This is the live blog for April 9, 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 17:30 pm CEST

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Short Facts

  • IMF expects worst crisis since the Great Depression
  • Federal government wants to increase German production of protective equipment
  • Fraud attempts: NRW stops payment of emergency aid
  • 650,000 Companies have announced short-time work
  • The first seasonal harvest workers from East Europe are flown in

17:32 That's it for today. We'll take an Easter break and be back next Tuesday for more live updates!

From now on, please head over to Tagesschau to follow the updates (German only).

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17:21 Hungary extends lockdown indefinitely

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been vested with special powers in the coronavirus crisis. Now the restrictions in the country have been extended indefinitely. Hungary has officially recorded 980 coronavirus infections and 66 dead so far.

16:56 CDU and CSU politicians: Corona bonds would disempower the German Federal Parliament

CDU and CSU budgetary politicians have vehemently spoken out against corona bonds. Corona bonds with joint and several liability would result in a partial disempowerment of the Parliament and thus damage the democratic principle in Germany, according to a paper made available to the news agency dpa by the CDU/CSU parliamentary group's budget working group. The EU States’ finance ministers are trying to put together a rescue package worth billions for workers, companies and indebted states. The talks were broken off after 16 hours on Tuesday, they will continue today.

16:43 Italian Foreign Minister Di Maio concerned about Europe

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio sees Europe's continued existence in danger. "The future of Europe itself is at stake; it will have to compete economically with the world giants. We must work on strengthening the EU, not dividing it, and I am sure the Germans want that too," Di Maio said. Now, he said, an agreement has to be found that protects the future of the Union.

15:50 pm Merkel: Study by Leopoldina will be considered when making a decision

On Wednesday, Chancellor Merkel wants to discuss with the Minister-Presidents of the States how to lift some restrictions imposed on public and economic life. Only small and very careful steps will be possible, she adds. A very important assessment will be provided by a study carried out by scientists from the Leopoldina Academy of Sciences, which will be published on Monday or Tuesday.

15:37 Chancellor Merkel on the corona crisis – live

The latest figures inspire hope, says Chancellor Angela Merkel. Nevertheless, she warns: "We must not think that we our safe yet," says Merkel. "we cannot let our guard down." The situation is still tenuous.

15:27 Less money transfered to Africa

During the corona crisis, African migrants are transferring less money to their countries of origin. Many of the migrants have lost their jobs and incomes as a result of the pandemic in Europe and other regions, says Mohammed Abdiker, Regional Director for East Africa at the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The payments play a crucial role in the economies of the countries.

15:15 Polish citizens must cover their mouths

Poland starts demanding from citizens they cover their mouths: From April 16th, all citizens must cover their mouth and nose in public. "They do not have to wear a face mask, a neckerchief or scarf is also allowed," said Health Minister Lukasz Szumowski.

15:10 p.m. Around 80,000 applications for emergency child support

Around 80,000 parents have applied for emergency child support so far. The support was introduced in early Aprila as a result of the corona crisis. New calculation bases are valid until the end of September. Many employees in the family insurance funds are now working hard to make sure that families receive support, said Minister for Family Affairs Ms. Giffey.

15:00 Fed: 2.3 trillion US dollar for the economy

The US Federal Reserve Bank wants to provide additional emergency aid of $2.3 trillion to help the US economy. The new package mainly serves to support local governments and small and medium-sized enterprises. Among other things, four-year loans will be provided to companies with up to 10,000 employees through the banks.

14:54 Spahn: Easter holidays are a fork in the road

Health Minister Jens Spahn is satisfied with the development of the coronavirus numbers: the number of new infections  is "leveling off," he said. In Spahn's opinion, the restrictions on everyday life are showing results. He referred to the Easter holidays as a "fork in the road": "If we stay on our path over the weekend, a gradual return to normality will be more likely."

14:41 Millions lose their jobs in the USA

The number of unemployed people in the USA has risen dramatically once again. Last week, 6.6 million people registered as unemployed, the US Department of Labor reported. This means that around 16 million people in the USA lost their jobs within three weeks.

14:22 IMF: We are facing the worst economic crisis since Great Depression

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expecting the biggest economic crisis since the 1920s and 1930s. "We are anticipating the worst economic consequences since the Great Depression," said IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. Even in the best case scenario, we will experience only a "partial recovery" in the coming year; however, it could also get "worse".

13:40 Findings from the district of Heinsberg

In the municipality of Gangelt in North Rhine-Westphalia, which has been particularly hard hit by coronavirus, a study detected an infection in 15 percent of the examined citizens. This was reported by the head of the field study in the district of Heinsberg, virologist Hendrik Streeck, as he presented the first interim results. This indicates that 15 percent of the citizens in the municipality have now also become immune to the virus. Relative to the total number of infected persons, the likelihood of dying is 0.37 percent. The respective rate for Germany, as currently calculated by the Johns-Hopkins University in the USA, is 1.98 percent and thus five times higher, says Streeck.  

Stephan Pusch (CDU), the District Administrator for Heinsberg, said that the restrictive protection measures are showing results. The curve of the number of cases is flattening. "The district of Heinsberg has circumvented a huge catastrophe."

13:10 Söder: No plans to run for chancellor even after the coronavirus crisis

Leader of the CSU Markus Söder does not plan to pursue the chancellorship despite high popularity across Germany. "The question of how things will continue next year is not relevant for me at all. Moreover, we have a strong chancellor who greatly supports Bavaria." His place is and will remain in Bavaria, the Bavarian State Premier told the news agency dpa.

13:09 Flu outbreak is over - 411 deaths registered so far

The flu is barely an issue anymore in Germany. Positive test results have dropped to around 1 percent in the first week of April, as the Influenza Task Force at the Robert Koch Institute reported. In the previous week, this figure was still at eight percent. However, only a selection of about 500 medical practices in Germany send tests to the RKI. The results are extrapolated later on.  

The flu wave has already been abating since mid-March. It lasted about eleven weeks. According to the first estimates of the task force, a total of around 4.3 million people visited a family or pediatric practice due to influenza. Since the beginning of October, a total of 411 deaths caused by an influenza virus infection have been reported to the RKI. 86 percent of the deceased were aged 60 or older, the majority was over 80 years old.

12:37 More domestic production of protective clothing

The German government wants to increase the production of protective equipment such as masks in Germany. "The aim is to increase and strengthen domestic production in Germany and Europe," says Economics Minister Peter Altmaier. In his joint proposal with Health Minister Jens Spahn, the Corona Cabinet has set up a production and production capacity task force. In addition, Altmaier said that the German government was positive about the development of slower infection rates. "There is a silver lining on the horizon, even if it is still too early to give the all-clear," Altmaier said. There is still no reliable, clear trend. The rise in the infection curve has flattened out.

12:20 US studies: Coronavirus in New York originates mainly from Europe

According to studies, the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 was brought to the New York metropolitan area mainly by travellers from Europe and not from Asia. In addition, the virus had been circulating since mid-February, weeks before the first confirmed case of infection became known, reported "The New York Times". The paper cites genetic researcher Harm van Bakel of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who is co-author of one of the studies.

12:06 German hospitals: good equipment, but limited staff

According to a new study by the Institute of the German Economy (IW), there are six hospital beds per 1000 inhabitants in Germany. This means that Germany has the third highest bed density worldwide following Japan and South Korea. Italy has 2.6 beds per 1000 inhabitants, Great Britain 2.1. Germany is also the European leader in terms of intensive care beds and has about 20,000 ventilators available. In France, for example, there are only 5000, explained the IW experts. At the same time, however, they note a serious shortage of personnel. With 2.4 hospital doctors per 1000 inhabitants, Germany is only in the middle of the international field. Switzerland, for example, has a figure of 3.2, Denmark 2.8. The authors describe the lack of nurses as worrying. There are only 5.6 nurses per 1000 inhabitants. In Norway, however, there are nine.

11:30 Clinics and pharmaceutical companies targeted by hackers

German hospitals and pharmaceutical companies are increasingly the target of hacker attacks. The German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) has observed an increase in cyber attacks relating to the coronavirus for several days, according to the "Handelsblatt" newspaper. At the end of March, the authority reported attacks by the Chinese hacker group APT41, which has increasingly targeted foreign entities, including healthcare facilities, since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. This would exploit vulnerabilities in software from manufacturers such as Citrix, Cisco and Zoho. Many facilities are particularly vulnerable in the current crisis situation, as home office workstations equipped with private computers are often used.

11:05 Online portal helps in the fight against child abuse

The Federal Commissioner for Abuse, Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, has presented the online service It is intended to help in the fight against child abuse. The site provides a contact point if there is a suspicion of sexual violence against children. Experts have warned of an increase in domestic and family violence in view of the restrictions due to the coronavirus crisis. According to Rörig, the risk is also very high because day-care centers, schools, and sports clubs are closed where there would otherwise be a possibility that domestic violence could be noticed. The abuse commissioner asks the population to be more sensitive: it is important to address children and young people directly and show them that help is available.

10:50 650,000 Companies have announced short-time work

According to the Federal Agency for Employment, some 650,000 companies across Germany have announced short-time work due to the coronavirus. The number rose by almost 40 percent within one week. This takes into account notices received until April 6. According to the Federal Agency for Employment, almost all sectors have been affected. Hardest hit has been the retail trade and the hotel and restaurant industry. It is not yet possible to estimate how many employees will be affected by short-time work, said Detlef Scheele, head of the agency. His agency and the Federal Government assume that the record number of almost 1.5 million short-time workers in spring 2009 will be significantly exceeded.

10:17 Seasonal harvest workers are flown in

The first flights with harvest workers from Eastern Europe are expected today in Düsseldorf and Berlin. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, normal travel is not possible. According to Eurowings, about 20,000 workers are currently registered for the special flights. "We are relieved: Thanks to this regulation, our farms will remain able to continue operating", Farmers' President Joachim Rukwied told BR.

09:48 Fraud attempts: NRW stops payment of emergency aid

North Rhine-Westphalia has halted the payment of state emergency aid for single self-employed persons and micro-enterprises for the time being. This was decided in coordination with the State Office of Criminal Investigation, announced the Ministry of Economics. According to the report, operators have extracted data from fake sites with falsified application forms and presumably used them for criminal purposes. As a result, the state has instructed the district governments to suspend further payments for the time being. Filing applications would not be affected by this: Small businesses and self-employed persons can still apply for NRW emergency aid on the official website.

09:38 Aid organisations criticize closure of Italian ports

Several maritime rescue organisations have denounced Italy's decision to close all ports because of the coronavirus crisis. Italian citizens suffering due to the crisis should not be the reason for "denying aid to those that run the risk of suffocating, not in an intensive care bed but by drowning," said a joint statement by the organizations Doctors Without Borders, SOS Méditerranée, Sea Watch, and Open Arms on Wednesday. "All lives must be saved, all people at risk must be protected, on land as well as at sea," the organizations emphasized. "It is possible and necessary" to do so. The Italian Ministry of the Interior had stated on Tuesday that Italian ports could no longer be considered "safe" because of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, ships with rescued refugees on board are no longer able to dock at Italian ports.

09:27 Johnson's condition improving

The condition of British prime minister Boris Johnson is improving, according to his government. Johnson had been able to sit up and talk to medical staff, the culture secretary Oliver Dowden told the BBC. "I think things are getting better for him." Johnson had become infected with coronavirus and has been receiving treatment at the intensive care unit of a London hospital since the beginning of the week.

09:15 Pope must celebrate Easter without visitors

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the streets of Rome are currently deserted – and unusual sight just before Easter. And for the Pope, it will be quite a lonely Easter celebration.

09:08 Altmaier calls for patience until Easter

According to the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Peter Altmaier, the Easter holidays are crucial for the next steps in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Whilst there is some positive news at the moment, "it is too early to become complacent," the CDU politician said on German radio. The measures should continue to be implemented over Easter in a disciplined and responsible manner. "We will only know when and if we can ease these restrictions after Easter." And even then, a return to normal public life will not be immediate.

08:00 Here's what happened last night

  • CoViD-19 numbers for Germany: Robert Koch Institut reports 103,228 infected and 1,861 deaths
  • Jens Spahn outlines gradual normalization
  • Economic researchers expect severe recession
  • Eurogroup takes new start for a rescue package
  • Again almost 2,000 Corona deaths within one day in the U.S.