The following are current developments relating to the virus pandemic:
11.20 a.m. – According to Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil, the new regulation for an expansion of the home office is expected to come into force on Wednesday next week. The SPD politician announced this after the cabinet meeting. “If there are no compelling operational reasons against it, employers must offer their employees home office,” says Heil. Many companies are already doing this in an exemplary manner, but there is “a lot of room for improvement”. The aim is to reduce contacts and avoid possible infections.
10.50 a.m. – Intensive care physicians support the new resolutions to contain the pandemic. Anything that minimizes contact between many people can only be welcomed, says the chairman of the Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine (Divi), Gernot Marx, the editorial network Germany. “Our intensive care units are full, and even if we are currently seeing an initial slight decline in Covid-19 patients across Germany, there are still 5000 in the wards.”
10.40 a.m. – CSU General Secretary Markus Blume has asked the state governments to adhere to the federal-state resolutions. “It is my urgent appeal to the countries not to forget everything that has been agreed, but to implement it one-to-one,” says the CSU politician. “It must not be the case again that everyone makes his own.” Blume criticizes the Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg Winfried Kretschmann (Greens), who has already spoken of school and daycare openings.
10:10 a.m. – In Russia, the authorities report 21,152 new infections within 24 hours. The total number rises to more than 3.63 million. After the USA, India and Brazil, this is the fourth highest number of proven cases of infection worldwide. 597 other people died with or from the corona virus. In total there are now 67,220 in Russia.
09.50 a.m. – According to the Ministry of Health, the start of operation of the 53 vaccination centers in North Rhine-Westphalia has been delayed by a week. The opening of the centers and the first vaccinations for over 80-year-olds there should now start on February 8, the ministry announced. The reason are changed delivery schedules from the manufacturer Biontech. “The next thing we do will start on February 1st in the 53 vaccination centers”, Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumann announced just two days ago. So far, around 350,000 initial vaccinations have been carried out in North Rhine-Westphalia to protect against the coronavirus, his ministry now further announced. Around 30,000 people should be added by the end of the week.
8:35 a.m. – According to the economist Lars Feld, the extension and tightening of the lockdown will have a negative impact on economic development in Germany. “The decisions of the federal and state governments will continue to depress economic activity at the beginning of the year,” he told the newspapers of the Funke media group. “Already the tightening of December through the addition of stationary retail in the lockdown and the closure of daycare centers and schools means that economic growth in 2021 will be somewhat weaker than expected.” Now the obligation to work from home is added to the extension until February. However, the obligation to work from home will have little impact on production in the manufacturing sector. The industry, which is currently driving economic development, will “continue to be the engine of the economy”.
8.30 a.m. – The home office regulation agreed by the federal and state governments on Tuesday evening should already pass through the federal cabinet today. According to government circles, the draft of the regulation by Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) has been voted on in the federal government. The regulation obliges employers to enable their employees to work from home if there are no compelling operational reasons against it. In addition, the corona protection rules in the workplace are being tightened. The employer has to provide medical protective masks if, for example, the distance rule of 1.5 meters cannot be adhered to and a reduction in the occupancy of rooms is not possible.
8:05 am – The retail association HDE calls on politicians to implement the announced additional aid for the economy quickly. “The retail trade affected by the lockdown loses an average of 600 million euros in sales on every closed sales day in January,” says HDE Managing Director Stefan Genth. “The federal government must deliver now, otherwise the dry spell could be too long for up to 50,000 deals.”
07.50 a.m. – Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier considers the call for more home offices to be appropriate. “The message is clear: home office wherever you can, but only where you can,” says the CDU politician on ARD. This was intended to reduce social contacts in the Corona crisis. He is assuming that this will now also be implemented with a sense of proportion.
07.35 a.m. – BDI President Siegfried Russwurm is relieved that the industry will not be shut down completely. A lot has happened in the factories and factories, he says on Deutschlandfunk. The business associations have already appealed to work more mobile – “where it is possible”. Specifically, this must be decided in the companies on site. Closing the industry would have devastating consequences: “It’s not like opening and closing a garage door.” With a shutdown by a month and another month to get the processes going again, the growth forecast for the German economy of around 3.5 percent for 2021 would quickly turn negative. “The effects on the industrialized country of Germany would be really immense, and not easy to catch up.”
7.30 a.m. – Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) assumes that the measures adopted by the federal and state governments to contain the coronavirus will be sufficient. “After everything we see, yes,” he says in response to a question on ARD. There is a “steadily reduced number of infections”, he justifies his assessment. At the same time, however, there is a “great unknown” with the variants of the corona virus. When working from home, he relies on the employer’s insight. “At the end of the day, it is also best for the economy if we can address the impending risks, particularly due to the mutation, and if we can accelerate the decline in infections as quickly as possible.” State intervention will only be necessary in exceptional cases.
6:05 a.m. – In Germany, the number of people infected with corona increases by 15,974 to 2,068,002. The Robert Koch Institute reports 1,148 new deaths. This increases the number of people who have died after being infected to 48,770.
05:05 a.m. – With 1584 deaths, Mexico reports the largest number of people who died from or with the corona virus. So far 142,832 Mexicans have died of lung failure after becoming infected with the pathogen.
03.20 a.m. – The German Association of Towns and Municipalities welcomes the extension of the lockdown. “The tightened measures that have been decided show a sense of proportion,” says managing director Gerd Landsberg of the “Rheinische Post”. “It is right that a mega-lockdown was avoided. So there will be no nationwide curfews, but only, according to regional decisions, where the number of infections is still too high. We think that’s right.” The obligation to wear medical masks in public transport and shops can make an effective contribution to fighting pandemics.
02.00 a.m. – The German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI) insists on a rapid reduction in the number of infections in order to relieve the capacities of the intensive care units. “Currently we have just under 5000 intensive care patients in Germany – we have to go down significantly. It is also about being ready for reception again if the virus mutation spreads in Germany despite all the measures and leads to more infections and thus more intensive care patients leads “, says DIVI President Gernot Marx of the” Rheinische Post “.
1 am – Municipalities are hesitant to take up the offer to request soldiers of the Bundeswehr for corona rapid tests in old people’s and nursing homes. So far, only 219 soldiers have been deployed in six counties, reports the Funke media group. Both sides argued about the liability and qualification of the test personnel. According to the Association of Cities, it is not clear who is liable for incorrectly performed tests.
00.01 a.m. – The German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) expects clear traces of the lockdown in gross domestic product in January alone. “We have calculated that this second lockdown will result in economic output this year being 1.8 percent less by the end of January – almost 60 billion euros less economic output,” says DIW boss Marcel Fratzscher in the online portal of the “Bild” newspaper . According to him, the DIW has not yet calculated the amount by which the losses will increase due to the extension of the lockdown until mid-February.