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Corona updates: Classroom lessons begin in NRW up to Easter

Corona updates : Classroom lessons begin in NRW up to Easter

The seven-day incidence rate in Germany has gone up once more. This is demonstrated by the latest figures from the Robert Koch Institute. However, the incidence rate in Bonn has fallen slightly again. Here are some entries on the corona pandemic from the GA live blog.

Increased number of corona cases in North Rhine-Westphalia

Significantly more people in NRW have been infected with coronavirus over the past week. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced in Berlin on Monday morning that the so-called seven-day incidence rate in NRW has risen to 81.2. This rate is therefore continuing to rise significantly: A week ago, the health authorities in NRW reported 65.8 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants, and on Sunday the figure was 78.9. Most recently, the health authorities in NRW reported 1,141 new infections in one day, and 16 deaths in connection with the virus.

6,604 new infections and 47 deaths - incident rate rises again

The German health authorities reported 6,604 new corona infections to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in one day - this means 1,593 more than one week ago. According to the RKI, the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants reported within seven days was 82.9 nationwide on Monday morning, which is significantly higher than the previous day (79). This is according to figures released by the RKI on Monday.

The data reflects the status of the RKI dashboard as of 6.30 am. Subsequent changes or additions are possible. 47 further deaths were recorded within 24 hours. Exactly one week ago, the RKI had recorded 5,011 new infections and 34 new deaths within one day.

Four weeks ago, on 15 February, the incidence rate was 58.9. The number of new infections in Germany had fallen significantly over several weeks in January and February. Recently, however, the number has risen again, which could also be due to the spread of more infectious variants.

Schools opening in NRW despite increasing infection rates

The opening of schools in NRW takes a significant step forward on Monday despite the recent rise in the number of corona infections. Some secondary school children are also returning to the classroom. Up to the Easter holidays in a fortnight’s time, all pupils in NRW are to receive classroom instruction again, at least on a daily basis, under the so-called alternating model. Three weeks ago, primary school pupils and those in the final years made a start. The district of Düren had applied to be exempted from further opening for the time being because of infection rates. However, the Ministry of Education rejected this request on Friday.

Starting on Tuesday, secondary schools will receive the first of a total of around 1.8 million self-tests, which will be distributed up to the Easter holidays. According to the Ministry, the pupils can then voluntarily test themselves once a week under supervision at school.

Lauterbach demands consistent “emergency brake” while NRW sees a “need for clarification”

In view of the sharply rising infection figures, SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach has called for a consistent application of the “emergency brake” agreed upon by the federal and state governments for the relaxation of corona measures. There should also be “no local exceptions”, Lauterbach told the Düsseldorf ‘Rheinische Post’ (Monday). North Rhine-Westphalia, on the other hand, still sees a “need for clarification”.

At their last meeting, the federal and state governments had linked the steps for opening up to stable incidence figures below 100. If the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants continues to rise above this level within seven days, relaxations for retailers or museums, for example, would have to be withdrawn. “I expect that, despite existing lockdown regulations, we will break this mark nationwide at the beginning of April,” Lauterbach further told the newspaper.

NRW, on the other hand, apparently does not want an automatic “emergency brake”. When implementing the decision, the circumstances that led to exceeding the seven-day incidence of 100 would have to be examined, the NRW Ministry of Health told the Evangelischer Pressedienst (epd) on Saturday upon request. “If the numbers have increased due to additional tests in an otherwise stable occurrence of infections, this must be taken into account in further assessments.” The “need for clarification” that will presumably result from this “will certainly not be limited to NRW”.

(Original texts: GA/dpa/epd, Translation: Caroline Kusch)