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USA approves Biontech vaccine for children aged twelve and older +++ Here you find the most important news about the spread of the disease in Germany.

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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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 Corona

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All you need to know about the coronavirus crisis in Germany and the measures to combat the spread of the virus:
https://www.deutschland.de/en/corona-virus-germany-overview

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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

05.05.2021

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

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

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

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

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

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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12.04.2021

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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

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

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

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

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

25.03.2021

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

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

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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22.03.2021

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

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

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

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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05.03.2021

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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

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

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

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

24.02.2021

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

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

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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12.02.2021

11.02.2021:

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

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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05.02.2021

04.02.2021:

04.02.2021:

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:

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:

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

22.01.2021:

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

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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14.01.2020:

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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13.01.2020:

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

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

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

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

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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22.12.2020:

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."

21.12.2020:

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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21.12.2020:

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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18.12.2020:

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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14.12.2020:

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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11.12.2020:

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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10.12.2020:

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:

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:

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:

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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December 1st, 2020:

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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September 10th, 2020: Travel warning ends

Berlin (dpa) - The travel warning for almost all of the good 160 countries outside the EU and the Schengen area will end on 30 September. After that, according to a decision by the Federal Cabinet, there will be assessments tailored to the situation in the individual states. A travel warning is not a ban, but is intended to have a considerable deterrent effect. However, it also has a positive side for consumers: it allows travellers to cancel bookings for package holidays free of charge.

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September 9th, 2020: Hotels and restaurants in crisis mode

Berlin (dpa) - Between March and June of this year alone, the hotel and restaurant industry recorded a year-on-year drop in turnover of 17.6 billion euros, according to the Dehoga hotel and restaurant association in Berlin on Tuesday. "Our establishments were the first to be affected by the consequences of the coronavirus and we will be the ones in all our forms of operation to be the last to be allowed back on the grid," said Dehoga President Guido Zöllick. But he hopes for unbureaucratic solutions. "It will be important that local authorities continue to be generous in approving outdoor areas or wind shelters, conservatories or pavilions, as well as in the use of radiant heaters, in order to extend the outdoor gastronomy season".

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September 8th, 2020: Merkel discusses the future of the car industry

Berlin (dpa) - In the midst of the Corona crisis Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) is discussing with the car industry the difficult situation of Germany's key industry and central questions about the future. A video conference in the evening will focus on strategic issues such as digitalisation, networking and autonomous driving. However, the corona crisis is weighing on the car industry and demand has fallen. Many companies, especially suppliers, are struggling with major problems. That is why calls for stronger support have arisen before the discussions. The car industry directly employs more than 800 000 people in Germany.

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September 7th, 2020: Payment of the Corona child bonus starts

Berlin (dpa) - As of this Monday, the parents of around 18 million children in Germany will receive 300 euros extra per child. The money does not have to be applied for; it is paid out automatically. Prerequisite: A child must have received child benefit for at least one month in 2020. Almost two out of three recipients want to spend all or part of the one-off child bonus directly again. This is shown by a survey commissioned by the Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft (IW).

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