The High Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg confirms the prohibition to celebrate masses
BY JUAN CARLOS BARRENA
Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn considers possible start easing restrictions dictated to curb the coronavirus epidemic after Easter. In the number of infections there is a “positive trend” that should be further developed, the minister told the Handelsbatt newspaper. A condition for taking the first steps towards normality is that the population continues to respect the dictates of keeping distance and other social limitations beyond the holidays, adds Spahn. The minister comments that, if the positive development in the number of infected people continues, the government of Berlin will approach with the prime ministers of the 16 federal states taking “steps towards a gradual return to normality after the Easter holidays.” Spahn makes it clear, however, that it will be a long time before large concentrations of people, such as soccer games, are re-authorized.
The President of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, Aiman Mazyek, assumes that the mosques will remain closed on the occasion of the beginning of Ramadan, the annual fasting month for those who profess Islam as a religion. “It is still early to speculate about Ramadan, but it is to be feared that we will have to keep mosques closed for at least part of the holy month,” Mazyek told the Funke media group. The German Muslim Association Ditlib advises people of their religion who belong to risk groups to reserve and not follow the rules of fasting so as not to risk their health in the face of the coronavirus epidemic. “This year we advise those who feel healthy, but who belong to the so-called risk groups and do not consider themselves in sufficient form, to renounce fasting. Health is a priority, “said Ditlib general secretary Abdurrahman Atasoy.
The German airline Lufthansa, the largest in Europe, loses millions by drip due to the suspension of its activities due to the coronavirus epidemic. “We are losing one million euros an hour from our liquidity reserves,” says company president Carsten Spohr. The airline currently transports no more than 3,000 passengers daily, compared to 350,000 normal hours. “We will not be able to survive this growing crisis without state aid,” Spohr reveals in statements to the press. He says that the pandemic is the biggest challenge in the history of the airline, which has been forced to apply an ERTE to the majority of its 135,000 employees.
The German humanitarian organization Oxfam estimates that about 500 million people in the world could be engulfed in poverty due to the Covid-19 epidemic. “The rapidly spreading economic crisis is much more serious than the 2008 global financial crisis,” the organization says in a report. This highlights that for the first time since 1900 there could be a worldwide increase in poverty. In the worst case scenario, people living in extreme poverty and having $ 1.90 or less per day to subsist could increase from the current 434 million to 922 million. People with less than $ 5.50 a day would increase by 538 million people to more than 4,000 million.
The Berlin-Brandenburg High Administrative Court has upheld the ban on celebrating masses and other religious services and the closure of churches due to the coronavirus epidemic. The judges thus rejected a complaint from the Catholic Circle of Friends San Felipe Neri, which sought to celebrate Holy Week with offices in which the proper distance between the faithful was kept and the names of the attendees were recorded as a preventive measure. The court stressed that the restrictive measures issued by the government are appropriate to prevent an extension of the epidemic and pointed out that these do not violate freedom of religion.