This is the live blog for April 6, 2020.

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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 CEST and 16:30 pm CEST

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17:38 That's it for today. Join us tomorrow for more live updates!

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16:55 Two more deaths in Wolfsburg Hanns-Lilje-Heim Senior Residence

There have been further coronavirus-related deaths in the Wolfsburg Hanns-Lilje-Heim Senior Residence. The city of Wolfsburg reported that two men aged 76 and 89 have died. This increases the number of deaths in the residence to 29. The total number of deaths in the city due to a coronavirus infection is now 30. According to information a total of 222 people from Wolfsburg are currently infected with the virus. This is one person more than yesterday. Nine infected people are currently being treated in the Wolfsburg hospital, four of them in the intensive care unit.

16:45 Merkel: Ramp up production for protective equipment

At a press conference, Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed that Germany and Europe need to ramp up their own skills in producing protective equipment. "We need to work hard" so that medical personnel can be equipped with the necessary products, said Merkel in the Chancellery. It was not yet time to talk about easing the coronavirus rules. The Federal Government is thinking "intensively" about how the curfew could be gradually eased. However, it is not appropriate to name a time for this now. But safeguarding health will definitely be foremost. Exiting out of these conditions will certainly be gradual. According to Merkel the European Union is facing its greatest test since its creation. It has to be in everyone’s interest for Europe to emerge stronger from this crisis. This especially applies to the eurozone countries. "Germany will only do well in the long-term when Europe does well", Merkel said.

16:25 Werder Bremen is allowed to train in small groups

Werder Bremen is also allowed to resume training in small groups from now on. The City of Bremen's regulatory authority granted an appropriate permission to the Federal Football League member - however under strict conditions. A maximum of four professional footballers are allowed to work together on the training ground. The training practices may only take place in the open air, the players must then shower afterwards at home and, above all, go through preventive entry screening by the team doctors, as stated in a statement from the Senate Press Office.

16:18 Closed mosques at the start of Ramadan?

The Central Council of Muslims expects that the mosques in Germany will remain closed at least until the beginning of the month of fasting for Ramadan. "This is, sadly, to be feared," Aiman Mazyek the president of the Council told the newspapers in the radio media group. The month of fasting begins on April 23rd. Mazyek agreed that the social distancing restrictions because of the coronavirus crisis would be respected. "The physical integrity of people is not only a civil obligation, but totally conforms with our beliefs," he emphasized.

16:15 Saxony: prohibition of services due to corona lawfully

The ban on religious service in Saxony, which was issued on account of the Corona pandemic, does not violate the fundamental right to freedom of religion. The regulation to combat the further spread of the virus should not be challenged, the Leipzig Administrative Court informed. It referred to a decision of last Friday. An appeal could be lodged against the decision to the Saxon High Administrative Court (OVG) in Dresden. (AZ: 3 L 182/20)

16:03 Turner-Bund (German Gymnastics Federation) cancels all competitions until summer break

The Central Council of Muslims expects that the mosques in Germany will remain closed at least until the beginning of the month of fasting for Ramadan. "This is, sadly, to be feared," Aiman Mazyek the president of the Council told the newspapers in the radio media group. The month of fasting begins on April 23rd. Mazyek agreed that the social distancing restrictions because of the coronavirus crisis would be respected. "The physical integrity of people is not only a civil obligation, but totally conforms with our beliefs," he emphasized.

16:01 Israel's central bank decreases base interest rate

Israel's central bank has responded to the economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis with the first major reduction in the base interest rate for five years: the base rate for supplying business banks with money has thus been lowered to 0.1 percent of the previous 0.25 percent. The Bank of Israel expects that the country's economy will fall by 5.3 percent this year due to the curfew and business closures. Yet in March, it had predicted a fall of only 2.5 percent.

15:57 Doctors arrested in Pakistan

Several doctors have been arrested by the police after protests in Pakistan. The protesters demanded more protective clothing against the coronavirus. The police in the provincial capital of the western Pakistani state of Balochistan, Quetta, violently attacked the doctors, said Dr. Jassir Achaksai to the dpa news agency. At least a dozen doctors were arrested, said Achaksai, who had participated in the demonstrations himself. The police has not yet commented on the incident.

According to the Ministry of Health, thousands of masks and suits for medical personnel have been distributed across the country. However, only about half of the doctors in the province could currently be equipped with protective equipment, said Achaksai.

15:53 Iran defends easing of measures

The Iranian government has defended easing the severe measures against the spread of the coronavirus: "There is no prospect of the corona crisis ending in the short term, it could even take another year... We cannot close all authorities, banks, and businesses for a whole year," explained government spokesman Ali Rabiei.

President Rouhani had announced yesterday that work in low-risk economic areas will be resumed from April 11th, with very strict hygienic regulations in effect. A week later, the measures in the capital of Tehran will also be toned down.

15:35 Large supermarket chains closed over Easter

The large German food retailers intend to keep their stores closed over the Easter holidays, as usual, according to a survey carried out by the dpa press agency among Edeka, Rewe, Aldi, Lidl, and others. The retail chains called on customers to do their shopping for the celebrations as early as possible, to avoid large crowds from gathering on Maundy Thursday and Holy Saturday. At the same time, they stressed that the supply of goods is secured.

15:27 Border of North Rhine-Westphalia stays open

There will be no border controls between North Rhine-Westphalia and the neighbouring countries of Belgium and the Netherlands. This has been decided by the corona cabinet in Berlin, State Minister-President Armin Laschet has said in a video message at the German-Dutch border in Venlo. Laschet welcomed the decision. In the "Euregio", people's lives take place across borders. He referred to a nearby hospital, where patients from the Netherlands and Germany are receiving treatment.

15:19 Boris Johnson in "good spirits"

British Head of Government Boris Johnson is in "good spirits" in spite of his corona infection. With his symptoms persisting, he has been sent to the hospital at the advice of his doctor, "for some routine tests," Mr. Johnson wrote on Twitter. Mr. Johnson had tested positive for the novel corona virus ten days ago. The Prime Minister's symptoms are not letting off, which is why his doctor advised him to undergo further examinations in a clinic, Downing Street said. These examinations are now scheduled for Monday.

15:06 Steinmeier announces TV address for Saturday

On Saturday, President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier will hold a television address on the corona crisis. As the Federal Presidential Office has announced on Monday, the speech will be broadcast in the evening after the main news broadcasts of ARD and ZDF. Other broadcasters would also be allowed to broadcast the speech. It is unusual for the President to speak in a public address. Mr. Steinmeier had recently published several video messages on the corona crisis, in which he prepared the German citizens on further difficult times and praised solidarity and social cohesion.

14:52 The train keeps running - for as long as possible

Due to the coronavirus crisis, hardly anyone is currently travelling by train:  the current level of long-distance travel amounts to just 10 to 15 percent of the usual level," says Deutsche Bahn CEO Richard Lutz. According to Lutz, regional travel is at a similarly low level of about 15 percent. However, the corporation's message is clear: While everything stands still during the the crisis, the train service will live up to its responsibility. "That's why we did everything we could from the start to keep the trains operating as long and comprehensively as possible, and with the greatest possible stability," said Lutz. Whether police officers, care workers, or supermarket employees: those who are dependent on rail travel should be able to take advantage of it without restrictions. But this will be expensive. The coronavirus pandemic will hit the Deutsche Bahn hard, the CEO has admitted. The company has already accrued a debt of €24.2 billion.

14:39 Federal government turns to coronavirus app

In the federal government's view, the development and voluntary use of a coronavirus app can significantly contribute to reducing the number of new infections. A suitable smartphone application is a "very central building block" for reducing the infection rate, said government spokesman Seibert. The German app will be compatible with software applications in other European countries and will be available for download within the next few days or weeks.

14:30 198 coronavirus patients from the EU in Germany

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Germany has accepted 198 severely ill patients from other EU countries for treatment. Currently,  
an additional 58 treatment places have been approved, but have not been utilized," said a spokesperson for the Federal Foreign Office. So far, 130 patients from France, 44 patients from Italy, and another 24 from the Netherlands have been brought to Germany. The German Air Force has also helped this effort on multiple occasions with its special aircraft Airbus A310 MedEvac.

14:24 Scholz introduces further support measures for companies

The federal government has confirmed that it will provide relief for SMEs in order to help smaller companies obtain urgently needed aid loans during the coronavirus crisis. In the future, banks will no longer have to examine whether the companies have an economic perspective as borrowers," said Federal Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz.

14:04 Companies build new supply chain for disinfectants

Taking  fast action, several major German companies have mobilized 820,000 liters of disinfectant for hospitals, thus alleviating supply bottlenecks in this area. The Federal Ministry of Health initiated as well as funded the project, although companies are donating part of the first batch.

13:51 Online retail also heavily affected

The majority of online retailers is also suffering considerably from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Overall, e-commerce sales in March dropped by nearly 20 percent compared to last year's numbers, the Federal Association of E-Commerce and Mail Order Trade (bevh) reported. "E-commerce is a normal shopping channel today. That's why such a crisis in consumer spending has an extreme impact on our industry," said bevh President Gero Furchheim. According to Furchheim, the claim that online retail will emerge from the coronavirus pandemic as a winner is "simply wrong."

13:24 No date for the relaxation of restrictions

According to government spokesman Steffen Seibert, the federal government is not yet planning to give a date on which the existing restrictions could be relaxed. It is too early, Seibert said in Berlin.

12:42 "Coronavirus baskets" for the poorest in Italy

Due to the coronavirus crisis, Italians are barely allowed to leave their homes - but it's still possible to help the poorest. More and more people in Italian cities are now hanging small baskets filled with pasta, cookies, and other goods from the windows of their homes.

12:35 High number of unreported CoViD-19 deaths in Italy?

In Italy, the suspicion that there is a high number of unreported CoViD-19 deaths is fuelled by a study in the particularly severely affected province of Bergamo: Many patients have allegedly succumbed to coronavirus at home without a medical examination and thus were not entered into the official statistics. This is what the local newspaper "L'Eco di Bergamo" and the local consultancy InTwig have concluded based on their recently published examination of official data. According to these, there were six times as many deaths in the province in March - 5,400 - than in March 2019. This means that up to 4,600 of the deceased could have died from CoViD-19. That would be more than twice as many as indicated in the statistics, which only count deaths in hospitals.

12:28 Quarantine upon return to Germany?

Germans, EU citizens, and long-term residents of Germany who are returning to the country after several days abroad will be expected to self-quarantine for two weeks from now on. This measure was recommended to the federal states by the so-called Coronavirus Emergency Cabinet, dpa has reported.

12:20 Reporting obligation for free intensive care beds in hospitals

In the future, hospitals with intensive care units will have to report free intensive care beds to a central register of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (Divi). This has been stipulated in a draft regulation by Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn. So far, 1,119 out of 1,160 respective hospitals are registered here, according to information from the ministry.

12:03 More than 13,000 dead in Spain

More than 13,000 people have now died in Spain as a result of a coronavirus infection. However, the increase here and in new infections is no longer as steep as a few days ago. The Ministry of Health reports that the number of deaths has increased by 637 to 13,055 within 24 hours. The number of deaths due to infection has climbed from 130,759 on Sunday to 135,032. 950 deaths and 8,100 new infections were reported on Thursday.

11:56 State of Emergency in Japan from Tuesday

As expected, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has declared a state of emergency for the capital Tokyo and six further prefectures because of the coronavirus. It will be in force from tomorrow. According to the Johns Hopkins University figures for Japan up to Monday; 3,654 infections have been recorded, 95 people have died, and 575 have recovered.  

11:40 Taking action against coronavirus internet hate campaigns

Uwe Becker, the Hessian Commissioner for Antisemitism has called for resistance to growing “antisemitic coronavirus hate campaigns “. “These days, the coronavirus is not only leading to great health, societal, and social challenges, but also to a dangerous spread of antisemitic hate messages and conspiracy theories, especially in social networks “, warned Becker. Here, Jews and the Israeli State are being increasingly made responsible for the spread of coronavirus. “It is also being insinuated in classic antisemitic images that there is a ‘Jewish global conspiracy’ with economic purposes behind the spread of the virus.“

11:20 Austria wants to relax its coronavirus measures from 14. April

Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian Chancellor has announced that Austria wants to slowly relax its coronavirus pandemic measures straight after Easter. Small businesses as well as DIY and garden centers will be reopened under strict conditions from 14. April.

10:58 Platform for volunteers to go online on Tuesday

The platform on which volunteers can register to work in care centres is scheduled to go online on Tuesday. Then will be activated, announced Federal Minister of Family Affairs Franziska Giffey via Instagram. The SPD politician wants to encourage tens of thousands of volunteers, who are unable to perform their service due to the current situation, to take part in the coronavirus crisis. They could work in hospitals, nursing homes or in the food supply of people in need.

10:34 Government seems to decide on additional aid

The Federal Government apparently wants to decide on additional aid on a large scale, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. The so-called Corona Cabinet wants to pass an additional credit program today, the dpa reports, citing government circles. The goal is to prevent a wave of bankruptcies and to preserve jobs.

Specifically, it is about improvements of the credit conditions. For a limited time, companies should be covered by a 100 percent state guarantee. Up to now, the state development bank KfW has borne up to 90 percent of the risk in the special credit program.

10:17 ADAC expects no traffic jams during Easter

For the first time in many years, the ADAC did not issue a warning against lengthy traffic jams over the Easter weekend. "Free motorways at Easter" was the title of the automobile club's assessment of the traffic situation over the coming extended weekend. At the same time, ADAC President August Markl combined this with an urgent request to actually stay at home due to the coronavirus crisis.

10:08 Crime in South Africa declines

According to Police Minister Bheki Cele, South Africa's fight against the coronavirus and the restrictions imposed in the process are showing initial success on another front: in the fight against crime. In an interview with the Sunday newspaper "City Press" he spoke of a noticeable decrease in the number of violent crimes, which he attributed to a nationwide ban on alcohol and tobacco. It had come into effect at the same time as a very far-reaching, three-week curfew on March 27. Cele advocated a significant reduction in alcohol consumption in the country beyond the curfew.

10:02 BMW sales drop by more than 20 percent

BMW sold 20.6 percent less cars in the first quarter of this year compared to last year. The corona pandemic caused a drop in sales volume in China during February, in March the consequences were clearly felt in Europe and the USA, the company announced. "In Europe, around 80 percent of all car dealerships are currently closed due to the coronavirus, in the USA the figure is around 70 percent. The BMW plants in Europe and North America are still in production.

09:45 Teachers’ Association: Badly performing students should resit the year voluntarily

According to the German Teachers’ Association, poorly performing students should resit the year voluntarily due to the coronavirus crisis, instead of starting the next year lagging behind everyone else. If a student’s previous performance was very poor, serious consideration should be given to "whether voluntarily repeating the year is not more meaningful than to move up a year with massive knowledge gaps," the association’s President, Heinz-Peter Meidinger, told the "Bild" newspaper. However, his recommendation was only for students whose performance had already been poor before the pandemic and who were "unlikely" to have achieved a pass grade for the year.

09:24 Consumer confidence at historic low

The constraints on public life to curb the coronavirus crisis and uncertainty as to how things will continue are impacting consumer confidence. In April the consumer barometer, as determined by the German Trade Association (HDE), reached its lowest level since surveys began in October 2016.

"Consumers are in crisis mode, consumer confidence is at an all-time low," said the HDE. In addition, more than one third of all workers surveyed were concerned about their own jobs.

09:04: Kinderhilfswerk (KHW): Increase Hartz IV for children

The Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk – a German children’s charity – has called for more financial support for poor families during the coronavirus crisis. The association has argued that the monthly Hartz IV rate for children and young people should be increased by 100 euro, at least as long as schools and day-care centers remain closed. Furthermore, sanctions for families in receipt of basic income support should be suspended for six months. A Germany-wide uniform regulation for emergency care in day-care facilities and schools was also needed.

08:00 Here's what happened last night

  • CoViD-19 numbers for Germany: 95,391 infected and 1,434 dead (according to Robert Koch Institut as of today at 06:48)
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in hospital
  • Almost 10,000 deaths in the U.S.
  • Guterres denounces increased domestic violence