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Coronavirus News on Thursday – the most important developments regarding Sars-CoV-2 and Covid-19

This article is constantly updated. Don't miss anything: For the latest developments and the most important background information, subscribe to our Coronavirus newsletter. Association of cities and municipalities calls for exit strategy for exit restrictions 09.33 am: The Association of Cities and Municipalities (DStGB) has a federal government and appeals to countries to develop strategies to ease current exit restrictions. "In the long term, we cannot paralyze the entire country," said managing director Gerd Landsberg to the newspapers of the Funke media group. Politicians must now consider when and under what conditions the restrictions could be relaxed.

The measures initiated are "correct and necessary," said the DStGB managing director. At the same time, politics must of course develop an "exit strategy". The "difficult weighing process" must now begin. A central question is whether school operations and childcare will be resumed after the Easter holidays, said Landsberg. An opening of restaurants must also be considered. The restriction of larger events and special distance rules, on the other hand, would be necessary in the longer term, and Bundestag Vice President Thomas Oppermann (SPD) also advocated appropriate considerations. "We now have to look for ways to get the business going again in the foreseeable future," Oppermann told RTL and n-tv. "We cannot now set ourselves up in a completely bleak, that-remains-now-for-months perspective."

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Bosch launches rapid test device09.31: The technology group Bosch has developed an analysis device for corona rapid tests together with Randox Laboratories. The device, named Vivalytic, can diagnose ten respiratory pathogens simultaneously within two and a half hours. The analyzer for the fully automated tests has been available since February, and the test cartridges for the Covid 19 pathogen should be available after approval in April. Bosch plans to offer the test devices through medical technology sales partners to laboratories, hospitals and medical practices.

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Many Bundeswehr reservists are ready at 9.29 a.m .: According to Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the Bundeswehr can help many reservists to deal with the Corona crisis. There is a great willingness to help among the reservists, says the CDU politician on ZDF. This means that there are enough people who are ready to help in the crisis, even if the crisis lasts longer.

A large number of reservists are organized through the association. 28,000 have already been ordered to certain positions. In addition, there are very many freely available reservists. Almost 10,000 of them have already registered. 240 very qualified people would already be deployed, for example as medical personnel in Bundeswehr hospitals. Australia tilts time limit for haircuts 09:27: A haircut in a maximum of 30 minutes – the hairdressing industry has resisted this requirement of the Australian government in the fight against the spread of the corona virus. After a storm of indignation, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the time limit imposed on Tuesday would be reversed with immediate effect. However, hairdressers would still have to comply with new rules, such as allowing only one customer per four square meters of shop space.

There are more than 2,500 people infected in Australia, so far, according to the Australian Ministry of Health, eleven people have died of Covid-19 lung disease. In Australia, however, not everything is closed. However, the authorities urged people to leave their homes only for work or important business trips. Restaurants and pubs only offer a delivery service or take-away food, and the timing for hairdressers was meant to help maintain social distance and thus reduce the risk of infection. The Australian professional association of hairdressers described the measure as "outrageous" and said the requirement endangered the existence of around 40,000 hairdressers. Haircuts for men are feasible under 30 minutes, but the majority of salons cannot meet the time limit. Saarland adjusts the exit restrictions at 9:24 a.m .: Since midnight, Saarland has changed rules regarding exit restrictions. A government spokesman in Saarbrücken said that the state government had adapted the general order to the federal recommendation. Sports and exercise in the fresh air are possible alone, with another person who does not live in the household or with the people who live in the same household. Previously, sports and exercise were allowed outside with up to five people with whom one does not live in a household if a minimum distance has been maintained, but the Saarland remains at the exit restriction, according to which it is only permitted to leave one's own living space for compelling reasons . Visits to friends or acquaintances are also not permitted.

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Iran tightens travel restrictions 09:18: Iran has tightened its travel restrictions. A government official announces that traffic between the individual cities will cease. A government spokesman said the Islamic Republic may have a second outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. "Those who have traveled to the Iranian New Year holidays should return to their cities immediately without stopping on the way back," said government official Hossein Zolfaghari . So far, 2077 people have been killed and 27,017 infected in the outbreak in Iran. The closure of universities and schools, as well as the ban on meetings, has now been extended. Amazon creates 350 new logistics jobs in Germany 08:57 am: The winner of the corona crisis is the online mail order business. Amazon now has to hire several hundred additional employees in Germany. In order to meet people's demand, 350 additional full-time and part-time jobs in logistics are planned, an Amazon spokesman confirmed. The 350 new jobs would be created nationwide and the number could not be broken down into individual locations. The "Mitteldeutsche Zeitung" had previously reported on the job creation. Saxony-Anhalt quarantined two districts 08:08: Due to the high number of coronavirus infected, two districts of the city of Jessen (Elster) in Saxony-Anhalt are sealed off from the outside world: Jessen and Schweinitz are in quarantine. Firefighters and police have been checking the access roads since Thursday morning, 7 a.m., as the spokesman for the Wittenberg district confirmed. The quarantine has been announced until April 10, according to the spokesman, which affects around 8,000 residents. The reason for the measures is a corona outbreak in a nursing home. Out of 16 infected people, three had to be taken to the hospital.

"You can leave the house to get something to eat by the shortest route or to go to the pharmacy," said the spokesman. According to a notification from the district, access to or access to the blocked districts is only permitted to people who have their main or secondary residence there and who immediately enter quarantine at home. Exceptions should apply to "people who take measures of medically indicated care, emergency services, medical home visits" and employees of certain local companies. VW expects normal production in Germany to return by 07:55 am: Volkswagen has responded to the corona crisis with a Europe-wide production stop . However, the group expects production in Germany to return to normal levels by summer. "We assume that there will be a normalization in Germany again in the summer," said VW Brand Director of Sales, Jürgen Stackmann, of the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung". The corona virus would not disappear abruptly until then. But the standstill could not last longer than until summer, and society and the economy could not stand this, said Stackmann. VW is already "preparing for the moment when it starts again". The market in China is already recovering.

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VW had temporarily stopped production until April 3 last week. "We'll see if it will take longer next week," said Stackmann. The factories are currently examining how the safety of employees in production can be increased before possible infection with new distance rules. However, it is also the task of politics to create the conditions for the controlled ramp-up of production. Russia suspends air traffic abroad07.48: From Friday onwards, in the fight against the coronavirus, Moscow will suspend almost all flight connections abroad. The Russian government has instructed the Tass state agency to do this, with the exception of flights that are intended to bring Russians who are stuck abroad back to their homes. Domestic flights are not affected by the regulation. Air traffic to Germany, for example, had recently been cut back significantly. The airline Aeroflot only flew to Berlin, and according to official information (as of Wednesday) 658 people have been infected with the corona virus so far in Russia. The virus had previously been detected in three people who died. President Vladimir Putin had declared the coming week off to curb the spread of the lung disease, and the corona crisis caused milk prices to fall 07:37: Citizens are currently buying record-breaking quantities of milk and milk products. Nevertheless, farmers have to expect falling milk prices, as the industry reports. Because despite a strong increase in demand in the supermarkets, the corona crisis has noticeable consequences on the milk market: exports are stuttering, business with restaurants and commercial customers has largely come to a standstill. "We have an extreme change in the flow of goods within a very short time," said Hans-Jürgen Seufferlein, the director of the Bavarian Milk Producer Association.

"Orders from food retailers (in Germany) are currently twice as high as in a" normal "week at this time," said Oliver Bartelt, spokesman for the German Milk Office (DMK) in Bremen, the largest German dairy cooperative. Customers buy accordingly, especially stable milk and cream as well as butter and cheese. "However, all other segments also recorded significant increases – some triple the weekly amount is ordered," said Bartelt. The current delivery volume at DMK is currently 40 percent above average, but the catering trade is practically no longer buying anywhere in Germany, and selling abroad is currently also very difficult. 700 percent more toilet paper sold 07:18 am: Although politicians repeatedly state that Germans are hampered by the crisis during the crisis – and they particularly use toilet paper. The manufacturers of the hygiene article are already the winners of the corona crisis: Hamster purchases have massively increased sales. From February to March 2020 there was an increase of 700 percent, said Christian Böttcher, spokesman for the Federal Association of the German Food Trade (BVLH), without giving exact figures.

Toilet paper occupies a special position in Germans' buying behavior, the spokesman said. Because of the fear that one should not leave the house at some point, people are bunkering. A paradoxical situation arises. Böttcher: "Some don't know what to do with it. Others have too little." Service broadcasts on television are booming05.20: In times of prohibited church services because of the corona crisis, church formats on TV are booming. "The number of services and the 'Word for Sunday' increased by an average of 70 percent," said Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, President of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). "In some church formats, the response has almost doubled." The Catholic German Bishops' Conference (DBK) also has the impression that "there is an enormous influx". This impression is confirmed by the ZDF: According to the broadcaster, the church services broadcast on the last two Sundays recorded significantly more viewers than usual: the Catholic television service on 23 March saw 1.43 million viewers. This corresponds to a market share of 12.4 percent. Even the Protestant church service on Sunday (March 15) had around 980,000 spectators and a market share of 10.5 percent, significantly more spectators than the ten Catholic and Protestant services between January 5 and March 8th, which achieved an average of 700,000 viewers and a market share of 7.8 percent. The "Word for Sunday", which had an average of 1.21 million viewers in 2019, had on March 14, according to EKD data 2.35 million more than double. On March 21, 1.75 million viewers watched the US Senate approve a trillion-dollar aid package. 04.49 a.m.: The US Senate decided on a massive stimulus package due to the coronavirus pandemic, with which around $ 2 trillion went into the Economy to be pumped. The legislative package negotiated by Republicans, Democrats, and the government was overwhelmingly adopted on Thursday night (local time) (learn more here), and the House of Representatives still has to agree on what should happen during the week. President Donald Trump has announced that the legislative package will then take effect immediately with his signature.

"This is a proud moment for the Senate," said Republican majority leader in the House of Representatives, Mitch McConnell. The senators had been struggling around the clock practically around the clock since Friday. According to the government, it was the most extensive stimulus package in US post-war history.Söder's popularity increased in Bavaria4.46 a.m .: According to a survey, Bavaria's satisfaction with the work of its Prime Minister Markus Söder has increased significantly in the corona virus crisis. In a representative survey by the opinion research institute Civey on behalf of the newspaper "Augsburger Allgemeine", 61 percent of Bavaria state that they are satisfied with the government work of the CSU chairman. A month ago, the figure was 52 percent, a week ago 54 percent.

Every third (34 percent) of the 5032 respondents were even "very satisfied". The proportion of those who are dissatisfied fell from 30 percent to 22 percent within the past month. Bavaria's satisfaction with the work of its Prime Minister increased among supporters of all parties. Only among AfD supporters does the number of those who are dissatisfied predominate.Retail warns of consequences of entry ban for seasonal workers 04.42 a.m .: The retail trade has warned of the serious consequences of the government decision to refuse seasonal workers due to the corona crisis. A spokesman for the HDE trade association told the newspapers of the Funke media group that "health was of course a very big challenge for maintaining the food supply chain. Health was a top priority." Regardless of this, it is important to find solutions "how the harvests of numerous products can be brought in from other Member States without seasonal workers". From the perspective of the HDE, it was also necessary to check whether the decision was a matter of discrimination. In the fight against the spread of the corona pandemic in Germany, the Federal Ministry of the Interior had ordered an entry ban for seasonal workers. Harvest workers and other seasonal workers have been refused entry until Wednesday until further notice (you can find out more here).

FDP calls for public warning system 04:29: The FDP has called for a public warning system in order to reach citizens in the corona crisis faster. This should be set up at short notice and function on the basis of local SMS or so-called cell broadcasting. The "Handelsblatt" reports, referring to a paper approved by the FDP federal group. With the "Cell Broadcasting Service", a message can be sent to all telephones of a provider in a certain area, if the user has the appropriate Activate the function in your cell phone beforehand. Such a warning system has the advantage that it is possible to receive and disseminate information "low threshold", it says in the paper. Linke parliamentary group leader demands a one-off property tax 04:12: The parliamentary group leader of the left, Dietmar Bartsch, has to finance the billions in the corona crisis demanded a one-off levy on large private assets. Bartsch told the German press agency: "Who will pay for the current crisis? The refinancing of the aid packages has not yet been clarified. It must not be that the new public debt – as after the banking crisis – is paid by the public by the public Infrastructure is saved. "The Federal Government wants to save jobs and companies in the corona crisis with unprecedented aid programs worth billions. The federal government decided on Wednesday to finance a supplementary budget, which provides for new debts amounting to 156 billion euros.The number of coronavirus deaths in the United States rises to more than 03:58: In the United States, the number of those affected by Covid-19 around Dead people exceeded the thousand mark. This comes from data from the Johns Hopkins University. Accordingly, more than 1030 people have died from the consequences of the lung disease. In addition, an infection with the corona virus had been detected in 68,500 people. Only China and Italy have so far registered more infected people.

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03:02 am: New York builds a temporary mortuary: In view of the increasing number of deaths in the corona crisis, the metropolis of New York has built a temporary mortuary. The white tents were set up outside of Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, as photos showed. The Politico website, citing anonymous sources from the Department of Homeland Security, reported that morgues in the east coast city would be expected to reach capacity next week. The New York Times reports about Elmhurst Hospital in Queens: inside there 24 hours, 13 patients died of complications from Covid-19 lung disease. In front of the building there is a refrigerator car for the bodies. "It's apocalyptic," the newspaper quotes a hospital employee, Ashley Bray.

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CNN reports on the situation under the headline "Coronavirus patients are starting to overrun US hospitals". There is a lack of beds and equipment, the broadcaster quotes an unnamed doctor from the city. "The thought that we're here in New York City and something like this happens … it's a third world country scenario." New York City has killed about 280 in the corona pandemic, according to the Johns -Hopkins University by far the most US victims.

Green Group leader: "The basic pension is not a luxury project" 02:39: Green Group leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt has called on the grand coalition to hold on to the planned basic pension even in the corona crisis. "The crisis must not turn the coalition backwards on social security issues," she told the Funke media group's newspapers. "The basic pension is not a luxury project, but an important building block to protect people from poverty in old age." The deputy chairman of the Union faction, Carsten Linnemann (CDU), had asked to put the basic pension project on hold. Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD), on the other hand, wants the basic pension to come in early 2021 as agreed in the black-red coalition. This is intended to improve the pensions of around 1.3 million people with small salaries (you can find out more here). Curfew for senior citizens in Moscow 2:05 am: As of Thursday, almost 1.9 million elderly and sick people in the Russian capital Moscow People stay at home because of the corona virus. According to the city administration, the curfew is valid for a good three weeks. This affects residents of the city who are older than 65 or chronically ill. "You should only go to shops or the pharmacy if you need to," said Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. However, this is only allowed with a respirator, so those affected will receive a total of 4000 rubles (about 46 euros) if they adhere to the requirements. The city set up a hotline for a delivery service when medication, food or help is needed. "The best thing you can do is go to your dacha, especially because it's supposed to be warm," said Sobjanin. The people in the small cottages in the country should be supplied with wood and coal.

Number of "imported cases" in China continues to rise at 1:54 am: In China, the number of "imported cases" with the corona virus has increased again. According to the Beijing Health Commission, 67 other illnesses in people who entered China were detected. In total, China already has 541 such cases. However, as the official figures showed, there were again no local diseases, and another six people died in the central Chinese province of Hubei, from where the Sars-CoV-2 virus began to spread worldwide in late 2019.

Volkswagen expects normal production to return to normal in Germany by 1.35pm in the summer: German carmaker Volkswagen expects its production, which has been shut down in Germany due to the corona crisis, to return to normal levels by summer. "We assume that there will be a normalization in Germany again in the summer," said VW Brand Director of Sales, Jürgen Stackmann, of the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung". The corona virus would not disappear abruptly until then. But the standstill could not last longer than until summer, and society and the economy could not stand this, said Stackmann. VW is already "preparing for the moment when it starts again." Last week, VW had temporarily stopped production until April 3. "We'll see if it will take longer next week," said Stackmann. In the US, Volkswagen has suspended production at its Tennessee plant for another week due to the coronavirus crisis. "The health and safety of employees remains our top priority," said plant manager Tom du Plessis. All employees would continue to be paid in full for the time being. The company is currently planning to reopen the factory on April 5th. US expert Fauci warns of the second wave of the new corona virus 01:03 a.m .: According to a leading US expert, the novel corona virus could become an annual problem similar to that become normal flu. It is worrying that the number of known infections is currently increasing in the southern hemisphere, where it is slowly getting colder, said the director of the National Institute for Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci. It is therefore conceivable that the virus will spread there and then come again from there to the northern hemisphere next winter.

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"We have to be prepared," said Fauci. For this reason, it is indispensable to work intensively on the development of a vaccine and to conduct clinical trials to find effective drugs for the treatment of Covid-19 diseases. Central Council of the Sinti and Roma warns of racism Sinti and Roma have warned of an intensification of racist efforts in Europe in the wake of the corona crisis. Right-wing extremists and nationalist politicians in several countries in Central and South-Eastern Europe wanted to use the crisis "to legitimize and implement their racist positions as government actions now," the organization said. The Central Council referred to Bulgaria as an example. There, right-wing politicians called on the government to set up control posts in all neighborhoods inhabited by Roma. As a result, national and local authorities have already closed off several Roma neighborhoods. This would violate Roma rights from all medical care in violation of fundamental rights and cut off their supply of food and all other everyday necessities. Central Council President Romani Rose urged the governments of Bulgaria and other Eastern European countries and the EU to "not allow Roma again as scapegoats are abused by nationalists and racists. "Coronavirus accumulation in nursing home: districts under quarantine 00.17: Because of the high number of coronavirus infected in a nursing home, two districts are in quarantine in the city of Jessen in Saxony-Anhalt from Thursday morning: Jessen and Schweinitz . The district administrator of the Wittenberg district has issued a general order to prevent the spread of the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus, the spokesman for the district said. As of Thursday, 7 a.m., the districts will be closed, and people are only allowed to enter or enter if they have their main or secondary residence there and immediately go to quarantine at home. "You can leave the house to get something to eat or go to the pharmacy in the shortest possible way," said the spokesman. The reason for the disposition was the critical development in a nursing home, the spokesman said. Since the beginning of the week, eleven residents and five employees of the retirement home have been tested positive for the new corona virus. Three infected residents had to go to the hospital, and there were a total of 41 Corona people in the two districts in Jessen. A party in a car dealership is the trigger of the cluster.

Scholz on corona crisis: "Biggest economic challenge in the history of the Federal Republic" 00:03: Federal Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz relies on being able to sell possible state holdings in companies in the corona crisis, some of them at a profit later. "Of course, the state does not want to keep the shares in the long term, but to ensure that the company is maintained in the crisis," said the SPD politician to the Rheinische Post. "When the situation has normalized, we want to sell it again. We are betting that the economic recovery will be so great that we will sell it partially at a profit in order to cover losses in other areas." The Bundestag had one on Wednesday Billion-dollar rescue fund for troubled large companies decided. Companies are to be strengthened with capital and guarantees through an "economic stabilization fund". If necessary, the state should be able to participate in companies, as in the financial crisis more than ten years ago. It is currently unclear which companies could slip under this rescue package. It has a total volume of EUR 600 billion.

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Scholz described the corona crisis as "the greatest economic challenge in the history of the Federal Republic". Looking ahead after the epidemic subsided, he said: "If the virus is no longer rampant like today, we will have to consider whether a targeted stimulus package is needed to stimulate the economy."
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