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Incidence figure 200 plus: Bonn against curfews, but considers fireworks and alcohol ban

Incidence figure 200 plus : Bonn against curfews, but considers fireworks and alcohol ban

Because of the increasing number of corona cases, the crisis committee of the city of Bonn is examining new measures such as a ban on fireworks and alcohol. For the time being, however, there is to be no curfew.

The city of Bonn is reacting to the rising coronavirus infection figures with a possible ban on alcohol and fireworks and an appeal to citizens to drastically restrict their contacts. This was announced by Lord Mayor Katja Dörner and City Director Wolfgang Fuchs on Monday after the municipal crisis committee had met. No further tightening of the rules is planned for the time being, as a conscious decision against a curfew was made. "In our view, the current measures are sufficient to get the incidence under control to some extent," said Fuchs.

The fact that the crisis team also consulted outside its regular meetings is due to the seven-day incidence. While according to the city, it is currently just under 200, the state health centre reports a value just above 200. According to Fuchs, exceeding this threshold does not automatically mean new regulations for the population: "The incidence of 200 only triggers certain information obligations towards the state. As Dörner explained, the city will adhere to the state's guidelines in its actions, which are now being incorporated into a new corona protection ordinance. If the state does not establish general bans on fireworks of all kinds and alcohol in public places, the city wants to implement them with a general ordinance.

What is certain: All administrative buildings will be open from Wednesday to 10 January by appointment only. In addition, many facilities such as the city archive, the city historical library, the music school and the adult education centre will close. "We do not consider an exit restriction to be sensible at the moment because we cannot see what positive effect this could have on the incidence of infection," said Dörner. The measures should clearly show that they improved the situation. "We do not have groups gathering together in the evening, I do not see this problem situation.“

Parents' payments for day-care centres to be suspended

Parents should decide for themselves whether to bring their children to the day-care centres - but are appealed not to do so. Nevertheless, according to the city, well over half of the children came on Monday. The head of a municipal day-care centre, who does not want to be named, shows understanding for this: "The appeal of the state government is all well and good. But many parents no longer have any holidays and there are still a few days until Christmas that have to be bridged". Dörner also recognises that parents are facing a major challenge: "We will again suspend parental contributions for the period of emergency care in the day-care centres". At the same time, she called on employers to "also show understanding for the needs of parents and to use their room for manoeuvre to enable work from home wherever possible.

In the Protestant day care centre in Endenich, headmistress Elke Kirschner had to explain to the parents on Monday morning that they were allowed to bring the children, but should not do so if possible. "I already sent the parents an email on Friday afternoon, and some of them responded immediately." A good two thirds of the 64 children had to be looked after in the facility after all. "The majority of my parents showed understanding and promised that they would try to find other solutions for the remaining days." Silvia Franken, expert adviser for the Protestant day-care centres in Bonn and the district, finds it extremely difficult that parents would now have to negotiate on site with day-care providers whether the children could come or not. "I understand that the parents are at their limit," she said. But the pressure and concern about infection is also great among the educators.

Wolfgang Fuchs also attributes the rising infection figures in Bonn to the fact that more tests are being carried out again - not only in the laboratories, but also with rapid tests, which are now available in hospitals and nursing homes. There, staff not only check themselves and the residents, but also the visitors. "In this way, we can detect more infections that originate in these areas". There are no hotspots where many people get infected, he said. "Infections occur in the private and family sphere as well as in the professional environment." And the infections are also carried from the schools into society. The events are diffuse and therefore difficult for the public health department to cope with. It is true that staff numbers in contact tracing have been doubled and the municipal employees are still supported by soldiers. "But in the meantime it has become very difficult to identify the contact persons," says Fuchs, who is also head of the crisis unit. If someone developed symptoms, he said, the contacts had already been made several days earlier. He puts his hopes in the lockdown and contact restrictions. "If those affected only have two contacts, it is of course easier to find them.

According to Fuchs, the situation in the Bonn hospitals is not critical. "The infection figures do not reflect in the same way." There are currently 162 people from Bonn and the surrounding area in hospitals who are ill with Covid-19. 120 patients are cared for in normal wards, 42 people are in intensive care units, 31 of them need respiration. "The workload is normal. Even after operations, patients are sometimes only briefly checked into an intensive care unit," says Michael Forst, spokesperson of Johanniter and Waldkrankenhaus. There are 21 Covid patients as well as four patients who are ventilated in the intensive care unit. A maximum of ten Covid-19 patients can be treated there, seven of whom are ventilated. The Bonn university hospital has greater capacities. "We have 65 patients with Sars-Cov-2 infection in the UKB and 16 in the intensive care units," said Medical Director Wolfgang Holzgreve. Patients from other hospitals have been taken in mainly for Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), i.e. special ventilation.