In no country in the world are more people infected with the corona virus than in the USA. President Trump still announces new guidelines to return to normal. All information in the news blog.

Worldwide, more than two million people have been infected with the corona virus, and more than 133,000 people have died. Germany has had strict contact restrictions since the end of April. The federal and state governments decided on Wednesday to extend it by another two weeks. At the same time, the first easing was announced. And in the United States, too, President Trump has announced new guidelines to return to normal.

Nearly 2,600 corona deaths in the United States within 24 hours

In the United States, the world’s maximum of nearly 2,600 people have died of coronavirus infection in 24 hours. According to a Johns Hopkins University census on Wednesday evening (local time), 2,569 people have died from the virus-induced lung disease Covid-19 since the previous day. The total number of coronavirus deaths in the United States rose to more than 28,300. The number of known infections is therefore over 634,975 in total.

Trump: Citizens are happy about the President’s “big fat check”

The name of US President Donald Trump will also appear on the direct aid checks for American taxpayers as senders. It is the payment of money as part of the corona stimulus package approved by the US Congress. “I’m sure people will be very happy to get a big, fat check and my name will be on it,” Trump said in the White House garden on Wednesday evening (local time). Read more here.

US President announces guidelines for return to normal

In the corona crisis, US President Donald Trump announced new guidelines to usher in a return to normality in the United States. His government’s guidelines for U.S. states should be released this Thursday, Trump said at a press conference in the White House rose garden on Wednesday. “The struggle is ongoing, but data suggests that we have overcome the peak of cases across the country. Hopefully that will continue.” Trump added: “While we need to remain vigilant, it is clear that our aggressive strategy is working.” Trump said some states could reopen earlier than others – even before May 1st.

Trump threatens to order Congress to take a break

The US president has threatened to force Parliament to take a break so that government jobs can be filled quickly without Congress. Because of the coronavirus epidemic, it was necessary for the government to finally fill vacant positions, Donald Trump said in the White House garden on Wednesday evening (local time). The constitution gives him the right to order such a parliamentary break, Trump said. Read more here.

Donald Trump: The US President wants to announce new guidelines on Thursday (local time). (Source: Alex Brandon / AP / dpa)

USA want to review reports on laboratory in Wuhan

The US government wants to check whether the corona virus originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, said President Donald Trump. US media had previously reported that the virus came from a Chinese laboratory.

According to this, an employee could accidentally become infected during trials and then carry the virus to a market where it spread further. The Washington Post cited reports from US diplomats in China who warned of security risks in the Wuhan Institute of Virology two years ago.

Mayor of Los Angeles almost excludes major events before 2021

The mayor of Los Angeles, given the corona threat, believes it is unlikely that major events such as concerts or sporting events will take place in front of a live audience in his city this year. “It is hard to imagine that we can get together in the thousands in the foreseeable future,” Eric Garcetti told CNN on Wednesday. Without vaccine, herd immunity or treatment, large crowds of people would not be appropriate from the perspective of health experts.

Left wants to set EU parliament on corona bonds

In the fight against the aftermath of the pandemic, the left demands that the EU Parliament be committed to corona bonds. Group leader Martin Schirdewan told the German Press Agency that Parliament’s response to the crisis was too weak. “We don’t need to hesitate on the shoulder, we need real European solidarity in the form of corona bonds,” he added.

Economics Minister Altmaier considers Corona decisions to be justifiable

Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU) defends the Federal Government’s decision to relax the corona restrictions for only a few branches of the economy. “I understand that any area that is still subject to restrictions wants to relax as quickly as possible,” Altmaier told the Saarbrücker Zeitung. But one could “only buckle the belt gradually in order not to overload our health system and to keep the newly infected rate as low as possible. We continuously check our approach based on the pandemic numbers and experiences from other countries.” However, the return to normality will take a while “and it will be a small step,” stresses Altmaier.

Karliczek sees schools as “enormous challenge”

Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU) sees the schools in the Corona crisis as an “enormous challenge”. The gradual opening of the schools that has now been decided is “to be organized in strict compliance with the infection protection rules,” Karliczek told the editorial network in Germany. “There are many complex issues to be resolved without risking an increase in the infection rate.”

Everyone who was responsible in the school system now deserved support and respect. Karliczek welcomed the fact that the federal and state governments had agreed on a common line. The agreement on the gradual reopening of schools is of great importance for millions of students, parents and teachers. “There is now an initial orientation and perspective on how things will go in the coming weeks.”

Number of patients in New York declining

In New York City, which has been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, there are apparently signs of a turnaround. The number of patients in hospitals is declining, said Governor Andrew Cuomo. “The health system has stabilized,” said Cuomo. “The fear of overwhelming the health system has not materialized.” Cuomo warned, however, that the state was not yet out of the worst, that one was still in a “monumental health crisis”.

18,335 patients with Covid-19 were in clinics, fewer than a few days ago. Unlike previously feared, the hospitals have so far not been overwhelmed. This is mainly due to the huge efforts of everyone involved. For example, the hospitals would have created more than 50 percent additional patient capacity within a month.

China has 46 new cases – no new casualties

China reports an increase in local infection rates and a decrease in coronavirus cases among overseas travelers. The Chinese capital Beijing has reported new cases for the first time in more than three weeks, according to official sources. Due to stricter border controls and restrictions on international flights, the number of infections brought in dropped by two to 34 within 24 hours. The number of locally transmitted cases rose from 10 a day earlier to 12, three of which occurred in Beijing, according to the National Health Commission.

The Chinese mainland reports a total of 46 new confirmed cases, as many as on the previous day, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 82,341, according to official figures. China does not count patients without clinical symptoms such as cough or fever when counting. There were no further deaths, so the death toll remained at 3,342.

Showman chief warns of extinction of popular festivals

In view of the ban on events in the wake of the corona crisis, the President of the German Showmen’s Association warns of the extinction of popular festivals in Germany. “A 1,200-year-old culture in Germany is at stake,” said Albert Ritter of the “Augsburger Allgemeine”. The 5,000 full-time showman families and their 55,000 employees stand with their backs to the wall.

The head of the showmen’s association demanded that popular festivals be held again under conditions such as distance regulations and protective measures. His association wanted to work out recommendations for action with health authorities, hygiene specialists and virologists. “If we have hygiene measures coordinated with the authorities, I can also imagine the Oktoberfest and Cannstatter Wasen this year,” said the showman’s boss.

Minister Müller: “Corona will not be the last pandemic”

Development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU) hopes that the global community can learn lessons from the coronavirus pandemic for permanent epidemics such as measles or cholera. “I think so, because Corona will not have been the last pandemic,” said Müller to the “Schwäbische Zeitung” and the newspapers of the Neue Berliner Redaktionsgesellschaft. A lot can be achieved with forward-looking policies and strengthening global health structures, the minister said.

Among other things, Müller proposes to expand the World Health Organization (WHO) into a “World Pandemic Center”: “With precise monitoring of virus outbreaks, more effective measures to combat it and a global research network.” Experts have already identified 40 other viruses that have the potential to trigger pandemics, warned Müller. “We have to and we can arm ourselves against it – so Corona is also a wake-up call for stronger international cooperation,” he told the newspaper.

United Airlines apparently cuts flight operations by 90 percent

The US airline United Airlines apparently cut the flight schedule for May by 90 percent in the corona crisis. This emerges from a memo to the employees, from which the Reuters news agency quotes. Accordingly, the reduction in operations may be extended to June.

The company is also preparing to downsize its workforce from October. The demand for travel is currently zero and there are no signs of a short-term improvement, CEO Oscar Munoz and President Scott Kirby are quoted as saying. The difficult economic situation also means difficult decisions.

Laschet does not feel that Söder’s warning of overbidding is meant

North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) does not feel addressed by the warnings of the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) before the countries are overbid in easing the corona defense measures. When pointed out that he meant this, Laschet said on Wednesday evening in the ZDF “Today Journal”: “I do not think so. This is a nice colleague, and we get along well.”

“We are doing what we agreed on today,” said Laschet. His country is “not taking quick steps, but carefully”. “I always talked about small steps, especially about responsible normality.” But he added: “Closing everything is not the right way.” North Rhine-Westphalia stands by the measures agreed by the federal and state governments. “But we also have to make it clear that they also have health problems.” He pointed out that, for example, rehabilitation clinics are closed and operations are being postponed.

Amnesty warns of human rights restrictions

Amnesty International warns of increasing restrictions on fundamental rights in Europe in the wake of the Corona crisis. Already last year there was a corresponding tendency, which now threatens to accelerate, the human rights organization said on Wednesday when its annual report for Europe and Central Asia was published.

“The protection of human rights is particularly important in crises like a global pandemic,” said Amnesty’s Germany chief Markus Beeko. “People who are at risk, such as the homeless or asylum seekers, need to be protected, as well as fundamental principles of the rule of law.”

Corona pandemic: Gates Foundation donates another $ 150 million

The foundation of Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda is supporting the fight against the corona pandemic with another 150 million dollars (about 138 million euros). Among other things, the couple announced Wednesday that the development of diagnostic systems, treatment methods and vaccines should be promoted, and health systems in Africa and South Asia should be strengthened. The foundation had already donated an initial amount of around $ 100 million a few months ago.

Söder: No pupil in Germany should remain seated because of the corona crisis

According to Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU), no pupil should remain seated in Germany due to the school dropout due to the corona pandemic. With the slow school opening decided by the federal and state governments from May onwards, the ministers of culture would have to think again about the modalities, said Söder on Wednesday evening “Bild Live”. Among other things, a handling on the topic of transfers had to be found. Nobody should “stay seated just because Corona cut school time”.

Söder can hardly imagine Oktoberfest 2020

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder sees the Oktoberfest in acute danger this year because of the corona pandemic. “I am very, very skeptical and, from the current perspective, I can hardly imagine that such a big event is possible at the time,” said the CSU chief at Bayerischer Rundfunk.

Söder emphasized that the final decision had not yet been made. In the next two weeks, he wanted to advise and decide on it together with Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD). Basically, the festival is “safe” on the tip. “It would be a shame, but from the current perspective it is rather unlikely,” he emphasized.

Further positive signals from Italy

In Italy there are increasing signs of the corona pandemic. The number of intensive care patients fell by more than 100 compared to the previous day to 3079, as the civil defense announced on Wednesday. A total of 165,155 infected people have now been officially reported, an increase of only 1.6 percent compared to the previous day – less than in more than a month. However, hundreds of people still die each day. The number of deaths now rose by 578 to 21,645. However, according to experts, the number of unreported cases is much higher.

The number of patients in the intensive care unit is important because the hospitals, especially in the north, were hopelessly overwhelmed. The situation in the hospitals helped determine which measures the politicians had taken. The strict exit prohibitions for citizens still apply until at least May 3, school openings before the summer holidays are not expected. Italy is one of the hardest hit countries in the corona pandemic worldwide.

France reports decline in Corona hospital patients for the first time

For the first time since the start of the corona pandemic, France has seen a decline in hospital patients. Due to “numerous layoffs”, there were 513 fewer hospital patients on Wednesday than on Tuesday, the health authorities reported. “This is a first drop and is to be welcomed,” said Director General for Health, Jérôme Salomon.

According to official data in France, a total of 17,167 people have died as a result of infection with the novel corona virus since the beginning of March. More than 10,600 people died in hospitals and more than 6,500 in old people’s homes. However, the number of intensive care patients had dropped to 273 patients less than the previous day on the seventh day in a row, Salomon said. Nevertheless, the number of critically ill intensive care patients remained “very high” at 6,457.

Lindner’s decisions don’t go far enough

FDP chief Christian Lindner has pleaded for the easing to be expanded somewhat. “Wouldn’t it be possible to do something more in retail, catering and education if protection concepts were available?” He tweeted. “In any case, the government should check weekly and not until late April.”

Your opinion is asked!

The strict contact rules in Germany will remain in effect until May 3. The federal and state governments agreed to extend the measures that have been in force since the end of April by two weeks. Did the decision-makers act correctly? Or are you too careful? Give us your opinion.

Laschet announces some school openings

According to Prime Minister Armin Laschet, North Rhine-Westphalia wants to partially reopen the schools in the coming week. This applies to final classes preparing for exams and exams this school year. In North Rhine-Westphalia, the Abitur exams are planned for May 12, plus the completion of the previous intermediate maturity. “And it is precisely the classes that can go back to class next week.” From May 4, students from general education and vocational schools, who will have their exams next year, should also be added, as well as the last primary school class.

More than 4000 new infections in Turkey

The number of known diseases in Turkey rose by 4,281, the number of deaths by 115. According to Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, 69,392 infections and 1,518 deaths are recorded.

Chancellor informed about new measures

How is the situation in Germany developing in the Corona crisis? Do the current measures remain – or are individual passages loosened? And what is the plan for the next few weeks and months? Chancellor Angela Merkel informed about the latest findings and decisions at a highly anticipated press conference with Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder and Hamburg Mayor Peter Tschentscher. You can find the details here.

IW chief criticizes: “Past weeks were not used to prepare the exit”

The director of the Institute of German Economics (IW), Michael Hüther, believes that the easing of the corona lockdown decided by the federal and state governments is at most sufficient. “It is the absolute minimum of what is necessary,” said Huether on Wednesday evening t-online.de. “Because in retail, we often come across business models with a short capital base and low margins. These are existential questions. But this also applies to restaurants and hotels where there is no end in sight.”

Only partially satisfied with the decisions of the federal government: IW chief Hüther. (Source: imago images / IPON)Only partially satisfied with the decisions of the federal government: IW chief Hüther. (Source: IPON / imago images)

Looking at the past few weeks, he complained that the federal and state governments had acted too slowly. “It is unfortunate that the past few weeks since the lockdown was imposed have not been used to systematically prepare for the exit,” said Hüther. Test capacities should have expanded even faster, and new protective clothing had to be procured more quickly. “If we don’t get faster, the lockdown will inevitably become a major depression – with serious social, psychological and health consequences.”

It is still possible that the economy will recover in the context of a V-scenario. But that, according to the IW director, depends largely on the international cooperation between the states. “Unfortunately, it is idle,” said Hüther. Because all countries took different measures to exit the lockdown at different times, the recovery would “be tough and demand further economic policy measures”.

Hans: “Restrictions must not become permanent”

Saarland Prime Minister Tobias Hans supports the decisions of the German government with regard to the latest developments in the corona crisis. “The current restrictions on public, private and economic life must not become permanent,” said the 42-year-old.

Approves the decisions of the federal government: Saarland Prime Minister Tobias Hans. (Source: imago images / Becker & Bredel)Approves the decisions of the federal government: Saarland Prime Minister Tobias Hans. (Source: Becker & Bredel / imago images)

“That is why the federal and state governments have agreed on the first relief today. However, the protection and health of people are still the top priority in all decisions!”

Report: major events prohibited until the end of August

Major events are to be banned until August 31 because of the corona pandemic – football games are also affected. The prime ministers of the federal states and Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) agreed on this principle ban at a switching conference, according to information from the German Press Agency.

Specific regulations, such as the size of the events, are to be made by the federal states.

Circles: Shops up to 800 square meters can reopen

In the Corona crisis, shops with a sales area of ​​up to 800 square meters are to be allowed to reopen from Monday. Regardless of the sales area, this also applies to car dealers, bicycle dealers and bookstores, as the German Press Agency learned on Wednesday from the Prime Minister’s discussions with the Federal Government. Supermarkets were open anyway during the crisis.

The shops should therefore be allowed to reopen subject to hygiene, control of access and avoiding queues.

The massive restrictions in the Corona crisis with the closure of shops had put a heavy burden on the economy. Private consumption has slumped, as the Ministry of Economy wrote in a recent report.

Schools should open gradually from May 4th

School operations in Germany are to resume on May 4, starting with the final classes, the classes that will take exams in the coming year and the top primary school classes. Upcoming exams are possible beforehand. t-online.de had previously reported a corresponding agreement between the federal and state governments.

In a draft resolution for the switching of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) with the Prime Ministers, the Minister of Culture Ministers of the Länder (KMK) was to present a concept by April 29, “how teaching under special hygiene and protective measures, especially taking into account the distance requirement due to reduced learning group sizes, can be resumed overall “.

The federal government and the federal states want to “strongly” recommend protective masks in retail

In the fight against the corona virus, the federal and state governments want to “strongly” recommend wearing everyday masks in local public transport and retail. However, there should not be a general nationwide mask requirement, as the German Press Agency learned from the consultations of the Prime Ministers with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) in Berlin.

Record value: Two million people infected with corona worldwide

According to the figures from the American Johns Hopkins University, there are currently over two million people worldwide who have been infected with the corona virus. On Wednesday afternoon, the number rose to 2,000,984 people who were infected with the Covid-19 pathogen globally. Germany has 132,321 infected people. Read more about this here.

New York reaches 10,000 corona deaths

In the corona pandemic in the metropolis of New York, far more people could have died than previously thought. The city on the east coast of the US added 3,778 “likely” Covid 19 deaths to its death toll on Tuesday (local time) – increasing the death toll in New York City to over 10,000.

The additional numbers include, among others, sick people who died in the emergency room, at home or in a care facility but who were not officially tested positive for the virus. According to media reports, local authorities attribute the assumption that the dead were suffering from Covid-19 to their symptoms. Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore initially counted far fewer than 10,000 for the city of New York with over 7,900 corona deaths. In total, approximately 128,000 people have died from the corona virus in the United States.

Bavarian infection control law questioned by the Bundestag

A report by the Bundestag’s scientific service doubts the legality of the Bavarian Infection Protection Act to contain the corona pandemic. Specifically, the criticism of the five-page report available to the German Press Agency relates to the possibilities regulated in the state law to confiscate medical material and to oblige medical and nursing staff for certain work.

In order to use these powers, the government must first declare a health emergency. On March 25, the Bavarian state parliament passed the Infection Protection Act. Since the seizures are also regulated in the Federal Infection Protection Act (IfSG), the experts see a direct consequence for the Bavarian law. They assume that one of the paragraphs in the law has a blocking effect with regard to regulations for the supply of the population with medical and sanitary material, it says. The obligation option for doctors and nurses is interpreted even more critically. The federal law does not contain such a regulation, although this was originally intended.

International Monetary Fund warns of “new protests”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned of social unrest over the coronavirus pandemic. In some countries, there could be “new protests” if measures to alleviate the Covid 19 crisis were felt to be inadequate, the IMF wrote in a report submitted. There can also be unrest if the impression arises that the aid will “unfairly” benefit large companies rather than the population.

The IMF warned that the risk was particularly high in countries where there was already “widespread corruption”, a lack of transparency in government measures and poor public services. The report points to social unrest in recent years that arose from displeasure with economic policy measures, for example in Ecuador, Chile, Haiti, Iran and France with the “yellow vest” movement.

Gerd Müller: “Germany will increase funding for WHO”

US President Donald Trump has received criticism worldwide with his payment freeze for the World Health Organization (WHO). German Development Minister Gerd Müller is one of the critics. “WHO needs to be strengthened now, not weakened. Reducing funds amid the pandemic is the wrong way to go,” he told Reuters. “Germany will increase its funding for WHO,” he announced. Because Corona will not be the last pandemic. “Experts have already identified 40 other viruses that have the potential to trigger pandemics.”

Crisis cabinet: Shops up to 800 square meters should open again soon

The federal government wants to make it possible to reopen shops with a sales area of ​​up to 800 square meters. The Reuters news agency is said to already have a draft of the Corona Cabinet’s draft resolution in which this is emerging. The harsh contact restrictions that have been in effect for several weeks are therefore to be extended until May 3. Read more about this here.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert: He informed about the meeting of the Corona crisis cabinet. (Source: imago images / IPON)Government spokesman Steffen Seibert: He informed about the meeting of the Corona crisis cabinet. (Source: IPON / imago images)

US retail sales hit record lows

US retailers contracted at a record pace in March due to the Corona crisis. They fell 8.7 percent from the previous month, the Department of Commerce in Washington said. This is the sharpest decline since statistics began in 1992. Economists surveyed by the Reuters news agency had assumed an eight percent drop. In February, revenue had only dropped by 0.2 percent. Because of the corona pandemic, millions of Americans lost their jobs within a short period of time last month, while numerous businesses have had to remain closed.

BER has to postpone trial run

The operators of the new capital city airport BER have postponed the first trial run with extras planned for the end of April to the summer due to the corona crisis. The industry portal Aviationnetonline had previously reported. Lütke Daldrup emphasized that the opening date of the airport, which is planned for the end of October, is not in danger. The extras should take part in a fire protection and evacuation exercise at the main terminal and at the airport station that day. Further extras tests, in which the processes at BER are to be practiced, are planned for June and July.

Government: “Avoid all high spirits, negligence”

The Federal Government urges caution in the event of a gradual relaxation of the harsh restrictions due to the Corona crisis. “So the path we have to take in the next few weeks is a narrow line between careful, gradual easing and preserving our progress in the fight against the epidemic,” said government spokesman Steffen Seibert after a meeting of Chancellor Angela Merkel with the Corona cabinet. A proposal for a resolution had been drawn up with which Merkel plans to go into discussions with the Prime Ministers of the federal states in the afternoon about possible easing.

Seibert said the federal government “is aware that we have all achieved something together in the fight against the virus – the people of Germany, citizens and the state – but that we must now avoid any arrogance or negligence in order not to jeopardize this achievement “. This is to avoid falling back into an uncontrolled exponential spread of the virus.

Border controls should apply for a further 20 days

According to the will of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the controls at German borders introduced in the Corona crisis should apply for a further 20 days, security circles say. Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer wanted to talk to the Prime Minister about details. The controls were introduced a month ago. Since then, the borders with Austria, France, Luxembourg, Denmark and Switzerland have been monitored. However, there is no control at the crossings to Belgium and the Netherlands.

In principle, entries from third countries into the EU are only permitted in selected cases. Since April 10, with a few exceptions, all returnees have had to go into quarantine for two weeks after spending several days abroad.

EU launches online fundraising for Corona vaccine

In order to raise money worldwide for the development and production of a vaccine against Covid-19, the EU Commission is organizing an online donor conference on May 4th. This will help to close immediate funding gaps, said Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels. Together with EU Council President Charles Michel, she proposed such a conference at a video conference of the G20 countries at the end of March.

The corona virus can only be defeated through international cooperation, said von der Leyen. This includes speeding up work on diagnosis, treatment and vaccines. As soon as there was a vaccine, it had to be made available around the world. This is the best way to defeat the virus, said the CDU politician. She hoped that organizations and countries around the world responded to this call.

The federal government proposes that the states limit their contact by May 3

The federal government wants to propose to the federal states that the existing contact restrictions for citizens should be maintained at least until May 3rd. This emerges from the minutes of the switching conference of the Chancellery with the heads of state chancellor of the federal states on Tuesday, which is available at t-online.de. Read more on the topic here.

Disability officer demands professional protective masks

The Federal Government’s Commissioner for the Disabled, Jürgen Dusel, speaks out in the debate about easing the Corona measures to equip certain risk groups with professional protective masks. “People who are particularly at risk of infection should be provided with appropriate FFP2 protective masks as soon as possible so that they, too, have the opportunity to move freely in the public space when needed, for example to go shopping or go to work,” he said.

Jürgen Dusel, Federal Government Commissioner for the Matters of People with Disabilities (Source: dpa / Soeren Stache)Jürgen Dusel, Federal Government Commissioner for the Matters of People with Disabilities (Source: Soeren Stache / dpa)

It is about “a risk-free, but self-determined life for all people,” said Dusel – “also in the pandemic”. In general, wearing a simple mouth-and-nose protection “in individual areas of public space” should be recommended.

The number of short-time registrations rose to over 700,000

The number of companies in Germany that have registered short-time work has risen to 725,000. This was announced by the Federal Employment Agency on Wednesday in Nuremberg. As of April 13, the number had grown by twelve percent compared to the previous week. A week earlier, 650,000 companies had registered short-time work. The Federal Agency’s special evaluation does not record how many people are affected. This number can only be determined after the factories have settled. At the Federal Agency, according to the information, 8,000 employees now work on short-time work, ten times as many as in normal times.

Federal government: economy in recession since March

The federal government expects the economy to shrink as a result of the Corona crisis by early summer. “The German economy has been in recession since March. This is expected to continue until the middle of the year,” says the recently published monthly report by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The “shutdown”, which will apply from mid-March, is likely to cause the gross domestic product to decrease “noticeably” in the entire first quarter. The negative development is likely to intensify in April. “Even if the first protective measures could be loosened somewhat afterwards, the economy will continue to be very subdued and will only pick up gradually,” said the ministry.

Teachers’ Association: Schools need preparation time

The President of the German Teachers’ Association, Heinz-Peter Meidinger, has again spoken out against a comprehensive school start right after the Easter holidays. “No, definitely not,” said Meidinger on Wednesday in the ARD “Morgenmagazin” when asked whether he thought it would be responsible if students returned to their classrooms next Monday. Schools should be given time to prepare, for example, hygiene measures and distance rules, and to furnish classrooms accordingly, he emphasized. “It’ll take us a week to get it all done.”

If the lockdown were eased, it would have to be considered how schools could “re-open gradually”, said Meidinger, referring to the discussions between Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Prime Minister in the afternoon. “This can certainly only happen for individual grades, because we have to form smaller group sizes.”

Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (Source: imago images / Martin Müller)Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (Source: Martin Müller / imago images)

Brandenburg’s Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke also spoke out against opening the school next week. “Maybe we can start with smaller groups of students in a few weeks,” he said. “There are different ideas.” About a third of the students could go to schools. Experts also see it that way. A reopening has to start sensibly and with distance and strict hygiene rules. Otherwise it would not be possible.

US payment stop to WHO sharply criticized by Maas

Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has criticized the stop in US President Donald Trump’s payments to the World Health Organization (WHO). “One of the best investments in the fight against the pandemic is to strengthen the United Nations, especially the underfunded World Health Organization, for example in the development and distribution of tests and vaccines,” said the SPD politician at the dpa news agency. There must be close international cooperation in combating the corona pandemic. “Mutual blame does not help in the corona crisis,” emphasized Maas. The virus knows no borders. Read more about this here.

Giffey calls for the daycare centers to be opened gradually

Federal Minister of Family Affairs Franziska Giffey has called for the daycare centers to be opened gradually. The National Academy Leopoldina’s suggestion that the facilities should remain largely closed until the summer holidays is “not a good way,” said Giffey in the ARD “Morgenmagazin”. “We have to gradually come back to normal here.” You can read the timetable with recommendations for easing the Leopoldina here.

Giffey referred, among other things, to the care problems of single parents. It should also be borne in mind that older daycare children need to be prepared for moving to primary school. And there are children who lived “in a rather difficult situation” at home.

Ramelow: No major events in the long run

According to a media report, Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (left) argues that some Corona editions will continue for a long time. “For example, major events where people sit or stand closely together will no longer be possible in the long term,” said the head of government in an interview in the “Thuringian General”.

Until a vaccine was available in large numbers, people would have to cope with a new reality. According to Ramelow, there was “no going back” to the social situation before the outbreak of the pandemic. However, new ways would have to be found quickly, such as services could be made possible in the future.

More than 2,200 corona deaths in the United States within 24 hours

According to a university in the United States, more people have died than ever before from a new coronavirus infection within 24 hours. By Tuesday evening (local time), experts at Johns Hopkins University in the United States had recorded 2,228 deaths. The previous high was reached last Friday with 2,108 deaths. According to the university, nearly 26,000 people in the United States have died from an infection since the epidemic began.

Doctors on the US Navy hospital ship in California: Death and infection numbers continue to rise rapidly in the United States. (Source: AP / dpa / Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Erwin Jacob Miciano / U.S. Navy / archive picture)Doctors on the US Navy hospital ship in California: Death and infection numbers continue to rise rapidly in the United States. (Source: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Erwin Jacob Miciano / U.S. Navy / archive picture / AP / dpa)

The United States is the worst affected country in the world by the pandemic. Nationwide, according to Johns Hopkins University numbers, more than 605,000 people have now tested positive for the corona virus.

Trump is considering easing before May 1st

US President Donald Trump is about to finalize a government plan to reopen the American economy. “We think some states will be in really good shape to open even earlier than the end of April,” Trump said on Tuesday. Others, on the other hand, would need more time to get the virus under control first. Trump said he would not push the states to reopen. He “authorizes” state governors to implement the plan at the appropriate time. Read more here.

US President Donald Trump: feels the headwind of the governors in the corona crisis. (Source: Reuters / Yuri Gripas)US President Donald Trump: feels the headwind of the governors in the corona crisis. (Source: Yuri Gripas / Reuters)

Return action before graduation

More than 225,000 Germans stranded abroad due to the Corona crisis are at home four weeks after the Federal Government’s return campaign began. As the dpa news agency learned from the Federal Foreign Office, only a “middle four-digit number” of travelers now has to be flown out, most of them from South Africa, Argentina and Peru.

The largest return campaign in the history of the Federal Republic is likely to be completed in a few days. After that, the embassies will continue to deal with individual cases.

Denmark is partially opening schools and daycare centers

In Denmark, tens of thousands of children can go back to daycare, kindergarten or school from Wednesday. After progress in the fight against the pandemic, the Scandinavian country is opening its school and daycare facilities for children up to and including the fifth grade. This is intended to relieve parents who previously had to take care of their younger children in addition to working at home in the virus crisis.

Parents’ representatives against daycare closure until the summer holidays

The nationwide closure of daycare centers presents many parents with the problem of combining everyday work or home office with childcare. Many are therefore troubled by the anxious question: How long will this go on? The federal parents’ representation of the day care centers has now sharply criticized the proposal by scientists not to send younger children to daycare centers until the summer holidays.

“It misses the reality of the lives of millions of people,” said Ulrike Grosse-Röthig, federal spokeswoman for the parents’ representative, to the newspapers of the Funke media group. No one expects the daycare centers to open fully overnight. But 3.7 million children who stay at home would mean 3.7 million parents who could not do their job.

Arizona is testing health workers nationwide for antibodies

The US state of Arizona wants to provide antibody tests for 250,000 healthcare workers and first-aiders. The blood tests would show who was exposed to the novel coronavirus and had successfully built up immunity, Dr. Michael Dake, Vice President of the University of Arizona. The university will produce and run the tests.

South Korea is voting – in the middle of the corona pandemic

In the middle of the corona pandemic, a new parliament will be elected in South Korea on Wednesday. More than 40 million people are called to vote under the strictest distance rules and hygiene measures. Among other things, all voters should wear protective masks and there should be temperature measuring stations at the polling stations.

Almost 44 million voters were called for the general election. The authorities advised people to wear plastic gloves as well as breathing masks and to keep at least one meter away from the other voters. According to a poll by the Gallup polling institute last week, 72 percent of those eligible to vote were not afraid to vote despite the pandemic.

General election in South Korea: a woman wears a mask because of the new corona virus and casts her vote in a polling station. (Source: Ahn Young-Joon / AP / dpa)General election in South Korea: a woman wears a mask because of the new corona virus and casts her vote in a polling station. (Source: Ahn Young-Joon / AP / dpa)

Textile Association calls mask production “Herculean task”

The production of adequate protective masks against the virus is a “Herculean task”, according to the association of the German textile and fashion industry. For the production of protective equipment and mouth-nose masks, supply chains would be rebuilt, capacities at nonwovens manufacturers increased and entire production lines converted, said managing director Uwe Mazura of the “Rheinische Post”. “These are supply chains that have not been in demand in Europe for decades; missing machines are procured in many places.”

The industry is working flat out to rebuild the supply chains and help to produce medical and personal protective equipment, but also everyday masks. “In view of the tremendous dynamics, we can currently not quantify the order of magnitude for mask production in Germany,” said Mazura.

Trump administration sets up billion dollar program for airlines

The US government will support domestic airlines with a multi-billion dollar rescue package. Ten airlines – including Delta, United, JetBlue and American Airlines – wanted to accept government support, the U.S. Treasury Department said on Tuesday evening (local time). With the help – a mixture of subsidies and loans – the salaries of the employees are to be paid above all to avoid layoffs. According to media reports, the total is around $ 25 billion.

SPD MP: State should temporarily join Condor

The SPD calls for the state to participate temporarily in the Condor holiday plane. “Condor is an important airline, the state should help,” said the SPD member of the Bundestag and vice-chairman of the Hesse-SPD, Timon Gremmels, the German press agency. “The Economic Stabilization Fund is intended for precisely such cases. If Condor makes an application and criteria are met, the state could temporarily participate in the airline.”

Söder refuses to open the schools promptly

Unlike some federal states, Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder refuses to open the schools promptly after the Easter holidays because of the corona pandemic. “I am very reluctant to go to schools,” said the CSU boss on Tuesday evening in the “heute-journal” of ZDF. He is also skeptical that primary schools should be opened first. “I have a fundamentally different view.” Söder thus distances itself from the announcement from North Rhine-Westphalia that it wants to open the schools step by step after the end of the Easter holidays on April 19, and from a recommendation by the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina to open primary schools first. Read more here.

Disagreement: Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder does not share the demands of some CDU colleagues. (Source: imago images / Overstreet)Disagreement: Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder does not share the demands of some CDU colleagues. (Source: Overstreet / imago images)

Maas: Exit strategy must carefully consider all risks

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned before federal and state deliberations on possible easing of restrictions in the corona crisis to carefully consider all risks. “A look across our borders, where, unfortunately, there are new bitter deaths every day in some countries, shows that every day that contact breaks too early can have dramatic consequences for the health of many people,” said the SPD politician of the “Rhenish Post”.

Should there be a further sharp increase in infections, Germany could be forced to take even more drastic measures than before. “We have to do everything possible to avoid such a scenario. We need an exit strategy that carefully weighs up all the risks.”

Satellite images show a decrease in pollution

In Germany, the pollution caused by the corona crisis has decreased. As the “Wirtschaftswoche” reported on Tuesday after evaluating data from the European earth observation satellite Sentinal-5P, less extreme nitrogen dioxide values ​​have been measured in the atmosphere over Central Europe since the beginning of April. Hardly any large clouds of pollutants can be seen on satellite images above German metropolitan areas, the magazine writes.

The director of earth observation programs at the European Space Agency, Josef Aschbacher, told “Wirtschaftswoche” that the decline in nitrogen dioxide pollution in Germany can be seen in the Ruhr area and on the border with Belgium and the Netherlands. The decline is even more noticeable in southern European cities. a reduction of 65 percent was measured in Barcelona.

Governor of Rio de Janeiro infected with coronavirus

The state governor of Rio de Janeiro, Wilson Witzel, has tested positive for the corona virus. Witzel announced this on Tuesday (local time). “I haven’t felt good since Friday, had a fever, sore throat, lost my sense of smell and took the test,” said the 52-year-old in a video on Twitter. “Today I got the result.”

Now he felt better and wanted to continue working. While Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro downplayed the virus and disregarded recommendations for social detachment, Witzel, along with João Doria from São Paulo, is one of the governors in Brazil who has implemented restrictive measures to combat the corona pandemic and has been harshly criticized by Bolsonaro .

New York City counts suspected cases – 10,000 deaths

The city of New York now also includes suspected cases of death among the authorities responsible. There are 3,700 people who have never been tested on Covid-19, but are likely to have died from the disease caused by the coronavirus, according to the Metropolitan Health Service. With them, the death toll in New York City since March 11 has now reached more than 10,000.

US governors oppose Trump

In the United States, an open struggle has flared up between President Donald Trump and the governors over a possible relaxation of the strict anti-corona measures. The president claimed absolute powers in the question – and immediately received opposition from governors. “We have no king, we have an elected president,” said New York governor Andrew Cuomo. Read more about this dispute here.

Left: Partially suspend pension taxation

Left-wing faction leader Dietmar Bartsch has asked that pension taxation be suspended for some pensioners in the Corona crisis. “We should suspend pension taxation this year for people who are old and only receive the statutory pension,” said Bartsch of the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. The tax return is a big concern for many retirees in old age. “And in the times of Corona, the situation is much more difficult for those who need help from third parties.”

The number of infections in Turkey continues to rise sharply

In Turkey, the number of known coronavirus infections has increased by 4,062 to 65,111 in the past 24 hours, as the Ministry of Health announced in the evening. During the same period, 107 people had died in connection with Covid-19, bringing the death toll to 1,403. In total, almost 4,800 patients have recovered.

Call between First Ladies

Elke Büdenbender, the wife of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, spoke to the first lady of the United States, Melania Trump, about the situation in the corona pandemic. Melania Trump called Büdenbender on Tuesday to inquire about the situation in Germany, the Federal President’s Office told the German Press Agency. “Elke Büdenbender thanked Melania Trump for this special gesture of transatlantic friendship and conveyed her best wishes:” I very much hope that the situation in your country will soon improve and turn for the better. “”

The two presidential wives exchanged views on the current situation and other planned measures and declared “their special solidarity and sympathy with the people in the United States and Germany”.

The White House said US President Donald Trump’s wife had affirmed that the United States would help Germany and the rest of Europe fight the pandemic.

In order to make reading easier and reduce loading times, the editors start the news blog again at this point. You can read about the previous developments in the Corona crisis here.

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