March 16, 2020: Dispute over German vaccine company
Berlin/Tübingen (dpa) - In the coronavirus crisis there are disputes between Germany and the USA about the Tübingen-based vaccine company CureVac, according to a newspaper report. Tübingen is located in the south-western state of Baden-Württemberg. US-President Donald Trump is trying to lure German scientists to America with large financial contributions or to secure the drug exclusively for his country, the newspaper reported, citing government circles in Berlin.
The company said such a deal is out of the question: „We want to develop a vaccine for the whole world and not for individual states,” said CEO Christof Hettich. Majority shareholder and SAP founder Dietmar Hopp also rejected a sale. The German government also rejects a sale.
March 16, 2020: Bavaria declares the corona crisis an official case of emergency
Munich (dpa) - Due to the spread of the corona virus, Bavaria's Minister-President Markus Söder has announced that the Free State of Bavaria will declare an official case of emergency. Söder said on Sunday evening on BR television that this would be done because a uniform strategy under a single leadership was needed.
The proclamation of the emergency case is primarily connected with organizational issues. These were necessary so that the country could take appropriate measures in the fight against the coronavirus, government circles said. The disaster is to last for 14 days.
Food shops, pharmacies, drugstores, banks and gas stations are to remain open. Söder said that in the food supply sector, even more shopping opportunities would be created that went beyond the previous law on closing times.
In addition to the well-known steps such as closing all non-systemically relevant shops, the Bundeswehr and its hospitals will then also be included in the contingency plans. The Ministry of Health, the newspaper reports, will also record all ventilators in the country and develop an emergency plan on how to set up so-called temporary hospitals. According to the plan, these are to be set up in trade fair, sports and concert halls if the number of people suffering from the disease increases drastically.
15.03.2020: Strict controls at several German borders and entry bans
Berlin/Vienna/Paris (dpa) - The rapidly spreading coronavirus pandemic is increasingly paralysing public life in Germany. From Monday on schools and day-care centres will be closed, children will have to be looked after mostly at home. And like other countries, Germany has now decided to impose stricter controls at its borders. Many federal states are also banning major events and the railways want to reduce regional traffic.
Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has announced comprehensive controls and entry bans at the borders to Switzerland, France, Austria, Denmark and Luxembourg. "For travellers without a valid reason for traveling, the rule is that they cannot enter the country", Seehofer said on Sunday evening in Berlin. The decision will take effect on Monday, 16 March 2020, from 8 a.m.
"German citizens naturally have the right to re-enter their home country", Seehofer said about the restrictions. The same applies to foreigners with residence permits and domicile in Germany, State Secretary Hans-Georg Engelke explained. Goods traffic and commuter traffic were also excluded.
March 15, 2020: Germany and USA: Discussion about Tübingen vaccine company
Berlin (dpa) - Researchers in Germany are working flat out to develop a vaccine against the new coronavirus. Klaus Cichutek, President of the Paul Ehrlich Institute, which is responsible for vaccines, did not rule out the possibility that the first population groups might be protected by a vaccination as early as 2021.
Now, according to a report in the newspaper Welt am Sonntag, there are disputes about a Tübingen-based company that is working on a vaccine against the coronavirus. US President Donald Trump is trying to lure German scientists to America with large financial contributions or to secure the drug exclusively for his country, the newspaper reported, citing government circles in Berlin.
In response to an inquiry by the German Press Agency, the Federal Ministry of Health referred to statements that a ministry spokesman had already made to the newspaper Welt am Sonntag. "The German government is very interested in the development of vaccines and active substances against the novel corona virus in Germany and Europe," the newspaper quoted the spokesperson. "In this regard, the government is in intensive exchange with the company CureVac."
March 15, 2020: Berlin shuts down public life to tackle coronavirus spread
Berlin (dpa) - The German capital city of Berlin is banning all public and private events with more than 50 people starting immediately in an attempt to stem the spread of the coronavirus. City authorities have closed all cinemas, theatres, concert halls and sport facilities, including gyms and fitness studios, along with bars, pubs, casinos and clubs, until at least April 19. Berlin's restaurants will remain open if customers are able to keep a 1.5-metre distance from one another.
Patients in hospital will no longer be allowed to have visitors, the new rules say, with the exception of children under 16 and the seriously ill. Elderly residents of care homes will no longer be able to receive visitors under the age of 16.
March 14, 2020: First Bundesliga player tests positive as league shuts down
Frankfurt (dpa) - Paderborn defender Luca Kilian has been tested positive for coronavirus, becoming the first infected Bundesliga player.
The announcement came hours after the German Football League (DFL) postponed this weekend's Bundesliga and second division and is set to suspend them until April 2 due to the coronavirus.
March 14, 2020: Federal Ministry of Health warns against false news
Berlin (dpa) - The Federal Ministry of Health has warned the population of false news and scare mongering in the Corona crisis. "Attention Fake News", the ministry wrote on Twitter on Saturday. "It is claimed and quickly spread that the Federal Ministry of Health/the Federal Government would soon announce massive further restrictions on public life. This is NOT true! Please help stop their spread."
March 13, 2020: German Bundesliga football club stops playing
Frankfurt/Main (dpa) - Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the German Soccer League has now immediately suspended play and will not play this weekend. This was announced by the German Soccer League (DFL) on Friday afternoon. "In view of the dynamics of today", it was decided "to postpone the 26th matchday, which originally began today, in both leagues". In the morning, it was initially announced that the games would be suspended from next Tuesday until April 2. This interruption will continue for the time being, but as of today.