Hildburghausen: Risk level pink – “Oh, how nice it is,” sing the demonstrators


Germany Hildburghausen

Incidence over 500 – “Oh, how nice that is”, the demonstrators sing

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“Extend the corona measures until the beginning of January”

The Hildburghausen district in Thuringia is currently the largest corona hotspot in Germany. According to the Prime Minister of Thuringia, Bodo Ramelow, the entire state has not come out of the dynamic infection process.

On the Corona map, the Hildburghausen district had been dark red for a long time. Now it shines pink. Strict contact restrictions apply in the nationwide Corona hotspot. But some are not deterred by this.

IAt some point the previous color scheme of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) was no longer sufficient – and the RKI chose a color that had never been used before on its “Coronavirus Dashboard”: pink. The district of Hildburghausen is now marked on the map that illustrates the new infections with the corona virus.

Because: Most recently, the 7-day incidence in the district was over 500. The district records 527 new infections per 100,000 people in one week – a value higher than in any other region in Germany. According to the Ministry of Health in Erfurt, 81 new infections were reported from Tuesday to Wednesday alone. There are currently 735 active corona cases in the district.

The South Thuringian District Administrator Thomas Müller is barely able to breathe these days: In front of the television teams who have traveled, the CDU politician tries to explain why the Corona number in the Hildburghausen district only knows one direction – steeply upwards. Since the beginning of the week, the rural region on the border with Bavaria has had the highest infection rate nationwide in terms of population.

Hildburghausen was completely inconspicuous during the first wave and was the last district in Germany to report its first corona case on March 20. “We were practically corona-free,” says Müller. But since October 24, the infection process has gradually gotten out of hand. With a regional lockdown that has been in effect since Wednesday, the district is now taking countermeasures: “We have to get in front of the wave and break it,” says District Administrator Müller.

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The new district ordinance, which came into force on Wednesday, provides for far-reaching restrictions. Staying outside the home or your own property is only permitted for “valid reasons”. This includes the way to work, going to the doctor and necessary shopping.

Events of any kind are prohibited, with the exception of weekly markets. Museums and sports halls are closed and all 68 schools and day-care centers in the district have also been closed. Mouth and nose covering must be worn almost everywhere in public spaces. Violations of the conditions can be punished with a fine of up to 25,000 euros. The municipal regulatory authorities are required to intensify controls.

Not all show understanding. Local media reported an apparently unregistered demonstration on Wednesday evening. More than 100 participants chanted “Peace, freedom, no dictatorship”. Videos on social media show people chanting “Oh, how nice is that” and rebelling against the measures.

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Schools and daycare centers had to close temporarily. In order to be able to quickly return to restricted regular operations, the district administrator relies on large-scale, voluntary rapid tests. “This is a field test,” confesses Müller. From next Tuesday at the earliest, Bundeswehr teams on site from children, students, educators and teachers could cut back.

An ambitious undertaking, because around 9,000 children, teachers and educators are affected by the closings. District Administrator Müller has therefore requested 20 more teams in addition to the five mobile scraping teams that have been promised so far. Even these would then need a week to test two thirds of the affected children and adults. Müller: “The fewer teams we get, the longer the whole act takes.”

“Hands off our children”, people chanted on the market square.

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