This is a live blog from May 9, 2020.
Head here for today's news: https://www.lengoo.de/blog/05-28-2020-live-blog-for-covid-19-updates-in-germany-in-english/
Non-German native speakers have a hard time to stay on top of the news concerning the development of the situation of CoViD-19 specifically in Germany. Because of that, we curate a live blog in English for all people living in Germany. The information published on this site is translated from German and is based on the live blog of Tagesschau.
We are using the combination of custom-trained machine translation models and expert linguists to provide these translations.
16:42 That's it for today. Join us tomorrow for more live updates!
From now on, please head over to Tagesschau to follow the updates (German only).
16:24 The Faroe Islands declare themselves free from corona
The Faroe Islands, which fall under the Kingdom of Denmark, are officially free of coronavirus. There are no more active cases, informs the government. The total number of people infected with the coronavirus is put at 187. There have not been any debts on the island group in the North Atlantic, in connection to the virus.
As a nation, the archipelago had managed what only a few countries have achieved, said Prime Minister Bárður á Steig Nielsen. "Our hard struggle has paid off." This has been made possible "because people, families, and organizations were willing to change their everyday lives and take responsibility under very difficult circumstances".
16:22 The northeast tries the normal state
The coastal villages on the Baltic Sea are trying to return to a new normality. Significantly more visitors roamed the coasts of Schleswig-Holstein for the first time. Guests once again strolled over the promenades of Niendorf, Timmendorfer Strand, and Travemünde in large numbers. On the beach, sun worshippers spread out in the sand and children played in the still-cold waters.
In Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, non-local owners of a second residence have been allowed to enter again since May 1st. Restaurants are allowed to open again for locals since Saturday, with strict hygiene and social distancing regulations in place. Beach chairs will be available for rental from May 11th. Hotels, apartments, and campsites can also be used by residents of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern from May 18th.
16:15 Belarus commemorates 75th anniversary of the end of the war with great military parade
With a large military parade, Belarus recalled the victory over Nazi Germany 75 years ago. Despite the Corona pandemic, the government of the former Soviet Republic had 4,000 soldiers marched in the capital of Minsk and presented dozens of military planes and military vehicles. President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled the country with an iron hand since 1994, followed the parade together with other high-ranking representatives of a gallery. None of his children or grandchildren - not even his son Nikolai, who is traded as a potential successor of the authoritarian rulers - took part in the ceremony, as a AFP journalist reported
16:10 Bishops speak of "world government"
In an appeal, certain Catholic bishops, including Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, have warned against using the coronavirus pandemic to create a "world government" that is "no longer subject to any control". In the appeal, which is over three pages long, the signatories criticize using the "Covid-19 epidemic" as a pretext. Inalienable rights of citizens are said to be violated and "basic freedoms disproportionately and unjustifiably restricted," including the right to freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement.
The appeal is an initiative of the former Pontifical Ambassador to the US, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, and was also signed by Cardinal Müller, by Hong Kong's Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, as well as by other Catholic spiritual leaders, doctors, journalists, and lawyers.
15:52 Arrests at coronavirus demonstration in Berlin
At a demonstration in front of the Bundestag in Berlin, the police has taken several people into provisional detention. The demonstrators, who include conspiracy thinkers, protested against restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the virus. The organisation had registered the demonstration with the authorities. At the moment, the police does not disclose how many people have been arrested.
According to a police spokeswoman, the demonstrators were advised by speakers that they had exceeded the maximum number of participants of 50. Only after the warnings had the officials begun with the arrests. Last Wednesday, during a gathering before the Bundestag, a television team of the ARD was attacked.
14:37 Oliver Welke: A brain breaker to round things off
"It leads one to wonder: Is it really consistent to trample, literally, on the freedom of the press, at demonstrations supposedly held to defend human rights? I will leave you with this little, slightly moralistic, brain teaser for coming demonstrations." (Oliver Welke, moderator of the satirical ZDF broadcast "heute show", commenting on the attacks on camera teams reporting on the "Hygiene Demonstrations" against coronavirus measures in Berlin.)
14:28 3rd Bundesliga to start on May 26th
The German Football Federation plans to resume play in the 3rd League on May 26th, subject to government approval. "Sportschau" reports that the clubs have been informed in writing about the detailed schedule of the DFB. Accordingly, the players and supporters of the clubs should already be checked for coronavirus from May 10th to 12th, as part of a first series of tests. Between May 13th and 15th, the teams could resume group training, if approved by government.
13:35 No hoards of visitors as city museum reopens
Art lovers can once again visit the Frankfurter Städelmuseum, after it was forced to close its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, according to a speaker, there were no signs of overcrowdedness. Visitors observed the restrictions.
The number of visitors is limited to one person per 20 square meters. With 4,000 square meters of exhibition space, 200 visitors per hour are allowed to enter the museum. They must wear mouth and nose protection. A protective pane has been installed at the counter, stickers mark the spacing on the floor. Visitors must book online tickets in advance.
12:44 Austria's Chancellor Kurz hits the road again for the first time in ten weeks
Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz will start making public appearances again, outside the Chancellery, after ten weeks of a “coronavirus break”. His first appearance will be a visit to the Kleinwalsertal in Vorarlberg next week. The region is hit particularly hard by the coronavirus-related border closures, as it is only accessible via Germany, said the Chancellor’s Office. Kurz wants to "paint his own picture" of the situation together with State PM Markus Wallner. Further appointments is Tyrol will follow. Kurz is planning to visit all the Federal States in the coming weeks.
According to his office, Mr. Kurz's last public appointment outside the Chancellery had been on March 5th. Due to the coronavirus, he has spent all his time in the last ten weeks in the Federal Chancellery.
12:44 Head of UN Development Program: coronavirus sets back many countries
The UN Development Program UNDP expects that many countries will lose "years or even decades of development" because of the coronavirus crisis. The global epidemic shows that investment in education, social security systems, and competent governments pay off to overcome such crises, said UNDP chief Achim Steiner to Deutschlandfunk radio, with reference to the South Indian state of Kerala as well as China. This is what is at stake during the coronavirus crisis.
“We are dealing with a crisis that has almost completely brought the world to a standstill within 12 to 16 weeks, which of course has consequences,” said Steiner. “190 million jobs have been lost, companies have gone bankrupt, social security systems have not been able to provide support in many areas, and government systems have collapsed. The world community must come together to discuss how the UN can tackle threats such as pandemics, cyber criminality, climate change, and refugee flows.
12:40 Seoul closes nightclubs after new infections
After dozens of coronavirus infections, more than 2,100 nightclubs, entertainment facilities, and discos have been closed in Seoul. They remained closed until the city sees a significantly lower risk of infection, said Mayor Park Won Soon.
The government had called on cities and municipalities throughout the country to close entertainment facilities or strictly impose measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus – for example by social distancing measures for guests, guest lists, temperature measurements, and nose and mouth protection for staff. Last weekend, South Korea had eased the regulations restricting social contacts.
Most of the new cases are apparently attributable to a 29-year-old man who visited three clubs in Seoul last Saturday – and tested positive for the virus on Tuesday. In the 24 hours before midnight on Friday, the South Korean centers for diseases control and prevention had registered 18 new cases. Since then, 16 new cases have been confirmed in Seoul alone, says Mayor Park.
12:35 Italian government working on new aid package
The Italian government will soon introduce a new aid package of around 55 billion euro to alleviate the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. According to media reports, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is working our more details over the weekend.
Support measures are planned for sectors of industry such as tourism, agriculture, and culture. Also planned are funds to compensate employees for reduced hours and families, such as subsidies for babysitters. The healthcare system will also be strengthened. According to the "Corriere della Sera" newspaper, the draft of the ministries comprises over 760 pages.
Mr. Conte had already announced a package of "not less than 50 billion euros" in April. In mid-March, the government had announced an aid package in Rome worth 25 billion euro, to mitigate coronavirus-related effects such as the halting of production and sales.
12:14 Spain reports fewer coronavirus victims than yesterday
In Spain, the rate of increase of the coronavirus-related death toll is slowing down. The Ministry of Health has reported 179 deaths, compared to 229 yesterday. In total, the authorities report that 26,478 people have died in Spain related to the coronavirus. The number of infections has increased from 222,857 to 223,578.
11:05 Merkel assures artists of support
In her current podcast, Chancellor Angela Merkel has assured artists of the German government's support in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. "I know what we are missing and how many citizens are eagerly waiting to experience your cultural offerings live again," said the Chancellor. She added that the Federal Government, together with the states, was therefore committed to ensuring that cultural life would continue to have a chance in the future and that support would be given to artists. The Federal Government has always considered the needs of artists and creative industries in its aid programmes, Merkel continued. For example, the program for solo self-employed people also helps those who have permanent expenses for studio costs, rent, and other things. Access to basic security has been made easier, especially for such solo self-employed persons. The aim is that the "cultural landscape can continue to exist even after the pandemic is over, after this profound crisis has been overcome".
10:25 Almost 11,000 new cases in Russia
Russia has reported 10,817 new confirmed infections with the coronavirus in the past 24 hours. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 198,676, according to the authorities. 104 people have died in connection with the infection. The total number of deaths is 1,827. Russia has overtaken Germany and France in the total number of infections this week and is now in fifth place worldwide.
10:13 China plans to reform disease prevention
As a consequence of the coronavirus crisis, China has announced a reform of the country's disease prevention and early warning systems for epidemics. "The coronavirus epidemic was a great test of our country's ability to govern, and it exposed weaknesses in dealing with a serious epidemic and in public health care systems," said Li Bin of the National Health Commission. The Commission intends to establish a centralized and efficient chain of command and to modernize prevention and early warning systems. In addition, more use should be made of the analysis of large amounts of data in the fight against epidemics, the official said. Artificial intelligence and cloud computing should be used to better analyze diseases, track the spread of a virus and optimally distribute needed equipment or material. Health insurance and the storage of emergency goods should be improved.
10:02 Parliament (Bundestag) plans to deliberate for a further three days
For the first time since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, the German Bundestag wants to return to its normal rhythm next week and hold a full three days of discussions. This is stated in the published provisional agenda. Accordingly, the session will begin on Wednesday at 1:00 pm with the government questioning, which Chancellor Angela Merkel is to attend. Last week, the members of parliament only met on Wednesday and Thursday, as they had done at the end of April. At the end of March, parliament had reduced its weekly session to one day, when various rescue packages for companies and citizens in the coronavirus crisis were passed in an emergency procedure. However, the rules on distance and hygiene remain unchanged, a parliament spokesman told the German Press Agency. They will remain unchanged in committee meetings and plenary debates. In order to maintain proper distance regulations, for example in the plenary hall, two seats will remain free between members of parliament as has been the case since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. Parliament's President Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU), however, told the 709 MEPs, that sessions for the week after next (at the end of May) would have attendance lists available from Tuesday to Friday as usual.
08:36 China offers help to North Korea
According to President Xi Xinping, China is prepared to support North Korea in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The Chinese state television reported that Xi wrote this to the North Korean head of state Kim Jong Un. Xi is very concerned about the situation in North Korea and the health of the people there.
08:00 Here's what happened last night
- CoViD-19 numbers for Germany: Robert Koch Institute reports 1,251 new cases of CoViD-19 (168,551 total) and 147 new deaths (7,369 total) due to the virus
- Dorothee Bär: Corona warning app is designed in accordance with data protection
- Eurogroup ready for ESM corona aids
- Magician Roy Horn died of Covid 19 disease
- Speaker of US Vice President Mike Pence infected with Coronavirus