With urgent appeals to the population, chancellor angela merkel (CDU) and the self-infected health minister jens spahn (CDU) have again asked for help in containing the corona pandemic.
"Please continue to help and do not listen to those who downplay and appease. It’s serious," spahn said in a video posted on his facebook page on sunday.
Merkel had repeated her appeal from the previous week in her video podcast a day earlier, asking people to refrain from travel and contacts. In view of dramatically growing corona numbers, the CDU party conference planned for early december, at which a successor to CDU leader annegret kramp-karrenbauer is to be elected, is also tottering.
Demonstrators took to the streets of berlin on sunday in protest against the government’s corona restrictions. Police said about 2,000 people gathered on alexanderplatz in central berlin. Another demonstration planned for late afternoon was canceled by organizers. For this 10.000 participants have been registered.
Berlin police were also occupied with an incident that occurred on sunday night: according to police, unknown persons had attacked a building of the robert koch institute (RKI) with arson attacks. The flames could therefore be extinguished. A police spokeswoman said that investigations were being conducted in all directions, and that political motivation was also being examined. The institute responsible for infectious diseases plays a central role in the corona pandemic.
One of the reasons for the demonstrations in berlin was the health conference "world health summit", which was originally planned to take place at the kosmos event center, but is being held online due to the corona situation. To mark the occasion, german president frank-walter steinmeier called on the community of states to work together in the fight against corona and especially on the issue of vaccines. "If we don’t want to live in a post-pandemic world where the principle of "everyone against everyone, and everyone for themselves" takes on even more space, then we need the enlightened reason of our societies and our governments," he said in a video address. The pandemic must be overcome with a spirit of cooperation, not in the spirit of "vaccine nationalism".
Meanwhile, the number of corona infections is rising rapidly: on sunday morning, the RKI reported, citing figures from the health authorities 11.176 new infections within one day. The day before there were 14.714. The number of cases recorded is usually lower on sundays, partly because fewer tests are carried out on weekends and not all health authorities transmit data to the RKI.
Merkel said in her video podcast released on saturday: "the order of the day for all of us is: reduce contacts. Many fewer people are affected."Spahn said: "we know what this virus can do, especially to people with pre-existing conditions and to the elderly, the very old". Even the youngest can suffer from serious and severe injuries. "Therefore continue to take care of each other." A show of strength is now needed: "help out, be consistent, stick together".
Spahn was the first federal minister to test positive for corona on wednesday. According to its own information, so far it has only cold symptoms. In addition to the CDU politician, another member of the government, martin jager, has so far tested positive for corona.
There is growing fear in the economy of another major standstill. The president of the BGA, the association of wholesale and retail traders, anton borner, therefore called for "a much greater shutdown of public life". He told "bild am sonntag" ("bams"): "the longer we wait, the greater the damage to people’s health and also to the economy". Better to act decisively now, even if it is painful, so that we don’t run out of time."