This is the live blog for March 29, 2020.

Head here for the latest news: https://wwww.lengoo.de/blog/05-26-2020-live-blog-for-covid-19-updates-in-germany-in-english/

Non-German native speakers have a hard time to stay on top of the news concerning the development of the situation of CoViD-19 specifically in Germany. Because of that, we curate a live blog in English for all people living in Germany. The information published on this site is translated from German and based on the live blog of Tagesschau.

We are using the combination of custom-trained machine translation models and expert linguists to provide these translations.  

We are live-translating between 09:00 am CET and 17:30 pm CET

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Short Facts

  • 838 people infected with coronavirus die in Spain within one day
  • China warns of a possible second wave of infection
  • Numbers for Germany: 57,700 cases of infection and 400 deaths
  • RKI head warns of possible dramatic conditions in hospitals
  • Federal Minister of Finances announces bonuses paid up to 1500€ to workers in relation to CoViD-19 should be tax-free
  • The death toll in the US rises above 2,000

17:42 That's it for today. Join us tomorrow for more live updates!
From now on, please head over to Tagesschau to follow the updates (German only).

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17:24 Rail connections between Switzerland and Italy suspended

The Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) have stopped cross-border travel to and from Italy. The reasons for this are orders from the Italian authorities, according to the SBB. In addition to cross-border regional transport, three EC trains are affected: Basel-Brig-Milan, Geneva-Brig-Milan and Zurich-Milan. According to SBB data freight transport is not affected by restrictions.


17:24 Three more deaths in Wolfsburger nursing home

Three more men who had been infected with the coronavirus have died in a Wolfsburg nursing home. The city of Wolfsburg stated that they were 80, 86 or 88 years old. A total of twelve people have died in recent days as a result of the CoVid-19 disease in the Hanns-Lilje-Heim.


17:03 Greenland bans sale of alcohol

Greenland has introduced a ban on alcohol for the capital Nuuk and the nearby residential areas Kapisillit and Qeqertarsuatsiaat, which is currently in force until 15 April. The government stated that the measure was decided mainly because of concern about violence against children during the coronavirus crisis. "The core reason of my decision is to protect children. They should have a safe home," said Prime Minister Kim Kielsen. In addition, people under the influence of alcohol are less alert, which ultimately increases the risk of infection. According to Kielsen’s terms, no drinks with more then 2.25 percent alcohol can be served in the capital region. It is also no longer possible to buy alcohol in shops.


16:40 Several million infected in the USA in the long term?

The leading U.S. infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, is assuming there will be several million coronavirus cases in the United States in the long term. “More than 100,000 people could die from the consequences of an infection,“ said the Director of the National Institute for Infectious Diseases to the television broadcaster CNN. “The number of victims could even go up to 200,000.“ Fauci is a recognized expert. There has again been speculation over the past few weeks whether he and President Donald Trump are arguing behind the scenes about the right approach. There are currently more than 124,000 cases and more than 2,100 deaths from the new virus registered in the USA.


16:16 Olympic Games in Tokyo from 23 July?

The new date for the Olympic Games in Tokyo has apparently been found. According to information from the "New York Times" and the Japanese broadcaster NHK, the Summer Olympic Games will now be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021. The Paralympic Games will follow and take place from August 24 to September 5.


15:59 Two patients flown to Germany

The two patients from France have now arrived in Germany and are being taken to the Federal Armed Forces Hospital in Ulm.



15:47 Norway – now obvious that healthy people should also be tested  

In the future, people without symptoms will also be tested in Norway. This has been reported by the NRK radio station. Thus, the health authorities want to have a comprehensive picture of the number of coronavirus infections. How this is to be carried out and financed is currently being clarified stated a national health institute representative to the broadcaster.

According to authorities approximately 4,100 infections have been detected in Norway up to Sunday.



15:29 More than 10,000 infected in the Netherlands  

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has passed the 10,000 mark in the Netherlands - an increase of 1,104 in comparison to the previous day. The increase has slowed slightly“, reported the Ministry of Health.

771 people have died in total as a result of infection in the Netherlands.



15:15 Special case Singapore - a success story

The authoritarian-governed city state of Singapore has recorded great successes against the coronavirus pandemic. Strict isolation, numerous tests and and meticulous contact person tracking have stagnated the number of infections for weeks.

However, thousands of home travelers could now reintroduce the virus.


14:50 Federal Government and states enabling quick financial aid

The Federal Government and the German states have signed an administrative agreement to help smaller companies and self-employed solo workers. This will allow the states to collect federal funds from Monday to pay subsidies quickly and unbureaucratically, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs informed. Companies with up to five employees in economic difficulty due to the coronavirus crisis will receive a one-time payment of 9,000 euro for three months, whilst companies with up to ten employees will receive 15,000 euro.


14:02 Deutsche Post to remain prepared

Deutsche Post is preparing for "further restrictions" to its services due to the coronavirus pandemic. "We are doing everything we can to protect both our employees and our customers as much as possible and maintain the postal supply as usual" said the company. Details have not been shared.

According to Deutsche Post, there have been no significant restrictions on mail and parcel delivery in Germany so far.


13:51 Patients transferred from Strasbourg

An A400M has departed for France to pick up patients. The Bundeswehr aircraft has capacity for up to two people to receive in-flight medical care in so-called patient transport units.


13:33 Bundeswehr flies more Covid-19 patients to Germany

A Bundeswehr MedEvac airbus has taken off from Cologne to bring a further six coronavirus patients from the northern Italian crisis town of Bergamo to Germany. Two of the patients will be treated in military hospitals in Hamburg, Westerstede near Oldenburg, and Koblenz, said an air force spokesperson.

Another plane is bringing two patients from Strasbourg to Stuttgart. The severely ill French patients will then be transferred to a military hospital in Ulm, according to the Ministry of Defence.


13:27 Moscow reports sharp rise in new coronavirus cases

In the Russian capital Moscow, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases is rising rapidly. More than 1,000 people have already been infected with the highly contagious virus, according to Mayor Sergey Sobjanin. “The situation related to the spread has reached a new scale.” Most coronavirus cases in Russia have been reported in the metropolis of Moscow. More than 1,500 cases have been reported nationwide.

To curb the spread of the virus, shopping centers, restaurants, bars, and large parks have been closed since Saturday. “Most Muscovites have listened to the authorities’ recommendations and stayed at home,” said the mayor. There were far fewer passengers on the subways, buses, trains, and in taxis. Nevertheless, many people had been moving around without maintaining enough distance. Others had met with friends outdoors, said Sobjanin.

Furthermore, around 20 percent of Muscovites over the age of 65 had left their homes in spite of the restrictions. This was according to mobile phone data, said Sobjanin. “My friends, you are in danger.”


13:17 Challenging journey home for tens of thousands of Indian workers

There are no trains or buses going anywhere: In India tens of thousands of migrant workers, who have become homeless and unemployed as a result of the curfew, are trying to return home. Many of them are now having to travel hundreds of kilometers on foot.


12:28 Calls growing louder for ceasefire in Syria

The European Union is supporting calls from the UN for an immediate nationwide ceasefire in Syria due to the coronavirus pandemic. The EU is leading humanitarian aid efforts in Syria and is prepared to support the UN in its efforts to stop the fighting and the spread of coronavirus, said a spokesperson for the EU High Representative, Josep Borrell. On Saturday, the United Nations called for a ceasefire in the civil war-torn country. This is about preventing another disaster, said the Chairman of the International Commission of Inquiry for Syria, Paulo Pinheiro. Pope Francis has even demanded a global ceasefire in the face of the pandemic. All parties to the conflict had to stop fighting and thus enable the creation of corridors for humanitarian aid, diplomacy, and attention to those in particular need of protection, the head of the Catholic Church appealed by video during his noon prayer in the Vatican.


12:07 Spain records more than 800 deaths in a single day again

Spain has reported a further sharp increase in deaths. A total of 838 people confirmed to have become infected with the Sars CoV-2 virus have died in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health in Spain reported. This takes the country’s total death toll to more than 6,500. The number of new infections has risen to almost 78,800 - compared to 72,248 the previous day. It was only yesterday that the country recorded the highest number of deaths (832) in a single day.


11:42 Bundeswehr withdraws soldiers from Iraq

The Bundeswehr has withdrawn some of its soldiers deployed in Iraq back to Germany due to the coronavirus pandemic. The withdrawal had begun with the return of German soldiers, who were not currently required for essential operations, the Operations Command told representatives of the Bundestag Defence Committee. The first soldiers landed in Germany on Sunday.


11:37 Venezuelan opposition leader calls for "emergency government"

The Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó has called for the formation of a "national emergency government" made up of various political movements to deal with the spread of the new coronavirus, but this could not be led by President Nicolás Maduro for "obvious reasons", said Guaidó in a video published on Twitter. Maduro was recently charged with drug terrorism offences in the U.S. Guaidó has been recognized as the legitimate President of Venezuela by the U.S. and nearly 60 other countries. "Those surrounding Maduro must understand the seriousness of the charges," he said. However, opponents of Maduro should be "realistic" and ready to share power. The bankrupt country is running low on gasoline as a result of coronavirus. This has resulted in looting and calls have grown for the opposition and Maduro to set aside their differences to avoid a crisis.


10:30 "Anker" center in Lower Franconia under quarantine

In Geldersheim in Lower Franconia, the central Anker center for asylum seekers has been quarantined due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Lower Franconian government announced that seven residents and one external employee there are infected with the coronavirus . A total of approximately 600 asylum seekers are currently staying at the center near Schweinfurt where there is now a ban on new admissions. Anker centers have been set up to handle the entire asylum procedure in one place. "Anker" is an acronym for "Ankommen, Entscheidung, Rückführung", which translates to "Arrival, Decision, Repatriation".


10:25 China warns of a possible second wave of infection

China warns of possible second wave of infection A spokesperson for the health authorities said that a total of 693 cases so far were due to travelers from abroad. This increases the risk of a second wave of infection. China reported 45 new cases on Saturday, of which all but one were due to travelers from abroad.


10:05 Altmaier calls for a "comprehensive fitness program"

The Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier is already working on plans for how the German economy can also reposition itself structurally after the coronavirus crisis. "We need a comprehensive fitness program for the German economy, the rescue packages alone will not be enough," Altmaier told the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung". The concept should not be limited to classic economic stimulus programs, but should structurally improve the competitiveness of the German economy. The CDU politician demanded that Germany and Europe make up the backlog in digitization in order to ensure that jobs of the future are created not only in America and Asia. In addition, elementary areas of industrial production such as pharmaceuticals and biotech must also be located in Germany.


09:50 Closed borders lead to shortage of medical personnel

Closed borders and strict entry controls have led to mile-long traffic jams between Germany and its neighboring countries for days. The restrictions have a particularly drastic effect on commuters. Saxony must now fear for hundreds of doctors and nurses from the Czech and Polish regions. Premiums and hotel vouchers are being provided to keep those who are currently indispensable in the clinics.


09:34 Minister for Development announces coronavirus aid for crisis regions

The Federal Minister for Development Gerd Müller announced emergency measures for war regions and developing countries in the coronavirus crisis. “The coronavirus crisis is now ruthlessly affecting the poorest people in refugee and crisis regions,” said Müller to the newspapers of the Funke Media Group. “A comprehensive program is being developed for necessary immediate measures to combat the pandemic and the economic consequences in developing countries, particularly in refugee regions such as the crisis area around Syria.” Seven million refugees are without protection in this region.


09:22 Italy plans to distribute shopping vouchers

To help support families in financial distress, Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has announced a €4.3 billion relief package. The money will be used to distribute shopping vouchers and food packages to those in need.


08:58 RKI boss warns of dramatic conditions in hospitals

The President of the Robert Koch Institute, Lothar Wieler, is not ruling out the possibility that Germany may face conditions similar to those in Italy. "In any case, we have to expect that our capacities will not be sufficient, this much is clear", he told the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung". In view of the comparatively low mortality rate in Germany, the epidemic expert warned against illusions: He said that this was mainly due to the fact that a lot of testing was being carried out in Germany.

Wieler considers a quick return to normality to be the wrong way out of the crisis. "From a medical point of view, I would like us all to keep our distance as long as possible," he said. Germany is "still at the beginning of the wave", he said.


08:30 Here's what happened last night

Germany reports 400 people have died from CoViD-19, 57,700 are infected. In the US, the death roll rises to over 2,000 and Trump decides against quarantining the state of New York. Britain's Boris Johnson will address the nation in a letter. The German government has changed purchase processes for protective gowns and will be able to acquire these faster, while the Netherlands call back thousands of masks imported from China because they do not offer sufficient protection.