Düsseldorf The number of infections in North Rhine-Westphalia is falling and some restrictions have been eased in individual municipalities. When it comes to vaccination, however, the situation remains tense.
Positive developments have been made in the corona crisis in North Rhine-Westphalia: infection rates are going down, one person in three has been vaccinated at least once, a first outdoor swimming pool has opened. and further relaxations are in sight. However, in comparison to other federal states, NRW is still lagging behind.
Infections: There is a continuous downward trend in new corona infections in North Rhine-Westphalia. On Sunday morning, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported 129.2 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within one week. But in comparison to the other federal states, NRW has a relatively high seven-day incidence rate. Only Thuringia (180), Saxony (173) and Baden-Württemberg (129) have higher figures. The national average is 119. Half of the federal states are now below the politically decisive threshold of 100. Schleswig-Holstein has the lowest figure, with 50.0 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week.
Vaccinations: More than one person in three in North Rhine-Westphalia has now received at least one corona vaccination. Over 6.1 million people have had the first dose, according to figures from the Robert Koch Institute (as of Friday), and 1.5 million people are fully vaccinated. This represents 8.4 percent of people living in NRW. A special vaccination campaign in Cologne at the weekend was very well received. Around 2500 people were inoculated without an appointment in the large central mosque in the city, mainly with the Astrazeneca vaccine.
Vaccination appointments: The demand for vaccination appointments is high, according to the NRW Ministry of Health. Almost all appointments for May in the vaccination centres are fully booked. A total of around 750,000 first vaccinations and 1.25 million second vaccinations are to be administered in the centres this month. This means that the vaccine doses made available to NRW by the federal government for the month of May will have all been used. In doctors' surgeries, people under 60 can receive the Astrazeneca vaccine without needing to be prioritised, and the interval between the two shots has been reduced from twelve weeks to up to four. In vaccination centres, however, second vaccination appointments that have already been arranged cannot be brought forward due to the organisational efforts involved.
Easing restrictions: At the weekend, a swimming pool in North Rhine-Westphalia opened to the public for the first time in over half a year. In Billerbeck in the district of Coesfeld, swimmers were allowed into the pool as part of a model trial.
The district of Coesfeld is one of several model municipalities in NRW in which certain places are permitted to open with a consistent weekly incidence rate below 100. As part of the model project, the first street cafés are also to reopen on Wednesday. In Lippstadt and Soest, outdoor restaurants in the city centres will be open for business. On Monday, pupils in municipalities with lower infection rates are returning from distance learning to alternating classes at school.
(Original text: dpa, Translation: Caroline Kusch)