This is a live blog from May 19, 2020.

Head here for today's news:

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.

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Short Facts

  • Hundreds of people from Germany are stuck abroad
  • Klöckner threatens meat industry with higher penalty charges
  • Report: 11 percent of corona infections in health professions
  • The president of German Medical Association warns against opening European borders for vacationists
  • Trump threatens WHO to stop payments and to exit

16:32 Chinese provinces: Bonuses for pulling out of breeding wildlife

China banned wildlife trade a few weeks ago in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus. Two provinces are now offering wildlife breeders compensation for giving up keeping and selling wild animals.

16:05 University medical experts point out possible serious consequences of CoViD-19

Recognized university medical experts have warned about underestimating the danger of becoming ill with CoViD-19. Representatives from several university hospitals have taken stock: two months after forming a German university network to exchange treatment processes and patient data during the coronavirus pandemic. The university hospitals agreed on a corresponding exchange at the end of March. CoViD-19 is not a classic lung infection such as the flu said Michael Albrecht, Medical Chairman of the university hospital Carl Gustav Carus in Dresden. The illness represents something special and is “highly complex“. That has been shown in many cases with very ill hospital patients in the past weeks. Central nervous system, spinal cord, and vascular illnesses occur in patients with serious developments. It can result in temporary paraplegia or kidney and liver failure.  Paying regard to the horrible consequences and effects has been lost recently said Albrecht referring to the criticism of the anti-coronavirus measures.

15:42 Indonesia expecting a baby boom

According to authorities, Indonesia is facing an unexpected baby boom because of the coronavirus pandemic. 420,000 more babies than usual could be born at the start of next year as a result of unplanned pregnancies, stated the Indonesian Family Planning Authority. This is because many smaller clinics are closed due to restrictions in the fight against the virus and doctors and midwives are treating significantly fewer patients. Many people currently have no or hardly any access to birth control, stated the Authority Head Hasto Wardoyo to the AFP News Agency. “Many are also listening to the government’s instructions to stay at home unless for emergencies,” he said. “I think many people do not see contraception as an emergency.”

15:20 Trump wants to lower wages tax according to Kudlow

US President Donald Trump wants to lower wages tax due to the coronavirus crisis, according to his National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow. “I know the president wants people going back to work to have a 7.6 percent reduction in wages tax,” Kudlow told Fox Business Network. This is supposed to increase their net wages.

15:04 German Football Federation plans 3rd division restart for May 30

The German Football Federation is planning to re-start the 3rd Division on 30 May. This date was named by DFB Secretary General Friedrich Curtius in a video press conference. However, political decision-makers are decisive for this. "The season should be decided on the turf and not on the parliamentary benches," said DFB President Fritz Keller.

14:57 WHO assembly decides to investigate pandemic response

The member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) have decided that the UN organization will conduct an independent investigation of the response to the coronavirus pandemic. At the annual WHO meeting, the participants voted for a resolution demanding an "unbiased, independent, and comprehensive evaluation" of the global response. The investigation will also focus on the response of the WHO itself and its timescale.

14:35 Prince Charles: Help farmers with their harvest!

The British heir to the throne Prince Charles (71) called on his fellow citizens to help farmers with their harvest during the coronavirus crisis. "Food isn't created by magic," the prince, who is an organic farmer, said in a video. It was filmed in his vegetable garden on his Scottish estate.

Charles is hereby supporting a government initiative and the agricultural industry: they fear that fruit and vegetables could rot on many fields in the UK because of a lack of foreign workers due to the pandemic. They now want to employ students, among others, as harvesters in the coming months.

14:29 Saxony-Anhalt allows larger family celebrations and lets tourists enter the state

In Saxony-Anhalt, weddings, family celebrations, and funerals can now take place again with a larger number of participants despite the coronavirus pandemic. From May 28, private parties with up to 20 participants will be permitted, as the state government decided. Up to 100 people will be allowed to attend weddings, funerals, and conferences.

Furthermore, the federal state is lifting its ban on entry for tourists. From May 28, people from Germany may enter the state for excursions, holidays, and visits.

14:13 Bremen extends contribution exemptions in kindergartens

In Bremen, facilities will not charge any parental contributions for day care centers and lunch through the the end of July. The senate's decision for April has hereby been extended until summer," said mayor Andreas Bovenschulte (SPD).

This applies because of the coronavirus restrictions, even though there is an increase in emergency care, because overall it is not possible to offer full services. "The strain on parents is already high enough," said Bovenschulte.

13:44 Bavaria lowers limit for coronavirus hotspots to 35 new infections

Bavaria has set a stricter threshold in the early warning system for new coronavirus infections. The state cabinet has lowered the limit to 35 new infections per 100,000 residents within seven days in a city or district, as the head of the state chancellery Florian Herrmann (CSU) reported. He said the early warning system is an "effective measure" for quickly detecting local outbreaks. The federal government and the states had agreed on a threshold of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants. The state of Berlin also thinks this number is too high and has developed its own warning system, which already switches to red when 30 new infections are reached.

13:28 High risk of infection in refugee accommodation

Refugee accommodation and homes for asylum seekers could become hotspots for coronavirus infections in Germany due to the high density of people. The risk of infection at such facilities is comparable to that of cruise ships, the SWR reported, referring to a previously unpublished study. The investigations were conducted by the University of Bielefeld and other academics at the "Competence Center for Public Health Covid-19" - a network of 25 specialist companies from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

12:49 Karliczek draws positive interim results on university hospital network

Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU) has drawn a first positive interim balance of the new university hospital network on research and treatment in the coronavirus pandemic. The Minister said that all German university hospitals were involved in the network and were providers of both experience and knowledge. This might also be one of the reasons why Germany has come through the pandemic relatively well so far. The exchange of information will help to achieve the best possible treatment of Covid-19 patients and develop further therapies.

12:25 Nearly 300,000 infections confirmed in Russia

According to official figures, some 300,000 infections with the coronavirus have now been confirmed in Russia. In the past 24 hours, the number of nationwide coronavirus cases has increased by 9263 to 299,941, reported the health authorities. The number of fatalities had increased by 115 to 2,837. Russia now ranks second in the world behind the USA in terms of infections. The number of deaths from the coronavirus in Russia is very low by international standards. Critics, however, accuse the Russian authorities of concealing deaths caused by the virus. The Russian authorities deny this.

12:13 Bavaria allows DFB Cup semi-finals

The Bavarian state government has approved the date DFB Cup semi-finals, as reported by the German Press Agency citing participants in the cabinet meeting in Munich. The match between FC Bayern and Eintracht Frankfurt will take place on June 9 or 10 in Munich's Allianz Arena. Due to the coronavirus crisis, the game is to take place without spectators. The second cup semi-final will be played by 1st FC Saarbruecken and Bayer Leverkusen. A decision by the Saarland on hosting the game is still pending.

12:07 Spain grants entry from Italy

The Spanish Government has decided to lift the ban on entry into the country from Italy, which has been in force since March 11. Ships and airplanes from Italy will be allowed to enter the country again. However, all those entering the country will still have to undergo a 14-day quarantine. This regulation will remain in force as long as the state of emergency in Spain applies. Later today, the Spanish cabinet is to vote on whether the state of emergency should be extended again - in which case it would remain in force until June 27, according to a report on the Cadena Ser channel.

11:52 New start in the basketball Bundesliga apparently in sight

According to a report by the German Press Agency, the Basketball Bundesliga will soon be able to resume its games. In a cabinet meeting, the Bavarian government has approved plans for a tournament with ten teams in Munich in June.

11:47 Resistance against plan for recovery fund

Germany and France are calling for an EU 500 billion fund to help recover from the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. However, not all EU countries agree with the plans.

11:43 China criticizes Trump's threat to WHO

The Chinese government has reacted with massive criticism to US President Donald Trump's threat to end US membership of the World Health Organization. Trump accuses the WHO of being heavily influenced by China and of having been influenced by it in its actions against the Corona pandemic. A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry in Beijing accused Trump of merely denigrating China and "shirking" his country's obligations to the WHO.

11:18 Mask obligation eased in Israel due to heat wave

The Israeli government has temporarily relaxed the mask obligation imposed in the course of the coronavirus pandemic. The reason for this is the country's heat wave with temperatures up to 40 degrees Celsius. Until the weekend, pupils are allowed to take off their masks in classrooms, the new Minister of Health, Juli Edelstein, announced. The requirement to wear masks in public places has also been suspended for the time being, except at gatherings. The fight against the coronavirus is important, Edelstein said, but the heat wave could also be dangerous.

11:09 Chile: Four ministers in quarantine

In Chile, four ministers and roughly half of the senators have been placed in quarantine. The politicians had been in direct contact with three members of parliament who were infected with the coronavirus, according to official sources in the capital Santiago. The number of new infections recorded in the South American country rose sharply by 60 percent in the middle of last week. A strict curfew was then imposed on the seven million inhabitants of Santiago. Demonstrators and police clashed violently during the night in a suburb of the capital. They demanded food subsidies from the government.

10:25 Unemployment applications in Great Britain reach peak level

The number of unemployment applications in Great Britain has risen to its highest level in 24 years due to the coronairus crisis. From March to April it rose by 856,500 or 69 percent to 2.1 million and is the highest increase ever reported by the National Statistics Office (ONS). The increase would have been even higher had it not been for the government's program to pay 80 percent of workers wages who were sent on temporary leave by their employers. "Although only the first weeks of the restrictions are covered, our figures show that Covid-19 has had a major impact on the labor market," said ONS expert Jonathan Athov.

10:02 DIHK expects economic slump of ten percent

The Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) is expecting a historic slump in economic output this year and is even more pessimistic than the federal government. "Based on our survey results, we have to assume a double-digit percentage decline in gross domestic product at present," said DIHK President Eric Schweitzer. The government is assuming a minus of 6.3 percent. That alone would be the biggest decline in the post-war period. The main reason for this is the restrictions on public life in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

09:38 Deutsche Bahn to increase the number of cleaning crews

The Deutsche Bahn wants to do even more for hygiene and cleanliness in trains and railway stations during the coronavirus pandemic, reported the Funke media group. According to the report, cleaning staff on trains will be doubled to 500 employees by July. By August, 600 of these " on-board cleaners" will be working, it was said. A total of 4300 employees are responsible for cleaning nationwide. Deutsche Bahn has not made any comment at this time.

08:55 Poland hopes to open the border

The Polish government announced that it is planning to reopen the borders on 15th June. They see this as a real possibility, Deputy Prime Minister Jadwiga Emilewicz told the daily "Puls Biznesu". On July 1, all remaining coronavirus restrictions could then potentially be lifted. Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas recently appealed to Poland to open the borders fully again soon. The German government is aiming to restore freedom of travel in the entire Schengen area as of June 15.

08:00 Here's what happened last night

  • CoViD-19 numbers for Germany: Robert Koch Institute reports 513 new cases of CoViD-19 (175,210 total) and 72 new deaths (8,007 total) due to the virus
  • Bundesbank expects slow economic recovery
  • Bavaria changes quarantine rules for travelers
  • Merkel encourages WHO members to fight the pandemic together
  • WHO: Europe has to prepare for second wave of corona
  • Spain lowers hopes for an early opening of the border
  • Left-wing leaders distance themselves from so-called hygiene demos