not leading to a worsening of the seven-day incidence for 14 days. Then the first step will be to open outdoor restaurants, cinemas, theatres, concert halls and opera houses, as well as indoor non-contact sports and outdoor contact sports. The next step will be to open up other sports facilities and leisure events.
  • In order to speed up the sluggish Corona vaccination process, general practitioners and specialists are to be involved more extensively than before, at the latest by the beginning of April.
  • Starting next week, the federal government will cover the cost of one Corona rapid test per week for every citizen. (with dpa)

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Corona

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03.03.2021: International Covax-Initiative thanks Germany

The international Covax initiative to distribute coronavirus vaccines around the world is gathering momentum. Following the first deliveries, vaccination programmes have started in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire, and a first shipment has also gone to Colombia. The United Nations celebrated this on Tuesday as a milestone of historic proportions.

By the end of May, 237 million doses of the Astrazeneca vaccine are to be distributed to 142 countries, said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization (WHO). In addition, 1.2 million doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine will be shipped by the end of March. Covax may be able to purchase and distribute 500 million more vaccine doses this year than planned, making for a total of 1.8 billion, said Seth Berkley, head of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance.

Covax is a UN programme that aims to provide all countries in the world with rapid access to coronavirus vaccines. The acronym stands for Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access. For one thing, Covax is funding many vaccine candidates. This allows the approximately 170 participating countries to share the risk of investing in a company whose vaccine fails. And for another, it procures vaccines at favourable prices by ordering in bulk.

Berkley thanked Chancellor Angela Merkel by name, saying that she "has been a champion of such activities for many years". Germany has pledged 1.5 billion euros this year to UN activities promoting coronavirus tests, vaccines and medicines, according to Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development. Including last year's contributions, this results in a total of 2.2 billion euros, making Germany one of the largest donors.

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Covax

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Germany helps out Czech Corona hotspots with vaccine

Karlovy Vary (dpa) - An additional 15,000 doses of vaccine have arrived from Germany in the Czech Republic, which has been hit hard by Corona. This was confirmed by a spokeswoman for the administrative region based in Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad). The German states of Saxony, Thuringia and Bavaria had announced the joint donation, which is intended for the Corona hotspots near the border in the west of the Czech Republic. The President of the Karlovy Vary Region, Petr Kulhanek, spoke of a "gesture of helpfulness". With the additional vaccine, the risk of transmission in the border area could be reduced.

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02.03.2021: Federal government proposes two free rapid tests per week for all

Berlin (dpa) - With a view to possible further openings of the Corona Lockdown, the Federal Ministry of Health proposes two free rapid tests per week for all citizens. They are to be taken by trained personnel - for example in test centres, surgeries or pharmacies, but also at other service providers. The concrete start date in March is still to be decided by the federal and state governments. The tests are to help stop infections and contain the virus. According to the concept, the tests are also "conceivable as a prerequisite for entering certain facilities".

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01.03.2021: Maas proposes European act of mourning

Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has suggested a European act of mourning for the Corona dead. More than half a million people have lost their lives in connection with a Corona infection, the SPD politician told the newspapers of the Funke Mediengruppe. "I would very much like us to commemorate the deceased together in a European act as well," Maas said. "That would be a visible sign that we are not only fighting the pandemic together, but are also united in our mourning for the victims."

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28.02.2021: German Medical Association: Central recording of rapid tests

Berlin (dpa) - The results of rapid corona tests should be recorded centrally by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), according to the German Medical Association Bundesärztekammer. "With the growing importance of rapid antigen tests in Germany, the results of these test procedures should be evaluated in detail," said Klaus Reinhardt, President of the Medical Association. Uncomplicated digital reporting procedures and a central recording of test results by the RKI would shed light on the dark field of unregistered infections and enable a more comprehensive picture of the pandemic situation in Germany. So far, only the results of laboratory-based PCR tests have been reported to the RKI in Germany.

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27.02.2021: Germany to produce vaccines for world population

Berlin (dpa) - The German government plans to massively expand vaccine production against the coronavirus in Germany. "We are not alone in the world, we bear great responsibility in Europe and internationally, especially with regard to the poorer countries. Our goal is therefore vaccines "Made in Germany" on a scale that can also contribute significantly to supplying the world's population," said State Secretary Andreas Feicht. He oversees the Federal Government's newly established Vaccine Production Task Force.

"A key lesson from the crisis is that we need to strengthen production again, especially for vaccines, medical products and precursors in Germany and Europe," Feicht said. To this end, he said, an industrial structure must be built up and strengthened in Germany and Europe in such a way.

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26.02.2021: Larger quantities of vaccine at the beginning of April

Berlin (dpa) - The federal states expect a significant advance in vaccinations against the coronavirus by the beginning of April. With the arrival of more vaccines, vaccination capacities could also be doubled, according to a survey by the Deutsche Presse-Agentur. The manufacturer Biontech announced a total of more than 11.5 million vaccine doses by the end of March. From Moderna, 1.8 million doses are to be delivered to the countries by then. In addition, about 5.6 million doses of Astrazeneca's vaccine are expected to be delivered. In total, almost 19 million vaccine doses could have been delivered by then.

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25.02.2021: Vaccination delays cost billions

"Every week that the pandemic is prolonged by delayed vaccinations causes value-added losses of around two billion euros in the sectors most affected. This does not include costs of cancelled education and health care costs as well as losses due to late effects of covid," said economist and Ifo President Clemens Fuest. "Both procurement and vaccination are too slow," he said. "Everything that is necessary to speed up must be done now. Virtually any amount spent by the state is worth it because the cost of the lockdown is very high."

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24.02.2021: Vaccines can be quickly adapted to new Corona variants

Düsseldorf (dpa) - According to experts, the current Corona vaccines can be adapted relatively quickly to possible new virus variants. At least for mRNA vaccines, a change of the construct is possible within six weeks and the production of millions of doses within another six weeks, said Klaus Cichutek, President of the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), which is responsible for vaccines. There are proposals from the EU Commission for legal regulations, he said. "If they go through, they will be such that no new authorisation is needed here."

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23.02.2021: From Plague to Corona: Large Exhibition on Epidemics

Hildesheim (dpa) - Plague, cholera, Spanish flu: For thousands of years, people have been afflicted by epidemics. From the end of August, an exhibition entitled "Epidemics - Curse of the Past, Threat to the Future" at the Roemer- und Pelizaeus-Museum in Hildesheim will focus on infectious diseases and their control since antiquity. Planning began back in 2018, when no one had any idea that a virus called Sars-CoV-2 would change the course of the world. In the coming months, the gigantic show will be set up on more than 1800 square metres. This will make it the largest exhibition ever on the subject.

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22.02.2021:Panel doctors want to vaccinate in surgeries

Berlin (dpa) - The panel doctors also want to administer the Corona vaccine from Biontech/Pfizer in their practices as soon as sufficient vaccine is available. Initial data had shown that transport and storage of the preparation was also possible at significantly higher temperatures. "That, in turn, is the prerequisite for vaccinating in the practices. That means we also see Biontech as a vaccine in the practices," said the head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV), Andreas Gassen, on ZDF's "Morgenmagazin" on Monday. It is currently "difficult to determine precisely" when doctors will start vaccinating in their practices. There are not yet sufficient vaccination quantities, he said. "I think a period of four to six weeks will give us more clarity," Gassen emphasised.

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21.02.2021: Study from Israel: Biontech vaccine 99 per cent effective in preventing serious complications

Tel Aviv (dpa) - The Biontech/Pfizer corona vaccine prevents severe courses of the disease or deaths in about 99 percent of cases after the second vaccination, according to the Israeli Ministry of Health. The disease itself was prevented 95.8 per cent of the time, and the onset of symptoms such as fever and breathing difficulties 98 per cent of the time. The Director General of the Ministry of Health, Professor Hezi Levi, said the data showed a significant decrease in cases of illness and death. "We are the first country in the world to prove the vaccine works in the real clinical world."

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20.02.2021: G7 strengthen global vaccination campaign

Berlin (dpa) - With additional billions for the global vaccination campaign, the seven major economic powers (G7) want to advance the fight against the Corona pandemic in poor countries. At the end of their virtual G7 summit on Friday, the heads of state and government spoke out in favour of making 2021 a "turning point for multilateralism". It was the first G7 summit with the new US President Joe Biden, after his predecessor Donald Trump had repeatedly torpedoed the community with his solo efforts.

At the summit, the G7 increased their pledges for the vaccination campaign in poorer countries by more than four billion US dollars, according to their own statements. This includes two billion dollars that the USA is making available immediately. The EU doubled its aid by 500 million euros. The German government is providing additional funds of 1.5 billion euros. Germany is now the largest donor, ahead of the USA and Great Britain. Chancellor Merkel stressed that "the pandemic will not be defeated until everyone in the world has been vaccinated".

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19.02.2021: Maas: Equal access to vaccines also for countries in conflict

In a speech at the UN Security Council Open Debate, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called for ensuring equal access to COVID-19 vaccines also for countries in conflict. He said: "In every country, COVID-19 places an enormous burden on the health, social, economic and security infrastructure. But in countries that are going through conflicts and crises, this burden is much higher. Protecting people and societies in such fragile situations from the consequences of the pandemic is not only of urgent public health and socio-economic importance, but a key contribution to world peace and international security."

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18.02.2021: 48 percent of corona-positive people without antibodies

Berlin (dpa) - Protective antibodies against the corona virus are often not detectable in the blood of formerly infected persons after some time. This is shown by new study data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). According to the study, this was the case in 48 percent of those tested.  However, this does not necessarily mean that they have no immunity, the RKI said. There are other protective mechanisms of the body, such as memory T cells. However, the result once again speaks in favour of vaccination, said RKI President Lothar Wieler. It is generally not atypical for coronaviruses to lose their antibody protection more quickly than other viruses.

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17.02.2021: Free rapid tests for all

Berlin (dpa) - Free rapid tests are to help contain the virus and thus enable more relaxations in the medium term. This was announced by Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU). "From 1 March, all citizens are to be able to be tested free of charge by trained staff with rapid antigen tests." They will be available in test centres, surgeries and pharmacies. The advantage is that the samples do not have to be sent to a laboratory for analysis, but work in a similar way to pregnancy tests, as the ministry explains: the sample is placed on a test strip, which reacts with a discolouration. To do this, however, one must have a nasal or throat swab taken by trained personnel. Since these antigen tests are not considered very accurate, a positive result must be confirmed by a PCR test.

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16.02.2021: Researcher: Third wave after light openings

Berlin (dpa) - Braunschweig systems immunologist Michael Meyer-Hermann fears a third wave caused by more infectious variants of the coronavirus. "We are currently facing at least two pandemics," the researcher explained. "We have the old one under control with the current measures." An incidence of 35 could be reached in early March, he said. But the B.1.1.7 mutant has a 35 per cent higher probability of transmission, according to conservative estimates. "It is already in a phase of exponential growth in Germany and the current measures are not enough to slow down this development," he added. "The more you open now because of the falling incidences, the sooner the third wave with B.1.1.7 will develop."

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15.02.2021: EU to offer vaccination to all by end of summer

The European Union wants to make a vaccination offer to all citizens who want it by the end of the summer. This is what EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton told the French TV channel BFM. He added that this would not require a vaccine in addition to those already planned for the EU.

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14.02.2021: Border controls in force

Berlin (dpa) - Germany's tightened entry rules at the borders with the Czech Republic and the Austrian province of Tyrol came into force on Sunday night. According to the Federal Government, from Sunday onwards only Germans and foreigners with residence and residence permit in Germany are allowed to enter Germany from the Czech Republic and large parts of Tyrol. The Czech Republic and Tyrol are considered virus-variant areas. There are exceptions to entry for health personnel, lorry drivers and other transport personnel in goods traffic.

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13.02.2021: Corona measures prevent flu

Berlin (dpa) In the current season, the flu has almost no chance even in view of Corona protection rules with distance and masks, said Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU). At present, there are only 20 to 30 reported cases of flu per week instead of the usual order of magnitude of several thousand cases. Also, one million vaccine doses are still available, so that interested people can still get vaccinated against influenza.

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12.02.2021: Biontech develops software for vaccine management

Mainz (dpa) - The Mainz-based vaccine manufacturer Biontech is developing software with the state of Bavaria to better manage vaccine distribution. "The rough framework for this is in place," a company spokeswoman said on Friday. However, the project has not yet been completed, she added. According to the Biontech spokeswoman, experts from the company's own IT department and a partner company are working on the project. There are also talks with the Federal Ministry of Health about it. Among other things, the software should improve the planning reliability of the vaccination centres and help them to react flexibly to any changes in delivery quantities. According to the report, the software should also be able to record vaccines other than the preparation from Biontech and Pfizer.

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11.02.2021: Lockdown extended until 7 March

Berlin (dpa) - The federal and state governments (photo: Federal Chancellery) agreed on Wednesday to extend the current measures until 7 March. There could be a next opening step if the number of new infections continues to fall. If the so-called seven-day incidence of new infections has fallen to a stable level below 35 by 7 March, the countries should be able to relax the restrictions step by step. An exception is to be made for hairdressers. They are to be allowed to reopen at the beginning of March under strict hygiene conditions.

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Corona

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10.02.2021: Biontech starts vaccine production in Marburg

Mainz (dpa) - The Mainz-based company Biontech has started production of its Corona vaccine at its new plant in Marburg, Hesse. As a first step, the messenger mRNA will be produced, the company announced. In the first half of 2021, 250 million doses of the vaccine from Biontech and Pfizer are to be produced in Marburg. The first vaccines produced at the Marburg site are expected to be delivered in early April. Biontech plans to produce up to 750 million doses of the Covid 19 vaccine annually there.

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09.02.2021: Willingness to be vaccinated increases

Hamburg (dpa) - The willingness to be vaccinated against Corona has increased in Germany, according to a representative survey. At the end of January, it was 62 percent; in November, 57 percent of those surveyed had expressed their willingness to be vaccinated. This was the result of a study by the Hamburg Center for Health Economics, as the University of Hamburg announced on Monday. "We see that especially the previously undecided young people have now made a decision," explained the Scientific Director at the Hamburg Center for Health Economics, Prof. Jonas Schreyögg. In addition, confidence in the safety of vaccines has increased since November. In Germany, 57 percent of those surveyed believe that the vaccines now available are safe.

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08.02.2021: One in two against easing the lockdown

Berlin (dpa) - Every second German is against an easing of the lockdown to contain the Corona pandemic. According to a survey conducted by the opinion research institute YouGov on behalf of the Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 37 percent are in favour of extending the current restrictions beyond 14 February, while another 13 percent are even in favour of tightening them. On the other hand, 30 per cent are in favour of easing the restrictions and 13 per cent are in favour of a complete return to normality. 7 percent did not give any information.

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07.02.2021: Steinmeier: Memorial service for victims of the pandemic

Berlin (dpa) - The central memorial service for the dead in connection with the Corona pandemic is to take place on 18 April. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said. "The aim of the memorial service is clear: to pause as a society, to give the bereaved a voice, to bid farewell to the dead in dignity," said the Federal President. The event is to be broadcast live. "In addition to bereaved families, the leaders of the state will also attend this Sunday. Unfortunately, because of Corona, only a limited number of participants can be there, and many plans remain uncertain." In Germany, 60 000 people have died in connection with the corona virus since the beginning of the pandemic; worldwide, the death toll is more than two million.

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06.02.2021: Concern about virus variants

Berlin (dpa) - The more infectious Corona variants are likely to play a growing role in Germany, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). So far, however, they have not yet dominated the infection scene, as RKI head Lothar Wieler said. The share of the B.1.1.7 variant discovered in Great Britain is currently just under six per cent of the cases detected.

In Great Britain, variant B.1.1.7 is now by far the most common in the samples examined. The Astrazeneca vaccine is also effective against this variant, according to Oxford University, which developed the vaccine. According to a study published so far only in the preprint, the protection against a symptomatic infection is similarly high as with the previously predominant virus variant.

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05.02.2021: Merkel: "Slight light at the end of the tunnel"

Berlin (dpa) - Less than a week before the next Corona meeting of the federal and state governments, the further strategy is still open, according to Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). She could not yet say what would come out of the consultations next Wednesday, Merkel said in an interview with the broadcasters ntv and RTL on Thursday evening. "Because I have to look at how far the British virus has already penetrated." She warned against "false hopes": "I see a slight light at the end of the tunnel, but it's an incredibly difficult time." Merkel expressed the view that the peak of the second wave had passed. The number of infections is clearly decreasing and more and more people are being vaccinated. However, target values have not yet been reached.

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04.02.2021: Ethics Council rejects privileges for those who have been vaccinated

Berlin (dpa) - The German Ethics Council believes it would be wrong to lift state restrictions on freedom of movement – imposed because of the corona pandemic – earlier for people who have been vaccinated. In any case, it first needs to be clarified whether vaccinated people continue to pose a risk of infection or not, said the chairperson of the Ethics Council, Alena Buyx (photo), in Berlin on Thursday. "Any individual lifting beforehand of the restrictions for those who have been vaccinated" would not therefore be right. If necessary, vaccinated people could still be expected to follow rules such as wearing a mask or keeping their distance, she added. The Ethics Council is a body whose statements are supposed to provide orientation for politics and society. Its members are appointed by the President of the Bundestag.

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03.02.2021: Curevac wants to develop vaccine against variants with Glaxosmithkline

Tuebingen/London (dpa) - German vaccine maker Curevac plans to work with British pharmaceutical company Glaxosmithkline to develop more mRNA vaccines that protect against mutated variants of the coronavirus. "This new collaboration builds on our existing links with Curevac," Glaxosmithkline (GSK) chief executive Emma Walmsley said, according to a statement on Wednesday. "It represents us combining our scientific expertise in mRNA and vaccine development to accelerate the development of new covid-19 vaccines."

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02.02.2021: Bundeswehr launches Corona emergency aid for Portugal

Berlin (dpa) - Starting Wednesday, the German Armed Forces will provide paramedics and respirators to help Portugal, which has been largely sealed off, in the Corona pandemic. According to the Ministry of Defence, it is planned to initially provide the EU partner with 26 medical personnel as well as 150 field hospital beds and a total of 50 respirators. The assistance is to be provided in a hospital.

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01.02.2021: Biontech to deliver 75 million more vaccine doses

Mainz (dpa) - Before the vaccination summit of the federal and state governments, the German vaccine manufacturer Biontech announced that it would deliver up to 75 million additional doses of its vaccine to the European Union in the second quarter. This is possible due to higher production capacities. The British-Swedish manufacturer Astrazeneca also plans to deliver more vaccine to the European Union in the first quarter than announced. Nine million doses would be added, making a total of 40 million doses, EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen announced. That is half of the originally envisaged quantity of 80 million doses.

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31.01.2021: Spahn open to vaccines from Russia and China in case of EU approval

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn is open to the use of corona vaccines from Russia and China in Germany in the case of EU approval. "If a vaccine is safe and effective, regardless of in which country it was produced, then it can of course help in dealing with the pandemic," Spahn told the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung". The decisive factor, he said, was a regular authorisation in accordance with European law. Russia had announced on Friday that it would be able to supply the EU with 100 million doses of the vaccine Sputnik V in the second quarter of 2021. This would allow 50 million people to be vaccinated. An application for approval of the vaccine had already been submitted to the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Russia stated.

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30.01.2021: Entry ban for Corona mutation areas

Berlin (dpa) - For countries where particularly infectious variants of the corona virus have spread widely, a far-reaching travel ban will apply in Germany from Saturday, 30 January. The countries affected are Brazil, Great Britain, Ireland, Portugal and South Africa; on Sunday, the African states of Eswatini and Lesotho will be added. The ban on airlines, rail, bus and shipping companies decided by the cabinet will apply until 17 February, but provides for numerous exceptions, including for all Germans and foreigners living in Germany, as well as for transit passengers and the movement of goods.

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29.01.2021: Permission for Biontech plant in Marburg

Darmstadt/Mainz (dpa) - The Mainz-based company Biontech has also received permission under pharmaceutical law to manufacture Corona vaccine at its plant in Marburg, Hesse. This was announced by the Darmstadt Regional Council (RP) on Thursday. A fortnight ago, Biontech had already received permission to operate its plant for the production of the drug - in that case, the RP Gießen was responsible. According to a spokesperson of the Darmstadt authority, another formal step is still pending: In order to be able to market the vaccine produced in Marburg in the European Union, approval from the EU medicines agency EMA is still necessary. In the first half of 2021, 250 million doses of the vaccine from Biontech and its US partner Pfizer are to be produced in Marburg.

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28.01.2021: Incidence below 100 for the first time since October

Berlin (dpa) - For the first time since the end of October, the so-called 7-day incidence is below the threshold of 100, according to figures released by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). 98 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants were reported to health authorities in Germany within one week, the RKI reported on Thursday morning. This means that the number of new infections reported within 7 days has roughly halved since the peak just before Christmas - the 7-day incidence was 197.6 on 22 December. The policy target is a 7-day incidence of less than 50.

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27.01.2021: Sanofi wants to produce 125 million Biontech doses

Paris (dpa) - French pharmaceutical group Sanofi wants to supply more than 125 million doses of Pfizer's Biontech vaccine to the European Union from the summer. Sanofi wants to give the Mainz-based company Biontech access to its production infrastructure, it said in a statement on Wednesday. The aim is to take on "late-stage manufacturing steps" to support the delivery of the Covid 19 vaccine, it said. The first shipments are expected to be delivered from Sanofi's production facilities in Frankfurt in the summer of 2021.

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26.01.2021: Number of new infections continues to fall

Berlin (dpa) - German health authorities have reported 6408 new corona infections to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) within one day, the RKI announced on Tuesday morning. Last Tuesday, the RKI had recorded 11,369 new infections within 24 hours. The peak of 33,777 new infections had been reported on 18 December. The nationwide seven-day R-value was 0.95 (previous day 1.01), according to the RKI situation report on Monday evening. This means that 100 infected people mathematically infect 95 others. The value represents the infection incidence 8 to 16 days ago. If it is below 1 for a longer period of time, the incidence of infection is decreasing.

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25.01.2021: Germany buys antibody-based coronavirus drug

Berlin (dpa) - The Covid-19 treatment with antibodies envisaged by Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn is to benefit adult patients with mild or moderate symptoms and the risk of a severe course of the disease. Its application depends on the individual benefit-risk assessment of the treating physicians, communicated the Federal Ministry of Health on inquiry. Spahn had communicated in the newspaper "Bild am Sonntag" to have bought 200,000 doses of medication for 400 million euro. In the U.S., there is an emergency approval for these drugs by the FDA, in the European Union, the drugs are not yet approved.

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24.01.2021: Stricter entry rules in effect

Berlin (dpa) - Stricter rules on entering Germany have been in effect since midnight on Sunday for more than 20 countries with particularly high corona infection rates. These high-risk areas include the neighbouring Czech Republic, the holiday destinations Portugal, Spain and Egypt as well as the USA. Anyone who wants to enter from there must be able to show a negative corona test (PCR test or laboratory or rapid tests of comparable quality) at the border.

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23.01.2021: Germany starts campaign to honour corona victims

Berlin (dpa)- With a central memorial service after Easter in Berlin, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier wants to keep alive the memory of those who died in the Corona pandemic. Together with the other constitutional bodies, he wants to "send a signal that we as a society mourn together, that we do not forget the dead and the suffering of the bereaved", the Office of the Federal President announced on Friday. At the same time, Steinmeier called on all citizens to make a "sign of silent remembrance": Until the planned act of mourning, as many people as possible should take part in a "#lichtfenster" campaign, put a light in their windows and also share a picture of it on social media with the hashtag #lichtfenster. In Bellevue Palace, the official residence of the Federal President, a light will shine clearly visible in the central window above the portal.

In Germany, more than 50,000 people have died in connection with the coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic.

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22.01.2021: Merkel: "Tough restrictions are paying off"

Berlin (dpa) - It is "good news" that the daily number of new infections and occupancy rates in intensive care units are finally falling, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told politicians in Berlin on Thursday. "This shows that the tough restrictions that people in Germany have had to live with for weeks are starting to pay off."  As the RKI announced on Thursday, the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days has now fallen to 119, the lowest level since 1 November. Despite declining numbers of corona cases, Merkel made an urgent appeal to extend the lockdown well into February. She said one should not wait until a new, arguably more contagious variant of the virus spreads. "Then it would be too late to prevent a third wave of the pandemic, one that might even be more severe than ever before."

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21.01.2021: Longer lockdown has little impact on labour market

Berlin (dpa) - The extension of the lockdown will have little impact on the labour market, according to the Federal Employment Agency (BA). "Companies are holding on to their skilled workers - probably because they fear that they will not get them back in the summer if they were to lay off their people now," BA head Detlef Scheele told the news portal "t-online". According to his impression, employers are currently relatively optimistic about the future.

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Corona

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20.21.2021: Slight optimism among intensive care physicians

Berlin (dpa) - Medical experts see a slight downward trend with regard to the number of covid intensive care patients. "We are cautiously optimistic," a spokesman for the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine (Divi) said on Wednesday. There had been no major increase in patient numbers as a result of Christmas and New Year's Eve. From the peak of 5700 patients on 3 January, the current number has dropped to 4930 patients on 19 January.

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Germany Lockdown update: Corona Lockdown extended until 14 February

The lockdown to contain the Corona pandemic in Germany, which lasted until the end of January, will be extended until 14 February. This and other measures were agreed by Chancellor Angela Merkel and the state premiers on Tuesday. "We must act now," Merkel said, referring to the new virus mutations. She added that there was still time to prevent the danger.

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19.01.2021: Longer lockdown planned with stricter mask requirement

Berlin (dpa) - Before the consultations of the federal and state governments on how to proceed in the Corona crisis, longer restrictions are looming until February. In addition, there could be additional requirements for better protective masks, for example in buses, trains and shops. Chancellor Angela Merkel and the state premiers plan to meet again this Tuesday - the recently tightened lockdown is initially scheduled to last until the end of January.

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18.01.2021: Biontech vaccine easier to use in future

Berlin (dpa) - For Corona vaccinations in Germany, the preparation of the manufacturers Biontech and Pfizer can be used more easily in future. According to updated recommendations from Biontech, the vaccine can already be transported as a finished dose in the syringe for up to six hours at 2 to 8 degrees. This is according to new data on the stability of the vaccine.

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17.01.2021: Free travel with EU vaccination certificate?

Brussels (dpa) - The leader of the EPP group in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber, is in favour of an EU certificate for Corona vaccinated people that would allow free travel in the Schengen area. "If people are vaccinated, they must be able to travel in the EU with an appropriate paper," said the CSU politician. The EU states would have to act quickly and provide guidance already at their video summit next week (21 January). Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) had also spoken out for more freedom for vaccinated people over the weekend.

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16.01.2021: Tougher Coronavirus restrictions possible

Berlin (dpa) - Worried about the critical Coronavirus situation in Germany, the federal and state governments are bringing forward their consultations on possible tougher restrictions to next Tuesday. In view of an excessively high number of new infections and a new, arguably more contagious variant of the virus, calls for additional measures are mounting - an already tightened lockdown is initially scheduled to last until 31 January 2021. As government spokesman Steffen Seibert said, more needs to be done to reduce contacts. This would include greater use of home offices. In public transport with buses and trains, too, it is a matter of finding ways to thin out contacts among passengers.

Meanwhile, the German vaccine manufacturer Biontech assured the EU that it would deliver the promised quantity of Corona vaccine for this quarter, despite a temporary reduction in production.

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15.01.2021: Vaccination readiness increases significantly

In the Corona pandemic, the willingness to be vaccinated is increasing in Germany. Meanwhile, 67 percent say they want to be vaccinated against the corona virus. At the end of November last year, this figure was still at 51 percent. 22 percent are still not sure. In November, 29 percent were hesitant. Ten percent - instead of 20 percent before - do not want to be vaccinated. These figures were published by the "ZDF-Politbarometer" on Friday.

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14.01.2021: RKI head: Do not travel because of mutations

Berlin (dpa) - The president of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has called on people in Germany to refrain from non-essential travel, partly because of new coronavirus variants. "Anyone who does not absolutely have to should not travel at the moment," said Lothar Wieler in Berlin on Thursday. As of Wednesday, all currently known cases in which the new variants had been detected had been brought to Germany by travellers.

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13.01.2021: Merkel issues urgent warning against modified Corona virus

Berlin (dpa) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel has issued an urgent call to do everything possible to contain the modified variant of the corona virus that has emerged in Britain. The virus could take over "leadership over the old virus" in a very short time, Merkel said on Tuesday. One would have to reckon with a completely different aggressiveness of this type of virus. If this virus variant were to get the upper hand in Germany, we would again be in the midst of exponential growth in the number of infections. "Therefore, the utmost caution is called for," said the Chancellor.

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12.01.2021: Biontech to deliver two billion vaccine doses this year

Mainz/New York (dpa) - Mainz-based Biontech and its US partner Pfizer plan to produce up to two billion doses of their Corona vaccine in 2021. This is according to documents submitted by Biontech to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Previously, the companies had targeted 1.3 billion doses. The higher production is conditional on improvements and expansions at the current sites, as well as additional suppliers and contractors for manufacturing.

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11.01.2021: Moderna vaccine to arrive Monday, distribution Tuesday

Berlin (dpa) - According to Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn, the Corona vaccine of the US manufacturer Moderna should be delivered to a central point in Germany this Monday and go to the federal states on Tuesday. Then the vaccination centres could start vaccinating this preparation as well, the CDU politician said on ZDF's "Morgenmagazin" on Monday. Spahn stressed that vaccination would accelerate with the opening of the vaccination centres. If sufficient vaccine is available, general practitioners can also carry out vaccinations.

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10.01.2021: Over half a million vaccinated

Berlin (dpa) - In Germany, 532,878 vaccinations have now been recorded by the RKI (as of 11.00 a.m. on Saturday). According to the statistics, the most vaccinations per 1,000 inhabitants have so far been recorded for Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (15.6), the fewest for Saxony (4.4). In absolute numbers, North Rhine-Westphalia has the highest value with 98,950 vaccinated people, according to the RKI. More than 260,000 people were vaccinated for professional reasons, such as medical and nursing staff. More than 206,000 residents in nursing homes also received a vaccination. Chancellor Angela Merkel said the pace of vaccination would now pick up.

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09.01.2021: Standing Committee on Vaccination: Do not postpone second dose 

Berlin (dpa) - The interval between the first and second Corona vaccination should not be increased, according to the Standing Committee on Vaccination (Stiko) at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). This was announced by the Stiko in an update of its vaccination recommendations on Friday. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn had the authority examine whether such an approach makes sense in order to be able to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible with the currently limited quantities of vaccine. The background is that a certain protection is already given after the first vaccination.

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08.01.2021: Vaccine developer Curevac cooperates with Bayer 

Berlin (dpa) - The German pharmaceutical company Bayer and the Tübingen-based vaccine developer Curevac have signed a cooperation and service agreement with the aim of marketing several hundred million vaccine doses worldwide. The new vaccine should be ready for use from the third quarter. Curevac has been involved in the development of a vaccine for some time. Bayer is expected to support the study needed for approval and to keep an eye on the supply chains. Bayer may also take over parts of the production.

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07.01.2021: Second vaccine approved in EU - delivery starting next week

Amsterdam/Brussels/Berlin (dpa) - The second Corona vaccine to be approved in the European Union is the product of the US manufacturer Moderna. This was decided by the EU Commission on Wednesday on the recommendation of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), as announced by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) announced in Berlin: "We expect to start delivery of the first doses next week." Moderna also announced that the first deliveries to European countries would probably take place next week.

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06.01.2021: Lockdown is tightened - movement restrictions in hotspots

Berlin (dpa) - Tighter restrictions are coming for people in the Corona pandemic. The goal is to reduce the number of infections with the virus. German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the heads of state governments agreed on Tuesday to extend the lockdown rules, originally agreed until January 10, until the end of the month. In addition, meetings in the future are to be possible only with a person who is not part of the state's own household. The states are to limit the movement radius of citizens to 15 kilometers around their homes for counties where more than 200 people per 100,000 inhabitants have been newly infected within seven days.

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The measures at a glance:

CONTACTS: Contact restrictions will be tightened. In future, meetings beyond one's own household will only be allowed with one other person.

COMPANY CANTINES: Company canteens will at most still be allowed to offer take-away food and drinks.

MOBILITY: In counties where more than 200 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants have been reported within seven days, people should not be allowed to travel more than 15 kilometres from their place of residence without a valid reason. "Day-trip excursions explicitly do not constitute a valid reason."

VACCINATIONS: By mid-February at the latest, all residents of residential care facilities should be able to get vaccinated. About four million vaccine doses are expected to have been delivered by 1 February.

CHILD SICKNESS PAY: Normally, each parent receives child sickness pay for up to ten working days per year, single parents for up to 20 days. Temporarily, the period is to be increased to 20 or 40 days. The entitlement also applies if the child cannot go to school or day care because of Corona.

ENTRY: In future, anyone entering the country from a foreign risk area must be tested on entry or in the 48 hours prior to entry. The obligation to undergo a ten-day quarantine, which can be terminated from the fifth day onwards by a negative test, remains in place.

What else applies...

RETAIL TRADE: The retail trade remains closed. Exceptions will be made for shops that cater for daily needs. These include: Grocery shops, weekly markets, pick-up and delivery services, beverage markets, health food stores, baby stores; pharmacies, medical supply stores, drug stores, opticians, hearing aid acousticians, gas stations, car repair shops, bicycle repair shops, banks and savings banks, post offices, dry cleaners, laundromats, newspaper sales, pet supplies, feed markets, Christmas tree sales and wholesale.

SCHOOLS: Schools will generally remain closed or compulsory attendance will be suspended. Emergency care will be provided and distance learning will be offered. Separate arrangements may apply to graduating classes.

KITAS: Day care centres also remain closed in principle. Additional opportunities will be created for parents to take paid leave to care for children during the specified period.

WORKPLACE: Employers are urged to consider whether businesses can be closed either through company holidays or generous home office solutions.

ALCOHOL: Drinking alcoholic beverages in public places will be prohibited. Violators will be fined.

FRISURES: Personal care service businesses such as hairdressing salons, beauty salons, massage practices, tattoo studios and similar businesses shall be closed.

EMERGENCY TREATMENTS: Medically necessary treatments, for example physiotherapy, occupational therapy and logotherapy as well as podiatry/foot care remain possible.

Worship services: Worship services in churches, synagogues and mosques as well as meetings of other religious communities are only permitted if the minimum distance of 1.5 metres can be maintained. Masks are compulsory even in the square, congregational singing is prohibited. If full attendance is expected, visitors should register.

CARE FOR THE OLD: Staff in residential care and nursing homes must be tested several times a week. In regions with elevated case rates, visitors must present a negative coronatests.

NEXT STEPS: On 25 January, the federal and state governments want to consult again.

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05.01.2021: Poll: Large majority in favour of extending the lockdown

Berlin (dpa) - A large majority of Germans are in favour of extending the lockdown to contain the Corona pandemic. In a survey conducted by the opinion research institute YouGov on behalf of the Deutsche Presse-Agentur, almost two-thirds of the respondents were in favour of continuing the restrictions beyond 10 January, at least with the same severity as before. 41 per cent are in favour of keeping them unchanged, and another 24 per cent are even in favour of tightening them. In contrast, only 17 percent are in favour of easing the lockdown and only one in ten (11 percent) is in favour of lifting all restrictions completely. Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with the state premiers in Berlin this Tuesday to discuss an extension of the lockdown.

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04.01.2021: Retail fears wave of bankruptcies if lockdown lasts longer

Berlin (dpa) - Retailers do not expect a quick end to the corona-induced shop closures in Germany and fear the end for tens of thousands of shops. "I fear that the shops will not yet be allowed to reopen on 10 January. Because the goal of reducing the 7-day incidence nationwide to below 50 will probably not be achieved by then," says the CEO of the German Retail Association (HDE), Stefan Genth. The decision on the extension of the restrictions will be made on Tuesday.

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03.01.2021: Federal states: lockdown to be extended

Berlin (dpa) - An extension of the Corona restrictions beyond 10 January seems certain - but the duration and above all the question of what will happen to day-care centres and schools is still open. This was the state of play at a conference of the heads of the state chancelleries on Saturday. On Tuesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the state premiers will decide on the extension. The meeting of the heads of the state chancelleries served as preparation.

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02.01.2021: Tui expects tourism boom after vaccination launch

Hanover (dpa) - Europe's largest tourism group Tui expects a strong revival of the travel market, which collapsed in the Corona crisis, this year. "We expect a summer that is already largely normal," Tui CEO Fritz Joussen told the newspaper Rheinische Post. However, he added, "we will only offer around 80 per cent as many air tours as in the years before the Corona crisis in order to achieve optimum capacity utilisation." He said the company was offering most of its tours at the same prices as in 2020 and 2019, but holidaymakers were spending more on travel when booking.

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01.01.2021: Merkel: There was never so much hope

Berlin (dpa) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel has continued to call for cohesion in the fight against the coronavirus in the New Year, emphasising hope through gradual vaccination. "It will be up to all of us for quite some time how we get through this pandemic," the CDU politician said in her New Year's address, according to text circulated in advance. "The most effective means besides the vaccine are in our own hands, by following the rules, each and every one of us." The Chancellor also made a "personal" comment about this being "in all likelihood" her last New Year's address. She will not stand again in the federal election on 26 September 2021. "I don't think I am exaggerating when I say that never in the last 15 years have we all found the old year so difficult - and never have we looked forward to the new year with so much hope, despite all the worries and some scepticism," Merkel said, looking back on her time in office.

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31.12.2020: Biontech boss: clarity on vaccine production quantities by the end of January

Mainz (dpa) - Biontech boss Ugur Sahin expects the company to have clarity on further production quantities for the Corona vaccine by the end of January. "We are trying to find new cooperation partners to produce for us. But it's not as if there are specialised factories standing around unused all over the world that could produce vaccine of the necessary quality overnight," Sahin, 55, told Der Spiegel. "At the end of January, we will have clarity on whether and how much more we can produce."

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30.12.2020: Schäuble: Don't snatch vaccine from poorer people

Berlin (dpa) - Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble has rejected accusations that the federal government has not secured enough Corona vaccine doses for Germany. "I can understand the criticism, but I still think it is wrong," Schäuble told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. "We cannot make our impatience the measure of all things and snatch the vaccine away from people in poorer regions of the world."

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29.12.2020: Spahn expects German vaccine production

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn expects the amount of Corona vaccine available in Germany to grow significantly in the first months of the new year. He justified this with the approval of further preparations and expanded production capacities. Spahn referred in the ZDF "Morgenmagazin" to a plant of the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis in Marburg, which was taken over by the Mainz-based company Biontech. According to Biontech, some adjustments are necessary in Marburg before production of the Covid 19 vaccine can start there as well. A spokeswoman for the company said that this should start in February. The company is targeting the release of the first vaccine produced there for the end of March. In the first half of 2021, 250 million vaccine doses are to be produced there. The Mainz-based company is aiming for a total annual production of 750 million doses.

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28.12.2020: Futurologist: A rollercoaster of emotions and an election trend

Hamburg (dpa) - Looking ahead to the new year, Germans are experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions, according to Hamburg futurologist Horst Opaschowski. According to a representative survey, 83 percent of the population is dominated by both concern about uncertainty and joy about progress in the Corona crisis. Half of the respondents were pessimistic, the other half cautiously optimistic, says Opaschowski about the results of the survey, which his institute conducted in November in cooperation with the polling institute Ipsos. The winners of the crisis are clearly the politicians in power. After years of turning their backs on them, Opaschowski observed, the citizens trust them much more again. For the Bundestag elections in September, this means good chances for the governing parties.

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Everything you need to know about the corona crisis in Germany and the measures being taken against the spread of the virus:
www.deutschland.de/en/corona-virus-germany-overview

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27.12.2020: Corona vaccinations start nationwide

Berlin (dpa) - Vaccinations against the corona virus have started nationwide. In Berlin on Sunday morning, a 101-year-old senior citizen in a nursing home received a shot with the vaccine from the companies Biontech and Pfizer. First, people over 80 years of age, as well as nursing staff and hospital personnel at particular risk, are to be immunised. Mobile vaccination teams will be on the road for this purpose. Most of the more than 400 vaccination centres will only be put into operation in the next few days.

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26.12.2020: Corona vaccine is distributed to the federal states

Düsseldorf/Munich (dpa) - Preparations for the start of vaccination in Germany are in full swing. On Saturday morning, the first vaccine doses arrived in individual federal states. In North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous state, 9750 doses were initially delivered and brought to a secret central warehouse. Bavaria also received 9750 vaccine doses. On Sunday, the first mobile vaccination teams are to move out to vaccinate mainly in old people's and nursing homes as well as in hospitals.

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25.12.2020: Two thirds of Germans want to be vaccinated against corona

Berlin (dpa) - About two-thirds of Germans want to be vaccinated against the corona virus, according to a survey. In the survey conducted by the opinion research institute YouGov on behalf of the Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 32 percent of the respondents said they wanted to be vaccinated as soon as possible. A further 33 percent are also determined to do so, but first want to wait for possible consequences of the vaccination in others. 19 percent have decided against vaccination, 16 percent are still undecided. However, a clear majority of 57 percent are also afraid of possible side effects of the vaccination. Vaccinations against the coronavirus are scheduled to start in Germany next Sunday.

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24.12.2020: Vaccine developer also wants to defeat other diseases

Mainz (dpa) - The success in producing an effective corona vaccine shows the "groundbreaking potential" of the technology based on the messenger molecule mRNA, according to Biontech. The success with the Corona vaccine allows Biontech to accelerate this research in many areas, said company CEO Ugur Sahin. "Our goal is to also bring to market a treatment against cancer that addresses the medical needs of individual patients," Sahin said.

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23.12.2020: Delivery of vaccine begins

Berlin (dpa) - Following the EU approval on Monday, the first deliveries of the vaccine from the Mainz-based company Biontech are to start this Wednesday. Germany will receive the first shipment on Saturday. In total, more than 1.3 million doses are to be delivered to the countries and distributed to the vaccination teams by the end of the year.  Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn confirmed that the vaccinations are to start on Sunday. 

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December 22th, 2020: Vaccine probably also effective in case of mutation

Berlin/Mainz (dpa) - Germany is gearing up for the start of the vaccination campaign against the coronavirus. The campaign is scheduled to start on Sunday. Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) and Biontech CEO Ugur Sahin (photo) expressed confidence that the vaccine will also be effective against the new mutation of the virus discovered in Great Britain. From a scientific point of view, the probability of this is high, Sahin said. "We have already tested the vaccine against about 20 other virus variants with other mutations. The immune response produced by our vaccine has always inactivated all forms of the virus."

December 21th, 2020: EMA recommends approval for vaccine

Amsterdam (dpa) - The European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommends the approval of the Corona vaccine of the Mainz-based company Biontech and the US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer in the EU. This was announced by the agency in Amsterdam on Monday. The next step is for the EU Commission to decide on the use of the preparation for all member countries - this is considered a formality. Then the vaccinations can begin.

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December 20th, 2020: Majority want to be vaccinated

Berlin (dpa) - 35 percent of people in Germany "definitely" want to be vaccinated, 32 percent "probably". This is the result of a representative study by the opinion research institute Kantar. 69 percent of the people in Germany agreed "completely" or "rather" with the statement that vaccines are safe. In France (62 percent) and the USA (65 percent), the percentage is somewhat lower, in Italy (70 percent) and Great Britain (75 percent) somewhat higher.

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December 19th, 2020: Berlinale reschedules for 2021

Berlin (dpa) - The pandemic is now also forcing the Berlin film festival to reschedule: next year, the Berlinale will not take place in February as planned. Instead, there will be a digital film industry meeting in March, and film screenings for the public are planned for June, both in cinemas and open air. "By changing the festival format in 2021, we have the opportunity to protect the health of all guests and to support the new start of the cinema industry", announced Executive Director Mariette Rissenbeek. Alongside Cannes and Venice, the Berlinale is one of the most important film festivals in the world.

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Corona

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December 18th, 2020: Spahn presents vaccination plan

Berlin (dpa) - Shortly before signing the vaccination decree, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (photo) justified the prioritisation regulated therein with the greatest effect for these groups. The people who are to be vaccinated first have been divided into three groups, he said on Friday in the ZDF "Morgenmagazin". The first group would be those for whom the vaccination would bring additional health and years of life. "We are now starting with the over-80s, the very elderly, those in need of care and those who care for and look after them." Vaccinations are expected to begin on 27 December.

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December 17th, 2020: Schäuble thanks nursing staff for work „at the limit of their endurance"

Berlin (dpa) - The President of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Schäuble, has thanked the many people in the nursing profession for their efforts during the Corona pandemic. The CDU politician said at the beginning of the last session of the Bundestag this year that they "continued to provide vital assistance in hospitals, homes and private households over the coming Christmas days". In doing so, they were working "at the physical and psychological limits" and were exposed to a high risk of infection.

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December 16th, 2020: Up to 440 vaccination centres and tens of thousands of helpers nationwide

Berlin (dpa) - Trade fair halls, sports centres, hotels: For an early start of Corona vaccinations, regional centres have been set up throughout Germany, through which vaccinations are initially to be launched in bundles. Up to 440 locations are to be used for this purpose. Tens of thousands of doctors and other helpers have signed up for missions, but some of them are still being recruited. The capacities are to be designed in such a way that several thousand vaccinations per day would be possible in the Federal states.

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December 15th, 2020: Decision on approval of vaccine on 21 December

Amsterdam (dpa) - The European Medicines Agency (EMA) wants to present its opinion on the approval of the Corona vaccine of the companies Biontech and Pfizer on 21 December - eight days earlier than last planned. This was announced by the authority in Amsterdam on Tuesday. The approval of the EU Commission is considered certain. The vaccine could thus be approved for the EU before Christmas.

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December 15th, 2020: Spahn: 60 percent of citizens could be vaccinated by the end of summer

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn expects that by the end of summer 2021, around 60 percent of citizens in Germany could be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The CDU politician said this on ZDF's "heute-journal" on Monday evening. According to experts of the World Health Organisation (WHO), a vaccination rate of 60 to 70 percent of the population is necessary to effectively combat the pandemic. Spahn continued: "Our goal is to have an approval before Christmas." In the end, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) would have to decide. The expert committee's report should be available by 29 December at the latest.

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December 14th, 2020:  Steinmeier: "The situation is bitterly serious".

Berlin (dpa) - Shortly before the start of the harsh lockdown in Germany, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has called on people to stand together and be confident despite the restrictions. "I am sure the responsibility we are showing now, the burdens we have to bear now and for some time to come, are not in vain," Steinmeier said in Berlin on Monday. Steinmeier called the situation "bitterly serious". He said the infection situation was threatening to get out of control. "We cannot avoid drastic measures." But he also said, "I am quite sure: the pandemic will not rob us of our future. We will overcome this crisis."

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December 13th, 2020: Hard lockdown in Germany as of Wednesday

Berlin (dpa) - Due to the rising Corona infection figures, Germany is imposing a hard lockdown from Wednesday.Trade, with the exception of shops for daily needs, will be closed from 16 December to 10 January. Significant contact restrictions at schools and day-care centres will apply during the same period. For the days from 24 to 26 December, "meetings with 5 persons plus children up to 14 years of age in the closest family circle" are permitted. For New Year's Eve and New Year's Day (1 January), there is a nationwide ban on the presence and assembly of fireworks. The sale of fireworks is generally prohibited this year.

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December 12th, 2020: Bundestag approves "Corona" budget 2021 with high debts

Berlin (dpa) - The federal government may spend almost half a trillion euros next year and once again incur high debts in the fight against the Corona crisis. The Bundestag passed the budget for the coming year with the votes of the governing coalition. Overall, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz wants to spend slightly less than in the current year. More than a third of federal spending is to be financed by new loans of almost 180 billion. Subsidies for companies of about 39.5 billion euros are planned because of the continuing crisis.

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December 11th, 2020: Hard lockdown before Christmas? Decision on Sunday

Berlin (dpa) - Germany is heading for a hard lockdown lasting up to three weeks before Christmas. Berlin's mayor Michael Müller (photo, left), who is also chairman of the Conference of Minister Presidents, said on Thursday evening that it was becoming apparent "that there will be considerable cuts from 20 onwards" and that retail trade would be "significantly" reduced. The school holidays would have started then anyway, many people would no longer go to work and local transport would be quieter. "Between 20 December and 10 January, we practically have three weeks of massive restrictions, which will also certainly lead to incidences going down," Müller said on the ZDF programme "Markus Lanz". The decision could be made on Sunday. The next Corona Summit with the 16 Minister Presidents and Chancellor Angela Merkel will take place there.

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December 10th, 2020: Free FFP-2 masks for 27 million German citizens

Berlin (dpa) - In the fight against a further spread of the Corona virus, the German government wants to provide more than 27 million German citizens with mouth-nose masks. People over 60 or with pre-existing conditions are to receive 15 FFP2 masks each from mid-December. The distribution will start in December in order to reduce the risk of infection during the Christmas season, said Health Minister Jens Spahn (photo) in Berlin on Wednesday. FFP2 masks filter particles particularly effectively from the inhaled or exhaled breathing air. In tests, they must have filtered out at least 94 per cent of test aerosols.

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December 9th, 2020: Merkel: Families under stress

Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel has paid tribute to the achievements of families in the Corona pandemic. "Families are under particular stress, under particular challenge in these times," she said on Wednesday in the general debate in the Bundestag. One had to keep this stress in mind again and again. "Everybody suspects what is going on in the families now, if you don't know in the morning, if the child has a cold, can he go to school, what's going on at school, what's waiting for us". But the government has done a lot for families, Merkel said. She referred to the increase in child benefit from next year, tax relief for single parents, the reduction of the solidarity surcharge and the increase in child sick days.

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December 8th, 2020: Leopoldina recommends an extensive lockdown

Berlin (dpa) - In view of the continuing high rate of new infections, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina is calling for a drastic tightening of corona measures. Compulsory school attendance should be abolished by the Christmas holidays and contacts "reduced to the absolute minimum". "From 24 December 2020 until at least 10 January 2021, public life throughout Germany should be largely suspended and a hard lockdown should apply". To this end, all shops except those for daily needs should be closed, the Christmas holidays in educational institutions should be extended and home offices should be allowed, if possible. The Leopoldina justifies its demands with the high number of daily deaths and the current enormous burden on medical staff in hospitals.

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December 7th, 2020: Calls for tougher measures 

Berlin (dpa) - Federal and state politicians are demanding tougher restrictions on hotspots with very high corona infection rates. A further meeting of federal and state governments before Christmas is also on the agenda. So far, a new Minister President's Conference is planned for 4 January. On Sunday evening, the head of the Chancellery, Helge Braun, confirmed the goal of falling below the mark of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week. Braun said in the "Bild" talk "The right questions" that "at least in the hotspots we will have to make really clearer distinctions". If the federal states were prepared to do something together against the hotspots, then the federal government would be immediately involved, said Braun.

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December 6th, 2020: Saint Nicholas is also on the road in Corona times

On December 6th, this Sunday, Saint Nicholas traditionally comes and fills the children's boots with little presents and sweets. In Corona times, too, pre-Christmas traditions are still maintained in Germany - but in an unusual form because of the contact barriers. In Rettenberg in Oberallgäu, St. Nicholas distributed his presents in a drive-in on a slide, in Walsrode there was a small drive-in Christmas market (photo), elsewhere St. Nicholas distributed his presents to stopping cars on the streets. In parts of North Rhine-Westphalia, farmers with hundreds of Christmas-lit tractors provided bright spots in the pandemic.

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December 5th, 2020: German industry better than expected

Wiesbaden (dpa) - German industry is entering the second wave of the corona pandemic strengthened by an unexpectedly strong increase in orders. In October, order intake exceeded pre-crisis levels for the first time, as the Federal Statistical Office announced in Wiesbaden on Friday.

According to the Wiesbaden authorities, 2.9 percent more orders were received in October than in the previous month. Analysts had expected an increase of about half as much, averaging 1.5 per cent. In addition, growth in the previous month of September was subsequently raised from 0.5 to 1.1 per cent. Compared with the same month a year ago, orders in October were 1.8 per cent higher. Orders in the major automotive industry were 6.0 per cent up on the pre-crisis level.

This raises hopes that the new restrictions imposed in Germany and many other industrialised countries to contain the pandemic will have a less severe impact on the German economy than in the spring.

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December 4th, 2020: Survey: Better to relax at Christmas than on New Year's Eve

Berlin (dpa) - According to a survey, a slight majority of German citizens think it is right to relax the corona contact restrictions at Christmas. This was the result of a representative survey conducted by infratest dimap for ARD-"Deutschlandtrend" on behalf of "Tagesthemen". 53 percent of those surveyed said that they thought the planned relaxation on Christmas days was rather correct. 44 percent said that this was rather wrong. In contrast, two thirds of those surveyed were critical of relaxing contact restrictions on New Year's Eve: 68 percent think this is rather wrong, 30 percent rather right. According to the survey, the majority of Germans continue to agree with the government's restrictions to curb the Corona pandemic.

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December 3rd, 2020: Partial lockdown extended until 10 January

Berlin (dpa) - The partial lockdown with closed restaurants, museums, theatres and leisure facilities imposed due to the Corona pandemic is extended until 10 January. This was decided by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the Minister Presidents of the Länder at their consultations on Wednesday. On 4 January, the Federal Government and the Länder will then discuss how to proceed afterwards.

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December 2nd, 2020: Biontech and Pfizer: UK approves Corona vaccine

London (dpa) - According to the Mainz-based company Biontech and its US partner Pfizer, the UK regulatory authority for pharmaceuticals has granted emergency approval for their corona vaccine BNT162b2. This means that the British will receive a vaccine earlier than the EU and the US. It is also the first approval for BNT162b2 worldwide. The first shipments are expected to arrive in the UK in a few days' time, both companies said. "The first emergency approval for a Covid 19 vaccine is a groundbreaking scientific milestone", they said. The EU marketing authorisation application was submitted on Tuesday.

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December 1st, 2020: Biontech and Pfizer apply for EU approval of corona vaccine

Mainz/New York (dpa) - The Mainz-based company Biontech and the US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer have applied to the European Medicines Agency (Ema) for approval of their corona vaccine in the EU. The conditional marketing authorisation application was submitted on Monday, Biontech and Pfizer announced on Tuesday. Once Ema has reviewed the vaccine, it could be licensed to the European volunteer population before the end of 2020. On Monday, the US company Moderna also submitted an application to Ema for its vaccine.

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November 30th, 2020: Federal government plans National Health Reserve

Berlin (dpa) - As a consequence of the corona crisis, the Federal Government wants to establish a National Health Reserve with important material such as protective masks at 19 locations in Germany. Health Minister Jens Spahn said: "This pandemic teaches us that we must take more precautions. Spahn explained that the reserve should essentially consist of protective equipment, protective masks, respirators and medicines. The requirements of the health system and the federal government are to be kept permanently in reserve for one month. The Corona Cabinet will discuss the plans on Monday.

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November 29th, 2020: Federal President encourages: "Pandemic will not take away our future"

Berlin (dpa) - Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has encouraged the population at the beginning of the Advent season. Although the Corona crisis will require further renunciation at first, Germany can be full of confidence, the head of state wrote in a guest article for the "Bild am Sonntag" newspaper. The progress in medical research gives hope that the pandemic will not dominate everyday life in the long term. "The pandemic will not take away our future," he wrote. However, at the moment, many things that normally make the dark days glow are in demand to protect against infection: "Visiting the Christmas market, being together with loved ones, Christmas parties in clubs, singing together... It is difficult to do without all that - even for me personally!"

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November 28th, 2020: Half of Germans ready for vaccination

According to a survey, a good half of Germans want to be vaccinated against the corona virus. In a survey commissioned by the health insurance company Barmer, 53 per cent said they wanted to do so, as reported by the newspapers of Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland. According to the report, a good 2000 people were interviewed in total. According to the report, 15 percent said they "perhaps" wanted to be vaccinated, nine percent "rather not" and 13 percent "certainly not". Ten percent of those questioned were undecided.

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November 27th, 2020: More than one million corona infections since the beginning of the pandemic

Berlin (dpa) - The total number of corona infections detected in Germany to date has exceeded the one million mark. The health authorities reported 22,806 new corona infections to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) within 24 hours. This brings the number of cases reported since the beginning of the pandemic to 1 006 394, as the RKI announced on Friday morning. The number of deaths related to the virus rose by 426 to a total of 15,586 by Friday, the highest increase since the beginning of the pandemic.

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November 26th, 2020: A little relaxation for Christmas

Berlin (dpa) - In the middle of the hard Corona winter the Christmas days are supposed to bring a little relaxation: Starting from 23 December and maximally up to 1 January ten persons in the family and friend circle are to be able to come together, children up to 14 years not counted. But before that, there are further restrictions. "We need a renewed effort," Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) emphasized on Wednesday evening after several hours of consultations with the state premiers. "Patience, solidarity and discipline will be put to the test once again.

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November 25th, 2020: Drosten: Avoid social contacts even with mild symptoms

Berlin (dpa) - To avoid further cases of corona, experts believe that people with mild cold symptoms should stay at home even if their GP sees no reason to test them. Virologist Christian Drosten has called for this in the episode of the "Coronavirus Update" published on Tuesday on NDR-Info. "One should not go to work sick or sickly, even if the family doctor has said that we won't test it now. As a matter of principle, people affected by the current phase of the pandemic should no longer get into social situations with a scratchy throat or a runny nose. This is also due to recently amended recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), which, in view of limited laboratory capacities, aim to use tests especially for people with clear symptoms such as pneumonia or loss of smell and taste.  The RKI recommends that people who cannot be tested despite symptoms should be isolated in their homes for five days and only stop after a further 48 hours without symptoms.

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November 24th, 2020: Partial lockdown probably until shortly before Christmas

Berlin (dpa) - The extension of the partial lockdown in Germany until shortly before Christmas is as good as certain. On Monday evening the Minister-Presidents of the Länder agreed that the measures, which are limited in time until the end of November, should be continued nationwide until 20 December for the time being. A final decision is expected to be taken during the discussions between Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Länder on Wednesday. If the partial lockdown is extended, restaurants and bars as well as leisure and cultural facilities, which have been closed since the beginning of November, will remain closed.

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November 23rd, 2020: Less customers in the city centres

Berlin (dpa) - According to the retail association HDE, the partial lockdown in Germany continues to leave city centres largely empty. "This is particularly threatening to the existence of many companies during the Christmas business, which is usually a high-turnover period for retailers," warned Stefan Genth, chief executive of the German Retail Association (HDE). He called for more state support for retailers. According to a recent survey of 580 retailers conducted by the HDE, the number of customers in the city centres in the third week of November was again 40 per cent below the previous year's level. Sales had been almost 33 percent below the previous year's figure. In the clothing trade, the minus was even 40 percent. "At this point we are also talking about the future of our city centres", said Genth.

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November 22nd, 2020: Special rules on short-time working to be extended

Berlin (dpa) - Extended short-time working is to combat a corona-induced rise in unemployment in Germany in 2021 as well. The Bundestag extended special rules on short-time work until the end of 2021. Business associations and trade unions welcomed this. Federal Minister of Labour Hubertus Heil (SPD) said that short-time work had helped to secure jobs in the crisis, as few countries in the world had done. "At the moment, short-time working is our most stable bridge over a deep economic valley," said Heil.

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November 21st, 2020: Biontech and Pfizer apply for emergency vaccine approval

New York/Mainz (dpa) - The Mainz-based company Biontech and the US pharmaceutical company Pfizer have reportedly applied to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency approval of their corona vaccine. Pfizer confirmed this on Twitter. Biontech and Pfizer were the first Western manufacturers to publish promising study results and are now on track for emergency approval by the FDA. 

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November 20th, 2020: Survey: Young EU citizens suffer most financially

Brussels (dpa) - The Corona crisis is having a particularly negative financial impact on young people in the EU, according to a survey Almost two thirds (64%) of EU citizens between 16 and 34 years old are in financial difficulties, according to a survey published by the European Parliament on Friday. Across all age groups, the proportion was 57 percent. Almost two out of five respondents of all ages (39 percent) said that the corona pandemic had already affected their personal income. More than a quarter (27 percent) expect future losses. In Germany the figures were lower (29 and 21 percent).

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November 19th, 2020: RKI: Measures show effect

Berlin (dpa) - According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the stabilisation of new coronavirus infections in Germany is linked to the containment measures taken. The stabilisation of the figures at a high level is an indication that it is slowly becoming apparent that the strict rules are taking effect, said Ute Rexroth, head of the RKI location centre. The population is adhering to them and the measures are working. However, the number of cases is still too high despite the slight relaxation. On Thursday, the health authorities reported 22,609 new corona infections within 24 hours.

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November 18th, 2020: Bundestag and Bundesrat vote on infection protection law

Berlin (dpa) - The new version of the Infection Protection Act is to go through the Bundestag and Bundesrat in a fast-track procedure this Wednesday. The main aim of the amendment is to provide legal backing for measures to combat pandemics which have so far been adopted by the government by ordinance, thus creating greater legal certainty. At 12.00 noon the Bundestag will debate and then vote on the second and third readings of the draft by the coalition factions CDU/CSU and SPD. The Bundesrat will then also decide on it in a special session at 15.00. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will possibly draw up the law on the same day so that it can enter into force. Critics of the state's corona policy claim that this would invalidate democracy.

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November 17th, 2020: Merkel: "These decisions are among the most difficult of my term of office"

Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has appealed for understanding for the severe restrictions on public life in the Corona pandemic. The measures are a "democratic imposition", she told the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" at a conference. The decisions that were about to be taken were among the most difficult of her term of office. But one thing was clear: "If we waited until the intensive care beds were fully occupied, it would be too late.

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November 16th, 2020: Merkel: infection figures stabilise too slowly

Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has justified the federal government's demand for new drastic contact restrictions by saying that the number of new corona infections remains too high. Merkel said that the restrictions in force since the beginning of November had stabilised the situation. But this is not enough. "The figures are stabilising somewhat. But too slowly", the Chancellor was quoted. Merkel wants to discuss further restrictions with the prime ministers of the Länder in the afternoon. Among other things, the federal government proposes that fewer people from different households should be allowed to meet. Private parties are to be avoided altogether until Christmas.

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Everything you need to know about the corona crisis in Germany and the measures being taken against the spread of the virus:
www.deutschland.de/en/corona-virus-germany-overview

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Edition Deutschland: download the magazine as an e-paper for free in your Language. The topics range from the EU's response to the Corona pandemic to Germany's EU Council Presidency.

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November 15th, 2020: Merkel prepares citizens for hard months

Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel has put the people in Germany in the mood for difficult months because of the Corona crisis ahead of the partial lockdown scheduled for Monday. "The winter ahead of us will still demand a lot from all of us," Merkel said in her video podcast.

"The virus will continue to dominate our lives for quite some time. This also means that we cannot meet each other directly and untroubled", said Merkel. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert already emphasised on Friday that the government does not yet see any possibilities for relaxation. Leisure facilities and restaurants are currently closed, hotels are not allowed to accommodate tourists.

On Sunday, 16,947 new infections with the coronavirus were recorded in Germany within one day. At weekends the figures are always slightly lower because fewer tests are carried out and not all health authorities forward figures to the Robert Koch Institute. 

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Everything you need to know about the corona crisis in Germany and the measures being taken against the spread of the virus:
www.deutschland.de/en/corona-virus-germany-overview

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Edition Deutschland: download the magazine as an e-paper for free in your Language. The topics range from the EU's response to the Corona pandemic to Germany's EU Council Presidency.

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November, 14th, 2020: Government helps solo self-employed

Berlin (dpa/ard) - The German government is planning further aid for solo self-employed persons in the Corona crisis. According to the plan, the self-employed are to receive a one-off grant of up to €5,000 for this December and the first six months of 2021, including from the cultural sector. This will pay them 25 percent of the comparable turnover from 2019, when their business has declined by more than half due to the Corona pandemic. The Ministry of Finance estimates the total cost of the aid to be more than 20 billion euros.

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November 13th, 2020: Frankfurt airport becomes vaccine hub

Frankfurt/Main (dpa) - Preparations for the distribution of the corona vaccine at Frankfurt Airport are in full swing. "We are preparing for import and export in equal measure," says airport manager Max Philipp Conrady. In terms of quantity, the corona vaccine is not a great challenge, but as a temperature-sensitive cargo it requires a great deal of effort and care. The vaccine from Mainz-based Biontech, for example, must be stored permanently at a temperature of minus 80 degrees. "Very deep frozen" is what the logistics experts call this. The Lufthansa cargo division has set up a task force to coordinate with forwarders, pharmaceutical manufacturers, other partners and the authorities. The German airline specialised in the lucrative pharmaceutical market at an early stage and established Europe's largest pharmaceutical handling centre at its hub.

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November 12th, 2020: Lufthansa starts trial run for corona rapid tests

Munich (dpa) - Lufthansa has started the announced trial run with rapid corona tests for all passengers on the Munich-Hamburg flight. All passengers were to be tested before the first aircraft of the day took off from Munich Airport to Hamburg on Thursday morning at 9.10 am. The rapid antigen tests do not detect the Covid 19 pathogen as such, but proteins associated with it. It works in a similar way to a pregnancy test, with results expected after 30 to 60 minutes. However, the tests are less accurate than the usual PCR tests. The airline, which has suffered heavy losses, hopes to be able to offer more flights again, particularly to overseas destinations.

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November 11th, 2020: Spahn sees "signs of change"

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn sees signs of a positive change in the corona infection situation in Germany. In a TV interview, Spahn said in a TV interview that the dynamics of the infection had "significantly reduced" in recent days. "It is still rising, but it is rising less strongly. This is encouraging for the time being, but it is still not enough". However, it was still too early to speak of a "turnaround". According to the latest data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on Wednesday, 18 487 new corona infections were reported nationwide within 24 hours.

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November 10th, 2020: EU Commission: Biontech vaccine contract ready

Brussels (dpa) - The European Commission has finalised negotiations for the supply of the promising vaccine from the pharmaceutical companies Biontech and Pfizer. "The negotiations with the pharmaceutical industry have been concluded", Commission circles confirmed to the German Press Agency in Brussels on Tuesday. "The contract is in the bag."

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November 10th, 2020: German vaccine manufacturer promises 90 percent protection

Mainz (dpa) - German vaccine manufacturer Biontech is the first Western company to present interim results of a major study. According to these results, the vaccine offers more than 90% protection against the disease Covid-19 and no serious side effects have been registered. Biontech and its US partner Pfizer are expected to apply for approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) next week.

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November 9th, 2020: Vaccination first for medical staff and risk groups

Berlin (dpa) - Following the approval of a corona vaccine, older people, people with previous illnesses and staff in hospitals and nursing homes in Germany are to be vaccinated against the virus first. People in key positions in society and for public order will also be vaccinated first, i.e. health officials, policemen, fire fighters, teachers and educators, according to a statement made by Alena Buyx, Chairwoman of the German Ethics Council, in Berlin on Monday. However, the recommendations now under way are not yet a decision, as the Chairman of the Standing Vaccination Commission, Thomas Mertens, explained. "Prioritisation must be set by those responsible in politics". Alena Buyx was confident that a vaccine would be available very soon.

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November 8th, 2020: New quarantine rules for arrivals

New quarantine rules will come into force this weekend for returnees from risk areas abroad. They will then only have to isolate themselves for 10 days instead of the previous 14 days. However, they can also be "freed" after five days. Until a negative test result is obtained, returnees will have to stay at home. The bottom line is that this should add up to about a week, because a test can take 48 hours or even longer.

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November 7th, 2020: French corona patients transferred to Germany

Thionville/Saarbrücken (dpa) - Covid-19 patients have again been transferred from the French border region of Grand Est to Germany. According to the Metz-Thionville regional hospital, patients in critical condition were transferred to Saarbrücken and Völklingen in Saarland before the weekend. The aim was to avoid the intensive care units being completely overloaded. The French MP Christophe Arend wrote on Twitter about a total of eight transferred patients.

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November 6th, 2020: New record, but trend reversal in sight

Berlin (dpa) - The number of new infections reported within one day rose to a new record of 21,506, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). However, the RKI data also show that a trend reversal could possibly be imminent. According to the RKI management report of Thursday evening, the reproduction rate (R-value) in Germany was 0.79 (previous day: 0.81). This means that ten infected persons infect on average about eight more people. If the value is below 1 for a longer period of time, the infection level drops. The R-value reflects the course of infection about one and a half weeks before. In order to reach a controllable situation, the reproductive rate must be significantly below 1 for a long time, at 0.7 or even lower.

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November 5th, 2020: Backlog in Corona laboratories

Berlin (dpa) - Corona labs have problems with the large number of tests in Germany. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), 69 laboratories reported a backlog of 98,931 samples to be processed in the calendar week up to 1 November. Two weeks earlier, there had been 20,799 samples. The RKI says that there are more and more reports from laboratories that are at the limits of their capacity utilisation.  Currently, 1.6 million tests are carried out per week. On Thursday, the number of registered new corona infections reached a new record with 19,990 cases.

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November 4th, 2020: Rescue package for airports?

Berlin (dpa) - In view of the tense situation of airports in the Corona crisis, Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer is aiming for a rescue package worth billions. Scheuer said on Tuesday that the sum involved was around one billion euros. Structures must be maintained. A few days before an "air transport summit" on Friday, Scheuer spoke of dramatic figures for airports. The German Airports Association (ADV) sees airports in a "fight for survival". A quarter of the more than 180,000 jobs at the airport locations are threatened with extinction.

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Corona

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November 3rd, 2020: Merkel hopes for a "bearable December"

Berlin (dpa) - On the first day of the corona-related partial lockdown, Chancellor Angela Merkel urged people in Germany to follow the new rules. "Whether this great joint effort of strength will achieve anything in the month of November depends not only on the rules, but above all on whether these rules are followed," Merkel said on Monday in Berlin at the federal press conference. "It is up to each and every one of us to make this November our joint success, a turning point back to the traceability of the pandemic". If we succeed in slowing down the spread of the virus in November, "then we will create the conditions for a tolerable December, of course still under Corona rules, but with more freedom again".

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November 2nd, 2020: From now on four weeks partial lockdown

Berlin (dpa) - Since Monday, a partial lockdown - initially limited to four weeks - has been in force throughout Germany. Nationwide, restaurants, cultural and leisure facilities are now largely prohibited from opening their establishments. Stricter rules also apply to personal meetings: In most federal states, only two households are allowed to meet - in some cases this even applies to meetings in the home. The contact restrictions are intended to prevent health authorities and the country's entire health care system from becoming overloaded, especially intensive care units. Unlike in spring, day-care centres and schools as well as shops in general will remain open this time.

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November 1st, 2020: 5,000 soldiers deployed to support federal states and municipalities

Freital (dpa) - The German Armed Forces now have around 5,000 soldiers deployed to support federal states and municipalities in the Corona pandemic. In the past two weeks, demand has risen rapidly, said Lieutenant General Martin Schelleis, who is in charge of the relief operations. The armed forces are therefore well prepared for further tasks. "We have a contingent of 15,000 soldiers on standby since spring", said Schelleis. "We are prepared for further requests".

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October 31st, 2020: Covid-19-vaccine results are on the way

Mainz (dpa) - The Mainz-based pharmaceutical company Biontech expects first meaningful results from the ongoing efficacy tests of its corona vaccine candidate in the coming days. "It will not be long before we have the first so-called readout, where we will see whether the vaccine is able to protect," said Biontech CEO Ugur Sahin in an interview.

"By mid-November, we will have not only activity data, but also tolerability data," he said. If these data are positive, the dossier would be submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by mid-November. In addition, Biontech is already in a so-called rolling procedure with the European Medicines Agency (EMA). "This means that whenever we have new data, we submit them to the agency so that they can be reviewed in real time.“

These authorities could then decide on an emergency marketing authorisation based on these results. "We have already started to produce vaccine. It is stored in our warehouse, is undergoing quality control and has not yet been approved." This release would only take place if an authorisation was available. "In principle, these steps can be taken this year."

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October 30th, 2020: Europeans rely on testing and warning - and new lockdowns

Brussels (dpa) - Test, warn, vaccinate: EU countries want to work more closely together to break the second wave of corona. This was agreed by Chancellor Angela Merkel and her EU colleagues during a video conference. In the short term, however, more and more countries feel compelled to put the brakes on everyday contacts. "We are all in the same boat", said EU Council President Charles Michel late Thursday evening after the 27 EU heads of state and government had video-switched. In concrete terms, the Heads of State and Government agreed during the three-hour meeting to push ahead with joint testing and vaccination strategies and to harmonise the various corona warning apps for mobile phones.

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October 29th, 2020: Merkel justifies partial lockdown because of Corona

Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended the tightening of the corona rules before the Bundestag. "The measures we are now taking are appropriate, necessary and proportionate. If we (...) instead waited until the intensive care units were full, it would be too late. In recent weeks, the number of new infections has "skyrocketed", she said. Many health authorities are at the limit. "We are in a dramatic situation at the beginning of the cold season. It affects us all. Without exception." Merkel called on citizens to continue to exercise caution and solidarity in the Corona crisis.

On Wednesday, the Federal Government and the Länder had agreed on new restrictions on contacts and decided that restaurants would close again and hotels would no longer be allowed to take in tourists.

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October 28th, 2020: Citizens will be faced with massive restrictions

Berlin (dpa) - The federal government wants to get a grip on the massively increasing number of corona infections with drastic contact restrictions. Across Germany, leisure facilities and restaurants are to be closed, entertainment events banned and contact with the public and parties in squares and flats restricted. These are the findings of a draft resolution proposed by the Federal Government for the video conference of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) with the Minister Presidents this Wednesday. The measures are to come into force throughout Germany from 2 November and will apply until the end of the month.

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October 27th, 2020: Nuremberg cancels Christmas market

Nuremberg (dpa) - The world-famous Christmas market in Nuremberg is cancelled this year due to the Corona pandemic. This was announced by the city of Nuremberg in view of the increasing number of corona cases. Also in other cities like Düsseldorf, Cologne, Erfurt, Freiburg or Frankfurt many markets have already been cancelled. These include the popular Berlin Christmas Magic at the Gendarmenmarkt.

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October 26th, 2020: Steinmeier against "vaccine nationalism“

Berlin (dpa) - Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has called on the international community to cooperate in the fight against corona and especially on the issue of vaccines. "If, after the pandemic, we do not want to live in a world in which the principle of "everyone against everyone, and everyone for himself" is even more valid, we need the enlightened reasoning of our societies and our governments", he said in a video address at the opening of the "World Health Summit" health conference. The pandemic must be overcome with a spirit of cooperation, not in a spirit of "vaccine nationalism". The multi-day "World Health Summit" with lectures and discussions was originally planned to take place in Berlin with around 2000 participants. Due to the pandemic, this event was converted into a pure online conference. The participants now discuss with each other via video.

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October 25th, 2020: German Hospital Federation sees hospitals well prepared

Berlin (dpa) - According to the German Hospital Federation, hospitals in Germany are prepared for an increasing number of Covid-19 patients. "The hospitals are highly alarmed without being hectic," the chief executive of the German Hospital Association, Georg Baum, told the newspaper "Mannheimer Morgen". There are currently more than 8,000 free intensive care beds, he said. Furthermore, not all patients who come to hospital with a corona infection need intensive medical treatment, Baum added. "Capacities will last for a long time before it becomes alarming."

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October 24th, 2020: First patients transferred from the Netherlands to Germany

Rotterdam (dpa) - For the first time in the second wave of the corona pandemic, patients were transferred from the Netherlands to German hospitals. The transfers are intended to reduce the pressure on intensive care units in the Netherlands. Almost every second bed in intensive care units is already occupied by a patient suffering from Covid-19. The Netherlands is one of the European countries most affected by the second wave of the pandemic. North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony had offered to take over patients from the Netherlands.

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October 23rd, 2020: Montgomery warns of a critical mark

Berlin (dpa) - Following the recent increase in new corona infections in Germany, the German chairman of the World Medical Association, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, has warned of a critical mark. With 20,000 new infections a day, the situation is getting out of control. "Then it would no longer be possible for health authorities to track and interrupt the infection chains," he told the "Rheinische Post" (Friday). "Then we are threatened with a second lockdown because the virus cannot be stopped in any other way". Most recently, more than 11,000 new corona infections were detected in Germany within one day for the first time.

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October 22nd, 2020: Health Minister Spahn infected with corona virus

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn is the first member of the German government to be infected with Corona. He has so far only mild symptoms and is in domestic quarantine. However, the cabinet as a whole should not be quarantined. Because of the strict hygiene measures taken during cabinet meetings, it is unlikely that other members of the government have been infected by Spahn, the Federal Government stated.  Family Minister Franziska Giffey has already tested negative with a rapid test.

The number of detected new corona infections within one day exceeded the 10,000 mark for the first time on Wednesday with 11,287 cases.

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Everything you need to know about the corona crisis in Germany and the measures being taken against the spread of the virus:
www.deutschland.de/en/corona-virus-germany-overview

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Edition Deutschland: download the magazine as an e-paper for free in your Language. The topics range from the EU's response to the Corona pandemic to Germany's EU Council Presidency.

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October 21th, 2020: Germany pledges NATO soldiers for possible Covid-19 operations

Brussels (dpa) - German soldiers could be sent on crisis missions to other NATO and partner countries during the second wave of the Corona pandemic. As a spokesman for the Ministry of Defence confirmed, the German government has promised NATO support for its "Allied Hand" emergency plan. According to this plan, medical personnel, pioneers and experts from the force would be made available for foreign missions to counter nuclear, biological or chemical hazards as required. The contingency plan is to be activated, for example, if a collapse of the health care system is imminent in allied or NATO partner countries due to very high infection rates and the affected state asks for support.

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October 20th, 2020: Experts warn against the concept of herd immunity

Heidelberg (dpa) - The well-known Berlin virologist Christian Drosten and other colleagues oppose a corona strategy with herd immunity as a goal. "We note with concern that once again voices are growing louder in favour of a strategy of pandemic control based on the natural infestation of large parts of the population with the aim of herd immunity," says a statement by the Gesellschaft für Virologie (GfV). Uncontrolled infestation would lead to an escalating death toll. For even with strict isolation of the elderly, there are still other risk groups. "An increased risk of a severe Covid-19 course is found, for example, in obesity, diabetes, cancer, renal failure, chronic lung disease, liver disease, stroke, after transplantation and during pregnancy. The pursuit of herd immunity is unethical as well as medically, socially and thus economically high-risk.

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October 19th, 2020: Two thirds of Germans satisfied with coronavirus management

Berlin (dpa) - Over two thirds of Germans say they are mostly satisfied with the federal government's management of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey conducted by the opinion research institute Kantar on behalf of the Bild am Sonntag newspaper. Some 68 per cent of those surveyed rated pandemic-handling as "rather good," according to the results published on Sunday. For 27 per cent rated the response "rather bad," while 4 per cent answered "don't know," according to the Sunday newspaper. Asked about the obligation to wear masks in all public places in risk areas, when it is not possible to keep a consistent distance, 89 per cent said the measure is right, 10 per cent said it is wrong and 1 per cent answered "don't know." The restriction of private celebrations to 10 participants from a maximum of two different households, which applies in risk areas, is considered correct by 74 per cent and wrong by 22 per cent while 4 per cent answered "do not know." Of those surveyed, 70 per cent said they were in favour of a curfew in the catering trade and a general ban on the sale of alcohol from 11 pm onwards in risk areas. According to the newspaper, 27 per cent reject these measures and 3 per cent answered with "do not know."

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October 18th, 2020: Vaccine already in production

The Mainz-based pharmaceutical company Biontech has announced a breakthrough. The vaccine called "BNT162b2" works very well. Even mass production has already begun. This is reported by theeuropean.de. They have now applied for the final approval process and are on the verge of "putting an end to this pandemic".

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October 17th, 2020: Aid for corona patients from EU

Berlin (dpa) - In view of the sharp rise in the number of infections, some German Länder have signalled their willingness to admit corona patients from EU neighbours for intensive care again. As a spokesman of the Federal Foreign Office said, to his knowledge there are already preparatory talks between North Rhine-Westphalia and the Netherlands and between Bavaria and the Czech Republic. Progress has also been made at European level in the coordination of such cross-border transfers of corona-induced intensive care patients. The EU is making 220 million euros available for cross-border transport of patients, equipment and personnel, said the spokesperson.

Meanwhile, the Robert Koch Institute reported the third consecutive German record: 7,830 new coronavirus infections were registered within 24 hours.

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October 16th, 2020: “It's not five minutes to twelve, it's twelve.”

Berlin (dpa) - The head of the Department of Systems Immunology at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig has issued an urgent warning against a loss of control in corona infections. "It is not five to twelve, but twelve to turn the ship around," said Michael Meyer-Hermann. Germany is on the threshold of exponential growth, he said. Meyer-Hermann is working with mathematical models to predict the course of the COVID-19 epidemic. He advises the German government and recommends that the obligation to wear masks should be maintained, and fines are also very important. At the same time, he warned against discussions about major events and a shortening of the quarantine period in the current situation. 

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October 15th, 2020: Stricter rules for corona hotspots

Berlin (dpa) - Out of concern about an uncontrollable spread of the corona pandemic with unforeseeable consequences for citizens and the economy, the Federal Government and the Länder are stepping up countermeasures in hotspots. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the Minister Presidents agreed on Wednesday on uniform rules for cities and regions with high infection rates. In concrete terms, the Chancellor and the Minister Presidents agreed on this:

Mask obligation: In cities and regions with rapidly increasing corona figures, the mask obligation is to be extended. It is to apply from 35 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days, also in places where people come together more closely or for longer periods.

Private celebrations: In regions with rapidly increasing corona numbers, private celebrations will generally be limited to a maximum of ten participants and two households. The limit applies if there are more than 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days.

Contact restrictions: If the new infections exceed 50, only a maximum of ten people will be allowed to meet in public spaces in future. If the new measures do not bring the increase to a halt, this will be reduced to up to five people or the members of two households.

Curfew: Also in the event of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days, a curfew will be imposed at 23.00 for the catering trade. Bars and clubs will be closed.

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Everything you need to know about the corona crisis in Germany and the measures being taken against the spread of the virus:
www.deutschland.de/en/corona-virus-germany-overview

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Edition Deutschland: download the magazine as an e-paper for free in your Language. The topics range from the EU's response to the Corona pandemic to Germany's EU Council Presidency.

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October 14th, 2020: More than 5000 new corona infections for the first time since April

Berlin (dpa) - According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the health authorities in Germany have reported more than 5000 new corona infections within one day for the first time since mid-April. According to the RKI, the total number was 5132; on Wednesday the figure was 2828 new infections. The previous peak of 6294 had been reached on 28 March, but at that time much less testing was done and many infections went unnoticed. The number of corona patients in the intensive care unit rose to around 620 Covid patients compared to 450 the previous week.

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October 13th, 2020: Warning of herd immunity through infection

Geneva (dpa) - The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned against relying on herd immunity through mass infection to combat the corona pandemic. "Never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used as a strategy against an outbreak, let alone a pandemic," said WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Such an approach would be ethically and scientifically problematic. Herd immunity - the threshold at which a virus can no longer spread in a population - must be achieved through vaccination, not infection, as with measles and polio. However, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn is optimistic that flock immunity can be achieved through vaccination.  "We are very, very confident that we will voluntarily reach the goal of a sufficiently high vaccination rate.

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October 12th, 2020: "Corona is an accelerator of change"

Düsseldorf (dpa) - The corona pandemic is changing the German retail sector like no other crisis in recent decades. Internet trade is booming, but many pedestrian zones and shopping centres are much emptier than a year ago. While food retailers and DIY stores are posting record sales, customers in fashion shops are staying away. The change in numbers: In the 3rd quarter, e-commerce sales in Germany were up a whopping 13.3 percent on the previous year's level at 19.3 billion euros. For the Managing Director of the retail consultancy BBE, Joachim Stumpf, it is therefore clear that "Corona is a great accelerator of structural change in the retail sector".

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October 11th, 2020: More and more german cities are becoming corona hotspots

Berlin (dpa) - Corona case numbers are rising rapidly in major German cities, and more and more metropolitan areas are now exceeding the limits. At the weekend, Cologne and Stuttgart reported exceeding the important warning level of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days. Berlin, Frankfurt, Bremen and Essen are also above this threshold. The police are carrying out massive controls to ensure that the distance rules and the obligation to wear masks are observed. Several prime ministers of federal states make drastic appeals, especially to young people, to stick to the rules so that the disease does not spread any further.

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October 10th, 2020: RKI and Bundeswehr to send experts to corona hotspots

Berlin (dpa) - The German Armed Forces and the Robert Koch Institute are to send experts to corona hotspots in future. According to an agreement reached on Friday by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) with the mayors of large cities, this will apply if more than 35 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants are registered in seven days. At the latest when the figure rises to 50 infections, the cities are to introduce more extensive restrictions. The cities should reduce the workload of their public order offices so that they can control the restrictions. The federal and state governments are to discuss at short notice how federal and state police forces can also help to monitor compliance with the rules.

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October 9th, 2020: "The pandemic will be decided in the big cities."

Berlin (dpa) - Rapidly rising corona infection figures in Germany are alarming the Federal Government. In the capital Berlin and in other cities, the so-called 7-day incidence has already exceeded the critical 50 level. For this reason, Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to meet with the mayors and mayors of the eleven largest German cities this Friday in a video conference. The cities include Berlin, Hamburg, Bremen, Munich, Frankfurt am Main, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Essen, Leipzig and Stuttgart. Hamburg's mayor Peter Tschentscher had already said on Wednesday in the ZDF "Morgenmagazin": "The pandemic will be decided in the metropolises".

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October 8th, 2020: Minister "worried" about Corona situation

Berlin (dpa) - At a joint press conference in Berlin, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn and the President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Lothar Wieler, expressed "great concern" at the rising corona figures in Germany. "We do not know how the situation in Germany will develop in the coming weeks. It is possible that we will see more than 10,000 new cases per day. It is possible that the virus will spread uncontrolled". Germany has so far come through the crisis well because of the protection measures in place. Only by following the rules of hygiene and distance could a large proportion of the infections be prevented.

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Research Minister: Vaccination from mid 2021

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek maintains her assessment that corona vaccines could be available for many people by mid 2021. "At the moment, research is moving at a gigantic speed," said the CDU politician in Berlin on Thursday. Currently, the Ministry of Research is assuming that broad sections of the population could be vaccinated by the middle of next year.

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October 7th, 2020: German vaccine before approval

Mainz (dpa) - The corona vaccine candidate developed by the Mainz-based company Biontech enters the approval process. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will test the active substance BNT162b2 in a so-called rolling review process, announced Biontech and the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which is supporting the development. This procedure involves the ongoing submission and evaluation of clinical trial data. The EMA's decision to start the process is based on the encouraging preliminary data from preclinical and early clinical trials in adults. This makes Biontech the first German company and, with AstraZeneca, the second company overall to be approved by the EMA for this process.

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October 6th, 2020: Corona brings new risks for insurance companies

Munich (dpa) - Fewer accidents, but more cyber attacks: According to Allianz, the corona pandemic has long-term effects on insurance companies. In the first six months of the corona crisis, property and liability losses have fallen in some areas of corporate business because there have been fewer accidents. This was reported by Allianz's industrial insurance subsidiary AGCS in a study published in Munich on Tuesday. On the other hand, the risks of hacker attacks increase when many employees access corporate networks in comparatively poorly secured home offices. According to an estimate by the British insurance exchange Lloyd's, Covid-19 could cost the industry 110 billion dollars worldwide this year. The AGCS itself has so far set aside 450 million euros for corona damage. The bulk of this is accounted for by cancellation insurance for films, television productions and major events, as AGCS board member Thomas Sepp explained.

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October 5th, 2020: Legal right to a home office?

Berlin (dpa) - The German Minister of Labour, Hubertus Heil, wants employees to have a legal right to a home office 24 days a year in future - unless there are comprehensible reasons against it. The announced "Mobile Work Act" stipulates that an employer may only refuse the desire for mobile work if there are organisational or operational reasons for doing so, as reported by the newspaper "Bild am Sonntag". The reactions were mixed: Employee representatives and the Greens do not go far enough, while employers and the SPD coalition partner in the federal government, the Christian Democratic CDU, were sceptical. SPD politician Heil also based his proposal on the experiences of the Corona era. "The virus has taught us that much more mobile working is possible than we thought."

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October 4th, 2020: Sixth German vaccine in test phase

Langen (dpa) - In Germany a corona vaccine based on a vaccine against smallpox may be tested on humans. The Paul-Ehrlich-Institute (PEI), which is responsible for vaccines, has approved the study. It is a so-called vector vaccine which will introduce genetic material from the Covid 19 virus into the body, the PEI said. It was developed by the German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF) and IDT Biologika GmbH in Dessau. The Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the Philipps University of Marburg and the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf are also involved. According to PEI, four so-called RNA vaccines and now two vector vaccines in different phases are in clinical trials in Germany.

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October 3rd, 2020: Germany celebrates unity under corona conditions

Germany celebrates the 30th anniversary of German Unity under corona conditions. To kick off the central celebrations in Potsdam on Saturday, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and President of the Bundestag Wolfgang Schäuble took part in an ecumenical service in the church of St. Peter and Paul. Due to the pandemic, only 130 guests were allowed to attend, including delegations of citizens from the Länder. The celebrations under the motto "We together" were hosted by Brandenburg's Minister President Dietmar Woidke as acting President of the Bundesrat.

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October 2nd, 2020: Merkel: Corona restrictions reminded me of GDR

Berlin (dpa) - The period of severe corona restrictions in spring reminded Chancellor Angela Merkel of her life in the GDR. "My childhood and youth were very much present to me at that moment," said the CDU politician in an interview with Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND). In March, she said, politics had had to intervene very strongly in people's civil liberties. "That I had to tell people that you were only allowed to be on the streets as a household or as a couple, that no events were allowed to take place, that children were not allowed to visit their parents in the retirement home - these were serious restrictions.

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October 1st, 2020: Second German vaccine developer in second phase

Tübingen (dpa) - The Tübingen-based biopharmaceutical company Curevac has started the second phase of testing its vaccine candidate. The first participant in the Phase 2a study has been vaccinated, a statement said. The trial is running in Peru and Panama with 690 healthy participants. First data are expected in the fourth quarter. After that, the company plans to start the pivotal Phase III study with up to 30,000 participants. Curevac was the second German company, after Biontec of Mainz, to receive approval for a clinical trial.

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September 30th, 2020: Federal and state governments tighten the reins again

Berlin (dpa) - Federal and state governments are taking the reins again in view of the continuing high corona figures just before the autumn holidays. A fine of at least 50 euros is now threatened if restaurant visitors give false information about themselves in guest lists. "False personal details are not a trivial offence," said Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) on Tuesday after consultations with the prime ministers of the Länder. If the number of infections in districts increases, there will be restrictions on the number of people attending private parties. There will be no further relaxation of the corona measures for the time being. Merkel cited the rising infection figures as a cause for concern. A new shutdown must be prevented at all costs. Bavaria's Minister President Markus Söder (CSU) also warned against a general lockdown throughout the state. "More masks, less alcohol and smaller celebrations" was the "basic triad", said Söder.

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September 29th, 2020: UN Secretary General: More than one million corona deaths "agonising milestone”

New York (dpa) - UN Secretary General António Guterres has described the number of more than one million people who have died after infection with the coronavirus as an "agonising milestone". "It is a stunning figure", Guterres said in New York on Tuesday night, according to the press release. "Nevertheless, we must never lose sight of the individual lives: They were fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, friends and colleagues." Guterres called on people around the world to continue to observe the rules of distance and hygiene and to put on masks. "We can overcome this challenge." This requires responsible leadership, science and global cooperation. Earlier, data from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore showed that more than one million people have died worldwide from infection with the virus since the beginning of the corona pandemic. More than 33.2 million infections have been detected. Experts assume that there is a high number of unreported cases.

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September 28th, 2020: Highly effective antibodies against coronavirus identified

Researchers at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) have identified highly effective antibodies against the corona virus SARS-CoV-2. The researchers initially isolated almost 600 different antibodies from the blood of people who had survived a COVID-19 disease triggered by SARS-CoV-2. Laboratory tests enabled them to narrow down this number to a few particularly effective ones, which they then artificially replicated using cell cultures. The so-called neutralising antibodies identified bind to the virus, as structural analyses show, and thus prevent it from entering cells and multiplying. They are now pursuing the development of a passive vaccination.

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September 27th 2020: Corona crisis hits few households financially

Frankfurt/Main (dpa) - According to a survey, most private households in Germany will be spared financial losses in the corona crisis. "After the corona pandemic had raged for half a year, we observe that the financial situation of households has neither significantly worsened further nor recovered significantly after the first shock in March 2020," says Andreas Hackethal from the Frankfurt Leibniz Institute for Financial Market Research Safe. "Measured against the reality of people's lives, it is therefore confirmed that Germany has so far come through the crisis relatively well.“

According to the survey conducted at the beginning of September, 17 per cent of the 10,800 households surveyed are struggling with income losses, but the vast majority of 83 per cent do not see their situation deteriorating or even improving. The data for the so-called household crisis barometer were collected for the seventh time.

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September 26th, 2020: 60 million euros aid for students in financial distress

Berlin (dpa) - In recent months, the German state has paid a total of around 60 million euros to students who find themselves in financial difficulties because of Corona. This figure was announced by Achim Meyer auf der Heyde, Secretary General of the Deutsches Studentenwerk (DSW), in Berlin on Friday. The Studentenwerke are responsible for processing applications for emergency aid. According to the figures, 135,000 applications have so far been approved, 80,000 applications rejected. In the Corona crisis, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research had made 100 million euros available for emergency aid - money that does not have to be paid back.

Meanwhile, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced on Saturday morning that the number of new coronavirus infections in Germany has reached its highest level since April. Within one day the public health authorities in Germany reported 2507 new corona infections.

 

September 25th, 2020: Spahn advises against travelling abroad during autumn and winter holidays

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn has advised citizens not to travel abroad during the autumn and winter holidays in view of rising corona cases. "You can also take a holiday at home", the CDU politician said on Friday in the ZDF "Morgenmagazin". During the Corona pandemic, it had been shown time and again that people returning to their home countries were increasingly carrying the virus. "I think we should learn from this together for autumn, winter and Christmas holidays", said Spahn. This is hard for tour operators, but cannot be changed in the current situation.

September 24th, 2020: "Pandemic is only just beginning"

Berlin (dpa) - Berlin virologist Christian Drosten believes that Germany is not yet sufficiently prepared for the coming period in the face of the corona pandemic. "We need to change things to control the situation in the coming months," he said. "The pandemic is only just beginning." It must also be clear that the approval of a vaccine does not immediately solve the problem, Drosten said. First, priority must be given to risk groups. "Apart from the expected competition for distribution, it is not so easy to fill so many vaccine doses into bottles and then vaccinate them," he explained. "That's why it's already an undertaking for the whole year 2021.

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September 23rd, 2020: Ethics Council rejects proof of immunity

Berlin (dpa) - In the debate on how to deal with the coronavirus, the German Ethics Council clearly rejects the introduction of official proof of immunity at present. The reason is "considerable uncertainties" about immunity after an infection and the validity of antibody tests, the independent advisory committee explained. Ethics Council chairwoman Alena Buyx (photo) referred to the very controversial social debate on corona immunity certificates. Some people imagine "a kind of free ride", with which anything is possible again in a pandemic - others see it as a harbinger of an "immune-based two-tier society".

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September 22nd, 2020: Christmas services in stadiums and marketplaces?

Hanover (dpa) - In view of continuing restrictions due to the corona epidemic, the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD) is gearing up for Christmas services in football stadiums and marketplaces. Church services will also be held in drive-in cinemas, the EKD announced in Hanover on Tuesday. In addition to the deployment of many volunteers, there will be cooperation with the fire brigade and the technical relief organisation, in order to be able to celebrate safely in central squares.

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September 21st, 2020: New strategy for the cold season

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn has announced a new corona test strategy and new quarantine rules in view of the cold season. For example, rapid tests are to become part of the new testing strategy because they are now also of better quality. He also specified plans to set up so-called fever outpatient clinics. "It is important to have an infrastructure that ensures that people do not infect each other in the waiting room. This makes sense for Corona and also for the flu and a possible flu epidemic," said Spahn on Monday in Berlin.

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September 20th, 2020: Spahn: Health system not overburdened

Berlin (dpa) - According to Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn, the German health system is not currently overburdened despite rising corona infection figures. With almost 2,300 new infections in one day, the highest level since April has been reached, Spahn wrote on Twitter. "At the moment, our health care system is coping well with the situation, but the dynamics throughout Europe are worrying," he added. He once again appealed to citizens to keep their distance, wear mouth and nose protection and observe hygiene rules.

Health authorities in Germany had registered 2,297 new corona infections on Friday, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced. The peak in the number of new infections reported daily was more than 6,000 at the end of March/beginning of April. The number then tended to fall and then rose again from July onwards. The number of new infections detected also depends on how many people are tested.

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September 19th, 2020: Corona pandemic stops carnival

Düsseldorf/Cologne (dpa) - The typical Cologne Rose Monday procession (photo from 2019) will not take place in 2021 due to the Corona pandemic. The session and street carnival in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia will largely be cancelled in the 2020/21 season. According to the will of the state government and the large carnival associations to protect people from further infections, there will be no more classic carnival meetings, nor will there be carnival parades in the familiar form.

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September 18th, 2020: Ready to start: Vaccine developer BioNTech takes over production facility

Mainz (dpa) - For the production of a possible corona vaccine, the Mainz-based company Biontech is taking over the production facility in Marburg from the Swiss pharmaceutical group Novartis. Subject to regulatory approval, Biontech plans to manufacture up to 250 million doses of the potential vaccine at the plant in the first half of 2021. The contract was signed on Wednesday evening.

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September 17th, 2020: Confidence in the state has risen sharply

Berlin (dpa) - People's confidence in Germany's political institutions has increased considerably. The proportion of citizens who consider the state to be capable of fulfilling its tasks increased by 22 percentage points to 56 percent compared to last year. This is shown by the new "Public Service" citizens' survey conducted by the civil service association dbb. The dbb chairman Ulrich Silberbach primarily attributed the trends to the predominantly positive assessment of the actions of the state and the civil service in the Corona crisis.

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September 16th, 2020: Commission expects several vaccines

Berlin (dpa) - The Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) at the Robert Koch Institute expects that there will be several different vaccines against the new coronavirus in Germany. "In view of the large number of potential Sars-CoV-2 vaccine candidates, it is likely that several vaccines will eventually be approved in Germany", Commission Vice-Chairwoman Sabine Wicker told the Funke Mediengruppe newspapers (Wednesday). It could be that individual vaccines would be particularly suitable for certain population groups - for example older people. The German government expects a vaccine against coronavirus to be available in Germany for parts of the population in the first few months of next year, but for the general population it will probably not be available until the middle of the year.

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September 15th, 2020: Corona could reduce the number of burglaries to an all-time low

Berlin (dpa) - The number of home burglaries in Germany could fall to an all-time low due to the corona pandemic, according to the insurance industry. "Developments in the first half of the year indicate that we will see the lowest number of burglaries since our statistics began in 1981," announced Jörg Asmussen, Managing Director of the German Insurance Association (GDV).

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September 14th, 2020: Corona accelerates the move away from cash

Munich (dpa) - According to a consumer study, the Corona crisis is accelerating the gradual move away from cash by Europeans. According to the study, only 36 percent of consumers in ten European countries prefer to pay cash on average, according to the financial experts of the management consultancy PwC Strategy& in their study published on Monday. A year ago, at 43 percent, the figure was significantly higher. However, there are still very big differences within Europe: in Germany, 56 percent prefer to pay cash, in Sweden only 15 percent.

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13 September 2020: Patient protectors: Involve Bundestag in vaccination strategy

Berlin (dpa) - From the point of view of patient protectionists, the Bundestag should be involved in determining the distribution of a possible corona vaccine. It was clear that a vaccine would not be immediately available for everyone, the chairman of the German Foundation for Patient Protection, Eugen Brysch, told the German Press Agency. "So there is a need for prioritisation, which must not be left to officials or scientists alone". In order to create transparency and distributive justice, the Bundestag should lay down ethical guidelines. "Only the members of parliament have the democratic legitimacy here." Parliament should ensure that those in need of care, their relatives and nursing and medical staff are given priority.

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) had already pointed out that the Vaccination Commission was working on proposals where some things were already foreseeable. "First of all, those who are exposed to a risk due to their jobs - nurses, doctors and medical staff - will be vaccinated. And then risk groups such as the very elderly or people with pre-existing conditions will be vaccinated," he told Focus Online (Friday). He is optimistic that after a few months there could be enough for everyone - if there is a vaccine then. Spahn confirmed: "There will be no compulsory vaccination.

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September 12, 2020: A respectful culture of debate is called for

Hanover (dpa) - Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) has called for a respectful debate culture in the Corona crisis. He also called on critics not to retreat into their WhatsApp or Facebook bubble. Controversial discussions are necessary, but the question is how these debates are conducted, Spahn said on Friday at a health forum in Hanover. It is important to find a common denominator, to argue on the issue and to take care of each other. The tone of the debate should not be set by demonstrations against the Corona measures as in Berlin. "In the pandemic, I would also like us Germans to become aware of what we have achieved together," said Spahn. He said that the fact that Germany was in a comparably good position in the pandemic compared to neighboring countries was also thanks to the health system and the commitment of its citizens. Pride in what we have achieved must also be developed and cohesion must be maintained.

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September 11th, 2020: Germ-free escalators

Munich (dpa) - Stadtwerke München and Münchner Verkehrsgesellschaft test germ-free escalators. Six escalators in the Marienplatz underground station are currently being equipped with special UV disinfection. The whole thing works like this: In the sealed area the handrails are irradiated with UV light. This is intended to destroy the micro-organisms within seconds.

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