Updated on October 18, 2020, 8:39 pm
The goal of politics is clear: A second standstill in the country in the Corona crisis should be prevented. But does politics still have the situation under control?
Germany in the corona autumn: It’s getting colder outside, the number of new infections is skyrocketing. The federal and state governments are striving to find the right course to prevent the pandemic from spreading. The biggest concern in politics is losing control. The health authorities are threatened with overload. Police and regulatory agencies fight to ensure that rules are observed. Courts stop central measures. It now depends on the citizens – so the central message of the Chancellor at the weekend: “How winter will be like our Christmas will be decided in the coming days and weeks. We all decide that through our actions. “
“I beg you”: Merkel demands more discipline
It was almost like a speech to the nation. Angela Merkel used her weekly video message published on Saturday to make an urgent appeal: “I ask you: Refrain from any tripwhich is not really imperative every celebrationthat is not really necessary. You’re welcome stay home whenever possible, at your place of residence. “The main thing now is to notify the contact persons of every infected person in order to break the chain of infection.
Limit social contacts, refrain from traveling. This is reminiscent of the situation in the spring, when social and economic life was shut down in a lockdown – an unprecedented step in German history. The price was high: basic rights were restricted, the economy collapsed, unemployment rose. The state had to take on immense debts to protect companies and jobs.
Curfew, ban on accommodation: There is no uniform line on key issues
A second lockdown should now be prevented. But Merkel cannot rule through a federal state. Countries have a vital role to play in the fight against the virus. But there is no single line on central issues. example Ban on accommodation. The idea: Guests from “hotspots” should not drag the virus into areas with few infections.
But soon after the decision by the federal and state governments, many states made it clear that they would not take part in this controversial measure. Many citizens were insecure or angry. Court orders followed that overturned the ban on accommodation because it was disproportionate. At the weekend, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania also gave up its tough course. And also the Curfew in Berlin did not stand up to an initial judicial review.
“It will depend on how the population behaves,” said the SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach of the Funke media group. Many requirements were difficult to check anyway. Above all, one has to lower the R value. Otherwise, the daily number of cases would rise so rapidly within a very short time that the clinics and health authorities would be overrun. “Then there will be local shutdowns.”
According to the management report of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on Saturday, this reproduction number, or R value for short, was 1.40 in Germany. This means: an infected person infects around 1.4 other people on average.
Also read: All current information about the corona pandemic in our live blog.
Söder: “If we don’t take countermeasures quickly, Corona will get out of control”
The number of New infections had a high on Saturday with 7,830 for the third time in a row reached. As expected, the health authorities reported fewer new infections within 24 hours on Sunday. The RKI gave the value as 5,587. However, the number of cases recorded is usually lower on Sundays and Mondays, also because not all health authorities transmit data to the RKI at the weekend.
The current values are only partially comparable with those from spring, because significantly more tests are now being carried out – and thus more infections are being discovered. Like Merkel, Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) spoke of a serious situation. He told the “Bild am Sonntag”: “If we don’t take countermeasures quickly, Corona will get out of control.”
Germany in the Corona autumn, however, this is a country with contradicting images. In a survey by the Kantar opinion research institute on behalf of “Bild am Sonntag”, 89 percent of those questioned said one Expansion of the mask requirement to all public places in risk areas, in which one cannot consistently keep a distance, is correct.
On the other hand, there are scenes like the one on Sunday morning in Berlin. In the subway line 8, which goes to Neukölln, known throughout Germany as the Corona hotspot, there are early risers or the last night owls on the way at half past six in the morning. Some don’t wear mouth and nose protection at all, others have it under their chin.
Police: acceptance of corona rules high, but mood is starting to become more aggressive
According to police unions, disputes over compliance with the corona rules are escalating more and more frequently. “There is still a high level of acceptance for the Corona rules, but we are also noticing that the mood is starting to become more aggressive – For example, if we as the police want to enforce the measures, “said the deputy head of the police union, Jörg Radek.” Then there is resistance. It starts with Insults, then there is bullying, spitting, coughing. “
So will more drastic measures to slow the spread of the virus help in the end? A look at other EU countries shows what could threaten. In Slovenia, due to the rapidly increasing number of infections, the health department stopped tracking the contacts of people who tested positive. It was said that one was no longer able to cope with the large number of cases.
In the Netherlands, pubs, cafes and restaurants will be closed. Citizens should only use buses and trains in urgent cases. A night curfew came into effect in Paris and other French cities on Saturday night.
In Germany, the federal and state governments could soon come together again. During consultations with the Prime Minister last Wednesday, Merkel made it clear that the measures that had been decided on were not sufficient, that is why they would be “back here in two weeks”. (Andreas Hoenig / dpa / ash)
Chancellor Angela Merkel urges citizens to prevent the coronavirus from spreading further.
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