UK to extend closure for at least three weeks

  BY iñigo gurruchaga

BY iñigo gurruchaga

He British government has decided to extend at least three weeks the ‘lockdown’, the relative closure of economic activity and the isolation of its citizens. They can leave their homes once a day to exercise and to shop. This is the fourth week since the then healthy, and convalescent today, Boris Johnson requested the closure.

His temporary substitute, Dominic Raab, announced the extension and listed five points to decide the end of the ‘lockdown’: that the health services are not overwhelmed, a consistent decrease in the number of deaths, also of new cases of infection “to a level manageable ”, that there are sufficient tests and protective equipment. “Fifth, and this point is crucial,” said Raab, that if the measures were relaxed, there would not be a second boom that would overwhelm hospitals.

The overflow, the deaths and the crucial point depend on the other two: that infections are reduced and that there is protective equipment and the ability to test. Compliance with physical distancing by citizens seems to remain at a high and stable level. The Government continues to struggle with problems of supply and distribution of equipment to curb contagions in hospitals and nursing homes, and is not close to reaching its objectives in the supply or number of tests.

Direct | This is how the fight against the coronavirus


The reproduction rate of the Covid-19 falls below one



He number of new infections by coronavirus in Germany has fallen by below the ideal rate, reported the Robert Koch Institute, responsible for coordinating the fight against the pandemic in Germany. From the statistical point of view, an infected person currently infects less than one person. The so-called reproduction rate is currently at 0.7 with an oscillation of between 0.5 and 0.8 points. In days past that rate exceeds 1.0 and last Wednesday it fell for the first time to 0.9.

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn is a supporter of standardize the activities of German hospitals and clinics, which until now have not been seen at any time or place overwhelmed by the influx of patients infected with coronavirus. “It is important that in early May we keep 25% to 30% of intensive care beds free for Covid-19 patients, but also that we return to normal activity,” Spahn said in the chain’s morning newscast. public television ARD. The minister welcomed the fact that prevention work has so far enabled Germany to face the crisis without serious problems. “We must, despite everything, continue to be prepared, but at the same time worry that the usual operation of medical centers will continue,” added the conservative politician. In order to maintain sufficient capacities of intensive care beds and to cope with the health crisis, in mid-March it was decided to postpone in Germany all non-emergency surgical procedures and the number of breathing intensive care beds was increased from 28,000 to more than 40,000 assisted.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is in favor of the lifting of global restrictions on travel and international movement of people to be coordinated at European level. “I wish that at least in the European Union we agree to act in a coordinated way,” said Maas, who commented that the issue is already being discussed in talks with other EU colleagues. In Germany the issue will be addressed in late April. Maas recalled that all countries face the same problem with the strong limitation of air traffic, the confinement of the population and the question of whether, after a trip, citizens may or may not return to their own country.

The Central Council of Muslims in Germany has called on its faithful to respect restrictions imposed by the authorities to combat the coronavirus also during the month of Ramadan that is about to begin. “Although it is hard for us to keep the mosques closed in the holy month of rtamadñán, it is our religious and civic responsibility to do just that in the current phase,” said the president of the council, Aiman ​​Mazyek in the newspapers of the Funke group, where he affirmed that the protection the health and life of the people is “absolutely a priority” for every Muslim believer in this pandemic. Interior Secretary of State Markus Kerber praised the attitude of the Muslim communities in this crisis for showing “a high feeling of responsibility and solidarity in our society.”

The German SMEs have demanded a concrete plan way out of the coronavirus crisis. The president of the Confederation of German SMEs, Mario Ohoven, has also demanded quick liquidity aid and a comprehensive short-term program with tax cuts for German small and medium-sized companies and warned against a confusing conglomerate of different rules. In a letter to the 16 first prime ministers of the German federal states, the organization’s managers, Ludwig Veltmann, also calls for a policy that offers future prospects to companies forced to close by the pandemic.Berlin and regional governments have agreed easing step by step the restrictions imposed to fight the disease and extended until May 3 the limitations of contacts between people. Ohoven criticizes the easing of the restrictions as too indecisive from the standpoint of business survival and job retention. Many freelancers are threatened with insolvency.

The president of the Bundestag, the German parliament, Wolfgang Schäuble has proposed to cut the summer school holidays. “With few exceptions, schools will remain closed for a time. So I wonder if those responsible in the federal states should reflect on shortening school vacations this summer, “said the conservative politician in the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper. Such a step would allow students to make up missed classes. “At the moment it is still uncertain for various reasons when and how you can travel this summer,” said Schäuble.


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