GA English on Sunday News in brief from Bonn and the region

Bonn · The country-wide Coronavirus incidence rate has reached a new high; Bonn and the Rhine-Sieg area also report high numbers; but there is hope at the end of the tunnel, according to virologist Christian Drosten; meanwhile, in St. Augustin foresters have a lot of work on their hands making the forest tidy.

 German health minister Karl Lauterbach said he expected a "massive fifth wave" of the pandemic due to the Omicron variant.

German health minister Karl Lauterbach said he expected a "massive fifth wave" of the pandemic due to the Omicron variant.

Foto: AP/Michael Sohn

7-day incidence rises above 500 nationwide

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has again reported a peak in the nationwide seven-day incidence. According to the report, the rate of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week was 515.7 on Sunday morning, which means it has passed the 500 threshold for the first time.

According to the new data, 47 deaths were recorded throughout Germany within 24 hours. This is down from 77 deaths a week ago. The number of patients with Coronavirus admitted to clinics per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days was 3.23 on Friday (Thursday: 3.09, Wednesday: 3.13). This was the first time it had risen in several days. Figures are not published at the weekend.

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Incidence rate in Bonn and the region rises above 500

The seven-day incidence rate also rose to above 500 in Bonn on Saturday. According to the State Centre for Health data, it is now 535.4. This is the highest ever figure for the Federal City of Bonn. The figure on Friday was 441, yesterday, 402 new infections were reported. This brings the total number of people considered to be infected with the Coronavirus to 3,100. No further deaths in connection with the virus were reported on Saturday in Bonn. In the Rhein-Sieg district, meanwhile, the incidence is 502.5. Here, too, the figure has risen above 500 for the first time. Since yesterday, 641 new infections have been reported. This brings the number of people infected in the region to around 7,300, and one more person who had tested positive for Coronavirus has died there since yesterday.

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Drosten: Omicron can be a chance

  

Virologist Christian Drosten sees the milder Omicron variant of the Coronavirus as a "chance" and spreads hope that life might get back to how it was before the pandemic.

When asked if "we will ever live like we did before the pandemic", the scientist from Berlin's Charité Hospital told the Tagesspiegel am Sonntag: "Yes, absolutely. I am completely sure of that."

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City speaks of urgent measures: 800 trees felled in Sankt Augustin

There is a lot of thinning going on in Sankt Augustin: Chainsaws are whirring, and many stately tree trunks already line the footbath. Last autumn’s extensive tree inspections have led to “urgent measures to make sure paths in the forest are safe,” said Caroline Trost, press spokesperson for the city of Sankt Augustin. These are not the only ones that have to go. In total, about 800 trees had to be felled or cut back as a result of the inspection.

 Tree work is currently underway in Sankt Augustin. Several trees have been cut down in the grove between Danziger Straße and Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH.

Tree work is currently underway in Sankt Augustin. Several trees have been cut down in the grove between Danziger Straße and Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH.

Foto: Dylan Cem Akalin

"This is also part of overdue thinning and maintenance measure in the area of the red oak grove," says Trost. It will help to preserve and develop the overall status of the forest, she said. The main focus is on developing a natural edge to the forest along the gas pipeline at the fringe of the residential area. An external horticultural company from Eitorf has been commissioned. "For capacity and technical reasons, these measures cannot be carried out by the municipal building yard on its own," said Trost. The company was commissioned by the forester responsible for the municipal forest. Incidentally, the wood is sold to local timber firms – in other words, the trees are turned into firewood.

As previously reported, all the spruce trees in the municipal forest were recently damaged due to bark beetle infestation. Two years ago, the city already marked and felled diseased trees. The remaining dead spruce were felled last year with subsidies from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for the processing of damaged wood. The cleared areas were reforested with hardwood crops.

Translation

Jean Lennox

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