Germany extends lockdown but paves way to relax more rules
Current lockdown rules were set to run through Sunday. Ad“These should be steps toward opening but at the same time steps that do not set us back,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin. After Germany initially limited the AstraZeneca vaccine — one of three cleared for use in the European Union — to people under 65, an independent expert committee is likely to recommend lifting that restrictions, Merkel said. The disease control center said Wednesday that 9,019 new coronavirus cases were reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the total so far to 2.46 million. Merkel and the governors will confer again on March 22 to discuss further possible steps toward opening up public life.
Germany to reopen schools, hairdressers as virus cases drop
German Chancellor Angela Merkel briefs the media during a news conference after a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. "That's why we have to be so careful.”Still, officials agreed that states will be able to reopen schools and kindergartens sooner, with some, such as Berlin, announcing that they will gradually resume classes in elementary schools from Feb. 22. “Schools and kindergartens are unfortunately places where the virus is passed on,” DIVI President Gernot Marx told the Rheinische Post daily newspaper. Hairdressers will also be able to reopen on March 1, though with strict hygiene rules. On Wednesday, Germany's Robert Koch Institute reported the country had 8,072 new virus cases and 813 deaths in 24 hours.
The Latest: China's Hebei toughens virus rules over outbreak
State health Commissioner Kathleen Toomey urged residents to continue wearing masks, practicing social distancing and washing their hands frequently. Health care officials are currently vaccinating health care workers, first responders and those living in long-term care facilities —all people in the highest-priority groups for getting doses. In the first phase, priority was given to health care workers and residents and staff at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Cuomo says hospitals need to do a better job of vaccinating the health care workers who are eligible now. Only health care workers and nursing home residents and staff members are currently being vaccinated in New York.
Soldiers, experts to help German cities as virus cases rise
German Chancellor Angela Merkel walks to a media statement after a video conference with mayors of German cities on the spread of the coronavirus disease, in Berlin, Germany, Oct. 9, 2020. (Axel Schmidt/Pool via AP)BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Friday that the federal government will offer German cities the help of soldiers and public health experts to battle a sharp rise in coronavirus cases. Overall, German has counted 314,660 coronavirus cases, with 9,589 deaths, a toll one-fourth that of Britain and one-third that of Italy. Above that threshold, the German army will also provide soldiers to assist cities that request help, for example with contact tracing. “These days and weeks will decide how Germany copes with the pandemic in the winter,” Merkel said.
From LA to Oslo, 12 cities pledge to divest from fossil fuel
FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2019, file photo, young people attend a protest of the Fridays For Future movement in Berlin, Germany. Ten cities around the world on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, joined New York and London in committing to divest from fossil fuel companies as part of efforts to combat climate change. Berlin, Cape Town, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Oslo and others pledged to take all possible steps to divest city assets from fossil fuel companies and (increase) financial investments in climate solutions. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)BERLIN – Ten cities around the world on Tuesday joined New York and London in committing to divest from fossil fuel companies as part of efforts to combat climate change. Environmental campaigners and top officials such as U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have warned that trillions being spent by governments to stimulate pandemic-wracked economies should not be used to subsidize fossil fuel companies, which could jeopardize efforts to tackle another global crisis: climate change.