What are the darkest truths about Christmas

Coronavirus pandemic Ticker: Preparations for vaccinations in Central Germany

Our ticker on Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020 ends here. Thanks for your interest. Current news and background information on the coronavirus and Covid-19 can be found atmdr.de/coronavirus.

10:30 p.m. | Biden swears Americans to face tough times

The future US President Joe Biden has sworn the citizens of his country on hard times. Biden said the simple truth is, "The darkest days of fighting Covid are still ahead, not behind." It will take a few more months until the around 330 million people in America are vaccinated against Corona. Therefore, it is important to continue to observe all precautionary measures over the holidays and beyond.

At the same time, Biden announced that he would present another corona aid package to Congress after his inauguration on January 20. Biden said parliament "did its job" with the adoption of a second multi-billion dollar package of measures this week. He can and must ask the MPs to "do this again next year".

10:20 pm | Crematorium in Zittau overcrowded

In Zittau, corpses have to be temporarily stored outside the crematorium due to the high number of corona deaths. As the city in the east of Saxony announced, the number of deaths exploded in December. Accordingly, 115 people have died so far this month. In December 2019 there were 45. As early as November, the number of deaths had doubled year-on-year from 52 to 110. The city requested help from the district of Görlitz and the state government of Saxony in the event that the situation deteriorated further. The crematorium managing director Daniel Brendler stated that the situation is currently still manageable, but that it must now be organized accordingly with a view to further developments.

9:55 pm | Spahn warns of the corona risk from visits to Eastern Europe

Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn has warned of a corona risk from people traveling home and back from Eastern and Southeastern European countries. Spahn told the broadcasters RTl and ntv that there would be "again a lot of home and relatives visits to Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Turkey". You have to be very careful with each other that the return journey does not create a new wave. Spahn added that he was grateful to Bavaria for this. All travelers returning from risk areas are subject to a corona test in Bavaria from Wednesday. This was decided by the Bavarian cabinet in Munich on Tuesday.

9:05 pm | East German economy shrinks by 4.4 percent

The economy in Germany will shrink by 5.1 percent this year due to the corona pandemic. This is what the ifo Institute calculated. For East Germany, the economists assume a minus of 5.1 percent. A structural disadvantage in the east turns out to be a small advantage in this respect, experts say.

9:01 pm | Rapid tests - deceptive security?

Before Christmas, the demand for rapid antigen tests is growing. But scientists and medical professionals advise caution. The tests have two disadvantages compared to the PCR method.

8:55 pm | Thuringians asked for help with care

The Thuringian Ministry of Health asks the population to help with care. The call from nursing associations is supported. As the ministry announced, people who have medical training or experience in this field are particularly sought after. But every helping hand is welcome.

The situation in the Thuringian health system is coming to a head. The clinic's works council expects problematic bottlenecks over the Christmas period. Many of the corona patients in the locations in Saalfeld, Rudolstadt and Pößneck have now shown severe disease courses. The remaining doctors and the nursing staff are mentally and physically challenged.

8:46 pm | App for feedback on vaccination tolerance

At the start of the corona vaccinations in Germany, vaccinated people should be able to report possible side effects via an app. As announced by the federally owned Paul Ehrlich Institute, the app is available for download in the app stores. The information could help to gain further knowledge about corona vaccines. Participants should be asked about health problems via the app at certain time intervals. It was also asked whether the vaccination had protected against infection or whether an illness had occurred.

7:50 pm | The Czech Republic extends the state of emergency until January 22nd

In the Czech Republic, the emergency can be extended by a further 30 days. The Czech parliament voted with the votes of the minority government made up of ANO and Social Democrats as well as with those of the communists in favor of the extension. The emergency powers of attorney have been in effect since October 5th. They allow the government, for example, to ban assembly or travel restrictions. The Czech Republic has been experiencing increasing numbers of new infections for some time. 7,860 new infections were identified on Tuesday. That is about 2,700 more than on the same day the previous week.

6:20 pm | FDP finance politicians: Corona aid comes too late

The FDP budget expert Klein considers it a bad sign that only half of the money has been paid out from the economic stimulus package so far. The member of the Bundestag told MDR AKTUELL that the state was too slow. As an example, he cited the Corona November aid, most of which will only be transferred in January. For many companies that is too late. Klein said the summer had not been used to prepare for the second lockdown. In addition, many of the federal government's programs have not yet been approved by the EU. The FDP politician suggested helping companies quickly through tax relief.

5:55 pm | Sales ban for New Year's Eve fireworks in effect

The nationwide ban on the sale of New Year's Eve fireworks is official. The Federal Ministry of the Interior announced that the corresponding ordinance came into force on Tuesday. This will implement a decision made by Chancellor Angela Merkel and the state heads of government on December 13th.

The aim of the regulation is to prevent injuries when fireworks are set off on New Year's Eve in order to relieve the hospitals and emergency clinics, which are already heavily used due to the corona pandemic.

5:45 pm | GEW Sachsen: Take school seriously as a source of infection

According to Saxony's GEW boss Ursula Kruse, the corona infection in schools has not been taken seriously for a long time. Kruse told MDR AKTUELL that teachers were infected three times as often as the average of the population. This is mainly due to the lack of distance to the students. According to Kruse, the Free State of Saxony waited a long time before taking action. Of course, children need other children and education, but you shouldn't overstrain that again like at the end of November and beginning of December. One now has to discuss how quickly one can return to face-to-face teaching after the holidays.

5:28 pm | Kekulé # 133: This is how Christmas will be safe

What do you know and what not about the new coronavirus mutation from the UK? How should one behave at Christmas? And: will we be able to largely return to normality in 2021?