This is a live blog from May 27, 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.
17:57 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).
- Lufthansa supervisory board votes against rescue package
- Merkel stresses continuing risks from pandemic
- Air France-KLM cancels 40 percent of its flights
- Leopoldina recommends restructuring of the health system
- EU proposes 750 billion euro recovery plan
- Number of new infections in India at record level
- RKI: 362 new infections and 47 more deaths
17:24 A fifth of Germans feel deceived by the media and politics
In a survey by Zapp magazine, 20 percent of participants said they had the impression that the pandemic is over-reported.
17:16 France: Environmentalists complain about "coronavirus waste" in the sea
Members of the French environmental organisation "Operation Mer Propre" (Operation Clean Sea) are criticizing increasing sea pollution from breathing masks or rubber gloves. Activists have discovered these waste on dives off the Côte d’Azur, including beer cans or cigarette ends. In France, it is now allowed to go to the beach again after weeks of lockdown.
17:04 Federal Ministry for Family Affairs wants to introduce daycare registers
In the future, daycare facilites are to report their capacity in a nationwide register despite coronavirus restrictions. It will also be listed if facilities have to be closed due to new infections. The Federal Minister for Family Affairs Franziska Giffey announced that the daycare facility reports are to be made weekly.
If there is an increase in infection in an institution, a mobile operational team from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) will carry out on-site tests.
At the same time, the Ministry plans to carry out a follow-up study to investigate the extent to which opening daycare facilities in the form of emergency care or a restricted operation is accompanied by an increase in infections in children and adults.
Daycare facility employees, the management and the parents of the children’s parents, among others will be surveyed to this end, reports the newspaper "Welt".
16:52 Praise for EU reconstruction plan
The governments of several EU states have welcomed the EU Commission’s reconstruction plan. Italy’s Head of government Giuseppe Conte spoke of an “excellent signal from Brussels” and called on the EU to accelerate the negotiations on the plan to release the funds soon. The AFP news agency reported, drawing on the Italian government’s views, that this country particularly affected by the pandemic should be supported with up to 173 billion euros from the overall 750 billion euros reconstruction plan.
Spain also praised the EU proposal and called for an agreement between EU members as soon as possible.
French finance minister Bruno Le Maire spoke of a “historical” rescue plan and called on the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark and Sweden to give up their concerns about the EU reconstruction plan.
According to a statement by Charles Michel President of the European Council, the EU summiton 19 June will address the reconstruction plan. He is also aiming for agreement before the EU Committee’s summer break.
16:32 Significantly more coronavirus deaths in Spain?
The Spanish newspaper "El Pais" concludes, based on the evaluation of official deaths data, that significantly more people in the country have died of coronavirus than reported by the authorities.
Accordingly, in the period from 1 March and 12 May, nearly 43,300 people more died than during this time in the previous year. Thus, the so-called extra mortality rate was around 52 percent during this period. In Germany, it was 13 percent during the same period.
According to official statistics, around 27,300 citizens died of a coronavirus infection in Spain. This figure is based on positive test results for the virus. The other nearly 16,000 deaths are not counted as victims of coronavirus, although many of them are also likely to have died from an infection, writes the newspaper.
16:21 Cabinet approves voluntary voucher solution
The Federal Cabinet has approved the voluntary voucher solution, which is intended to provide financial assistance for travel providers and travel agencies during the coronavirus crisis.
The draft law provides for the issue of travel vouchers for the cost of travel for trips booked before 8 March which were then canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic travel restrictions. However, the customers themselves may decide whether to accept such a voucher or insist on immediate repayment of the costs.
The vouchers are to be guaranteed in full by the state. Customers who do not redeem their vouchers by the end of 2021 at the latest will then receive a money refund.
16:12 EU wants to repay debt for reconstruction plan by 2058
750 billion euros is to be allocated to the EU’s planned reconstruction plan, which aims to help its member states deal with the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The recovery plan is to be financed by debt. The EU Commission intends to start its repayment at the earliest in 2028 and then repay it in about 30 years. The committee has proposed new taxes for this such as on emissions trading or a CO2 limit tax.
16:08 Protest convoys on the streets
Bus companies have again organized protests today in several German cities to draw attention to their precarious situation in the coronavirus crisis. The Ministry of Transport has now secured assistance for the industry.
16:05 Regensburg exceeds the limit for new infections
Regensburg in Bavaria has exceeded the agreed limit for new infections as a result of a coronavirus outbreak in an anchor center for refugees, This limit is 50 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants per week.
The responsible health authority stated, however, for the time being, more stringent restrictions are not to be imposed on Regensburg, as the source of the infections is clearly identified and the infection events can be contained.
The Bavarian region is currently the only region that has exceeded the limit for new infections according to the Robert Koch Institute.
15:55 Study: Children in more satisfied than parents during coronavirus times
Children are more satisfied than their parents during coronavirus restictions. The study "KiCo" comes to this conclusion.
The study deals with the daily family life during the crisis. Over 25,000 parents were surveyed online throughout the country. They provided information on their own satisfaction as well as that of their children under 15 years old.
The situation of young people over 15 years old was examined in a separate study. The parents were at an average of 4.9 between the value 0 for totally dissatisfied and the value 10 for completely satisfied. The parents estimated satisfaction to be at 6.05 for a first-born child and 5.41 for a second child. The value according to the poll was 7.65 for parents and 8.2 for children before the crisis.
The parents view the double stress of work and looking after the children, money worries or a lack of opportunities to get away as especially problematic.
The research association “Childhood – Youth – Families during coronavirus“ from the Hildesheim Institute for Social and Organisational Pedagogy and the Frankfurt Institute for social Pedagogy and Adult training, in cooperation with Bielefeld University conducted the survey.
15:48 Lufthansa: Supervisory Board votes against rescue package
Lufthansa’s Supervisory Board has rejected the planned state aid package of 9 billion euros for the airline which was hit hard by the coronavirus crisis.
The reason for this is the EU Commission’s requirements: the Commission had demanded that the airline hands over take off and landing rights at Frankfurt and Munich airports, to be assigned to other airlines.
The possible loss of these take off and landing rights and the economic impact on Lufthansa must first be “intensively examined”, the Supervisory Board said.
15:33 Merkel: "We still live at the beginning of the pandemic"
Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed the importance of a common policy between the federal government and the states when dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. The states are now making independent decisions about easing measures. Nonetheless, they could have agreed on a common "protection framework" the CDU politician stressed and cited the minimum distance and the obligation to wear face masks as examples.
In "a particularly extreme situation" the federal government and the states had made joint decisions and, through this cooperation, succeeded with the people following the measures so well.
Nevertheless, Merkel warned again of underestimating the risk presented by the crisis too quickly: "We are still living at the start of the pandemic. We do not have any vaccine, no medicines, but better control." Of course, the goal was to again allow, "social, economic, cultural, and educational life ".
Yet the numbers of infections must be kept down and individual cases as for example a coronavirus outbreak among a restaurant’s guest in Lower Saxony showed, this situation can change very quickly.
15:01 Japan decides on further financial aid for the economy
The Japanese government has launched another economic recovery package to support the economy, which has been hit by the coronavirus crisis. The aid package provides for costs of approximately 268 billion euros. This is to support small businesses, to temporarily take over business leases, and to finance bonus payments for medical personnel.
14:56 Departmental vote on the expansion of coronavirus tests
The Federal Ministry of Health has introduced a draft regulation to the departmental vote which intends to test considerably more people for coronavirus in the future, even if they should not show any symptoms.
In the future, people in hospitals and nursing homes, employees of food companies such as slaughterhouses, workers in gastronomy and in kindergartens and schools will be tested as soon as a coronavirus case is detected in one of the facilities.
Furthermore, people living in or who have spent time in places with a high infection rate, those who live in a household in which a member has been infected, as well as people who have had at least 15 minutes of contact with an infected person will be tested.
The date the regulation will come into effect, should it receive the approval of the federal government, is still unclear. According to the draft, these regulations will apply retroactively from May 14.
14:40 SAS wants to offer more flights in the coming month
The Scandinavian airline SAS plans to resume a number of short and transatlantic flights from June. "These mainly include domestic flights within and between Scandinavian countries, but also flights to New York, Chicago, and Amsterdam," SAS reported.
The airline will hereby double its capacity from 15 to 30 airplanes. The decision to resume flights is linked to the growing number of countries that are easing their travel restrictions.
14:32 Coalition wants to allow higher debts for Deutsche Bahn
Over the course of the day, the budget committee of the Bundestag plans to vote on whether to raise the threshold for the Deutsche Bahn's indebtedness in order to enable the state-run business to better cope with the effects of the coronavirus crisis. It is expected that the request will receive the majority of the votes from the CDU and the SPD.
According to the news agency Reuters, the proposal will allow for an increase of EUR 5 billion in permissible debts, so that the limit would be lie at a total of EUR 30 billion. The Bahn itself plans to take on up to EUR 8 billion in new debt this year. In this case, they would already have reached the new limit.
However, the higher indebtedness is to be limited to the end of the year. In the fourth quarter of the year, the future financial framework of the company will be decided again.
14:01 Ifo Institute: State aid in the coronavirus crisis needed for years
The head of the German Institute for Economic Research, Marcel Fratzscher, expects that many companies will still need help from the state for a long time because of the coronavirus crisis. We are currently in the second phase of the crisis, in which the economy is slowly starting up again. However, revenue remains below expectations. Therefore, most companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, will depend on state support in the longer term, Fratzscher told the rbb radio program Inforadio.
Fratzscher said: "We, as economic researchers, already said two months ago that, in a best case scenario, the economic performance will catch up to where it was at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020. in two years. So far, the federal government is planning an aid package by the end of the year. This will grant up to 50,000 euros to companies with fewer than 250 employees.
13:54 More than 62,000 cases among US doctors and nurses
According to the health authority CDC, tens of thousands of doctors and nurses in the USA have been infected with coronavirus. Of the 62,344 employees in the health sector who have been infected, at least 291 have died, the authority reported on its website.
The authority had last published infection figures for medical personnel on April 15, the US channel CNN reported. At that time, the number of infected individuals was only 9,282. Doctors and nurses in the USA had repeatedly complained about an inadequate supply of sufficient protective equipment.
13:54 Development Minister Müller calls for EU-Africa partnership agreement
According to Development Minister Gerd Müller, relations between the EU and African countries must be strengthened sustainably. "We need an EU-Africa partnership agreement and to at least double EU-Africa funds for the next seven years," said Müller during the government question period at the Bundestag. He said that the Covid-19 pandemic reinforces the urgency of this project.
"Let's think of the four billion people in poverty in the world and 850 million going hungry and 70 million refugees for a minute," said Müller. "These people are the most hard-hit by the coronavirus situation. Therefore, we should not allow for a repeated "normalisation of globalization" after the crisis. The EU is still Africa's biggest donor.
13:08 Study: Everyday life fundamentally changed for many families
The measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic have significantly changed the daily lives of many families, according to a study conducted by scientists at the Universities of Hildesheim and Frankfurt am Main. In the context of the study, particularly working mothers had described their experiences during the coronavirus crisis. Many of them reported feelings of guilt towards their children and their employer, because they were forced to manage everything at the same time.
More than 25,000 parents participated in the online survey on their family's everyday life during times of coronavirus from the end of April to the beginning of May. The interviewed parents tried to give their children a place to retreat at home, but they themselves often didn't have one. "But there are also mothers and fathers who have gained a new perspective through their experience and now describe everyday life before the pandemic - managing work, school, leisure time, and care - as extremely stressful, said Johanna Wilmes from the research team.
13:01 Ten days of national mourning in Spain
Spain started its ten days of national mourning for the approximately 27,000 victims of the pandemic at 12:00 p.m. with a minute of silence. All across the country, national flags were at half-mast. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez headed the ceremony at the government seat in Madrid, the Palacio de la Moncloa.
With more than 235,000 cases of infection and over 27,000 deaths, Spain is one of the worst-hit countries in the world in this pandemic. Since mid-March, severe restrictions and regulations have been in place within the framework of a state of emergency which was extended by the parliament several times. Only recently have these restrictions been gradually eased. Sánchez has repeatedly emphasized that these measures are responsible for the fact that the figures have been improving for weeks.
12:51 Leopoldina: Health care system more oriented towards patient well-being
In its fourth expert report on the coronavirus pandemic, the National Academy of Leopoldina has focused on medical care. The Leopoldina stated that it recommends "a needs-oriented and not primarily profit-oriented system", one which is oriented towards the well-being of patients and works in a quality-assured manner.
It must "value all employees, integrate innovations, and digital solutions". The goal is an adaptive health care system in which the public health service, the outpatient and inpatient sectors work well together, and research results are quickly transferred into clinical practice. The coronavirus pandemic has presented the German health system with extraordinary challenges, said the statement. The confrontation with the new viral disease has shown how important it is to provide patient care that is oriented towards the well-being of patients and at the same time is research-oriented.
12:45 Air France-KLM to cut 40 percent of its flights
The French-Dutch aviation group Air France-KLM is cutting back its flight schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic: The number of connections is to be reduced by 40 percent by next year, announced Group CEO Benjamin Smith at this year's Annual General Meeting via video conference. This will primarily affect short-haul flights, for which there is an alternative by rail. The French government has promised Air France credit aid of seven billion euros. In return, the company must cut carbon dioxide emissions on national flights by half by 2024. Air France-KLM had already reported a minus of 1.8 billion euros in the first quarter. Air traffic then collapsed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
12:16 EU plan: 750 billion euros for countering the crisis
The EU Commission is proposing a reconstruction fund of 750 billion euros to counter the economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis. This was announced by the Italian EU Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Paolo Gentiloni, over Twitter. He spoke of a "European breakthrough" to overcome an unprecedented crisis.
11:35 The Green Party want a 500-billion-dollar program to overcome the coronavirus crisis
The Green Party is proposing an investment fund of more than 500 billion euros to deal with the coronavirus crisis. Climate protection is to be the "central pillar" of the ten-year program, according to the "Pact for the Future" presented by the heads of the parliamentary groups Katrin Göring-Eckardt and Anton Hofreiter. The group proposes investments in energy networks and an infrastructure for green hydropower, energy-efficient building refurbishment, and a change in transportation. "New crises demand new answers. We need a pact for the future, not an economic stimulus package that restores the past," said Göring-Eckardt. He also said that this would involve an "update for the welfare state" including higher standard rates and a "gender equality check" for all new projects.
11:30 Scheuer: 170 million Euro aid package for bus companies
Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer intends to support bus companies in Germany with an aid package. The federal government wants to " provide help quickly, with a total of 170 million euros", Scheuer explained. He is currently in "very good discussions" with Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz. According to Scheuer, the aid should be "part of our economic stimulus package, which we will discuss next week in the coalition". The money should enable companies to cover their fixed costs for maintaining the buses or for their advance payments. Scheuer emphasized that the industry has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. "No tourist trips, no club trips, no or only reduced student transportation", the minister explained. "Their entire business sector is affected - and has been for months", he added. "This is mainly about small and medium-sized businesses who fear for their very existence."
10:45 France stops use of Hydroxychloroquine
France has banned the use of a controversial malaria drug to treat the coronavirus. The substance hydroxychloroquine may no longer be used to treat new cases, according to a notice published in the Official Journal. The government in Paris made this decision based on studies which revealed massive side effects. Since the end of March, hospitals in France have been using Hydroxychloroquine in particularly severely ill coronavirus patients under strict conditions. The virologist Didier Raoult from Marseilles was the main promoter of the drug in the fight against the coronavirus. US President Donald Trump also praised the active ingredient. However, severe side effects such as cardiac arrhythmia, which can lead to death, have been observed in patients in France. As a result, the drug regulatory authorities stopped the clinical tests. A study in the renowned journal "The Lancet" also concluded that it had no effect in the fight against the coronavirus. Despite all warnings, researchers in India are recommending hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus patients.
10:28 Study on corona viruses in breast milk
Virologists at the University of Ulm have shown in a study that breast milk might play a special role in the transmission of the coronavirus to newborns.
10:01 Statistical Office: French economy suffers a historic recession
The French economy is facing a historic recession due to the coronavirus crisis. The current second quarter is expected to see a decline in gross domestic product of 20 percent compared to the previous three months, according to the Insee statistics office in Paris on Wednesday. This would significantly intensify the downswing: In the first quarter, the Euro zone's second largest economy after Germany shrank by 5.8 percent. For the year as a whole, the statisticians expect a decline in economic output of eight percent. Private households are currently assessing the economy more negatively than at any time since the monthly survey began in 1972, according to Insee. In contrast, the business climate recovered somewhat in May from the record low reached in April. The strict contact restrictions that were eased on May 11th may have contributed to this.
09:20 One out of five believe that politics and media are deceptive
One in five voters in Germany believes that politicians and the media are deliberately deceiving the public in the coronavirus pandemic. In a representative survey commissioned by the NDR media magazine "Zapp", around 20 percent agreed with the statement that "politicians and the media are deliberately exaggerating the danger of the coronavirus in order to deceive the public". This deception theory is represented by a particularly large number of AfD supporters (54 percent) and persons who actively use social media platforms (31 percent). Of all respondents, 68 percent consider the public media to be credible in their reporting on corona. This is followed by print media (42 percent), private broadcasting (23 percent), and social media platforms (seven percent). Mainz journalism professor Tanjev Schultz believes a trend has been confirmed. "The results of the survey show that, overall, most people have a relatively high level of trust, especially in public broadcasting and its information offerings, and also in newspapers," he told the media magazine. This trust exists across the board, across age groups, but it seems to diminish among younger people who rely more on social media offerings.
08:00 Here's what happened last night
- CoViD-19 numbers for Germany: Robert Koch Institute reports 362 new cases of CoViD-19 (179,364 total) and 47 new deaths (8,349 total) due to the virus
- Contact restrictions remain in place until June 29
- Jens Spahn encourages visiting the doctor if needed
- Infections increase in South Korea
- WHO talks about alarming developments in South America