LIVE-TICKER Coronavirus – EU summit approves 500 billion aid package

April 23, 2020 – 8:03 p.m.

In the video: These are the changes to the corona measures

How important are caregivers? Very much – the corona crisis shows this once again. Politicians now want to make this clear in their money bags too. And why wearing face masks can really mean stress. In the live ticker you will find all important information and developments.

Here you will find an overview of the changed measures of the federal states and everything from A to Z you need to know about the corona virus.

TVNOW documentary: Zero Hour – Race with the Virus

How do we defeat Corona? See the TVNOW document: “Zero Hour – Race with the Corona Virus” (part 2)


7:20 p.m. – Merkel: EU summit approves 500 billion aid package

The EU summit approved the agreed loan support package of up to 540 billion euros for short-time workers, companies and indebted countries. Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed this after the video conference of the European Council. The aid should be ready by June 1st. The heads of state and government had not reached agreement on all points, but they agreed that one had to work together, said Merkel.

The EU finance ministers agreed on the package two weeks ago. It contains three points – a “safety net” for jobs, for small and medium-sized companies and for troubled countries like Italy or Spain, which are in debt anyway and are now hard hit by the Corona pandemic.

6:55 pm – Police officer died of coronavirus – possibly infected on duty

A 57-year-old police officer from the Munich airport police died on Sunday morning after being infected with the corona virus. According to initial investigations, the official on duty may have contracted the novel lung disease. The policeman had been working at the airport since 1992 and worked in a special team that was responsible for the care of protectors, such as politicians.

Six other members of his team are now in quarantine. As confirmed by Hans-Peter Kammerer, head of the Presidential Office in the Police Headquarters Upper Bavaria in Ingolstadt on RTL request, other team members were also infected.

6:45 p.m. – Vice Chancellor Scholz guarantees that the corona measures will be lifted

According to Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the restrictions on public life will be completely withdrawn as soon as possible. “I guarantee that,” says the finance minister on ZDF. The restrictions were put in place because of the health risks and were not intended to be permanent. Given the progress made in the fight against the new type of corona virus, the economy is already easing first. The government will examine exactly how this works. “We must not jeopardize this success.”

6:30 p.m. – Wildlife conquers the beaches of Mallorca

No more crowds, no more party noise. As in all of Spain, there is also a strict curfew in Mallorca. The gastronomy at the famous Ballermann is closed, there is no trace of holidaymakers anywhere. The animal world has therefore recaptured the otherwise busy area. Pigeons and ducks all over the city and in the bay of Cala Mesquida, even the goats run again on the beach. Spain is one of the worst affected countries in the corona crisis, with over 213,000 people infected.

6:23 p.m. – Worship in NRW possible again from May

Religious services and religious gatherings will again take place publicly in North Rhine-Westphalia in May. The state government announced on Thursday after discussions with church representatives about protection concepts. Churches and religious communities in North Rhine-Westphalia decided not to hold public meetings in the course of the Corona crisis. There was no ban on worship.

6:03 p.m. – Lufthansa with loss of EUR 1.2 billion in the quarter

The corona pandemic caused a substantial loss for Lufthansa in the first quarter. The decrease in adjusted EBIT was 1.2 billion (previous year: 336 million) euros, as the group announced on Thursday. Group sales fell by 18 percent to 6.4 billion euros. In March alone, it slumped 47 percent. It is currently not foreseeable when the group airlines can resume flight operations. “The group therefore expects a significantly higher operating loss in the second quarter than in the first quarter,” added the airline.

5:46 p.m. – France continues to restrict drug exports despite EU request

According to information from EU circles, France continues to restrict exports of medicinal products, despite a call from the European Union. These include agents such as Remdesivir, which are being tested as possible active substances against Covid-19.

In addition, deliveries of certain antibiotics and pain relievers, but also insulin, are restricted. Reuters was given access to an internal EU list on April 1, according to which drug shortages in Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium, among others, are at risk.

5:01 pm – Rapid rise in unemployment in the United States

As a result of the corona pandemic, millions of people in the United States have submitted their first jobless claim for the fifth week in a row. 4.4 million new applications were registered in the week ending April 18, the U.S. Department of Labor announced on Thursday. As a result, more than 26 million people lost their jobs within five weeks. In the previous week alone, 5.2 million people had submitted an initial application for support.

The initial applications are an indicator of the short-term development of the labor market in the world’s largest economy. They now point to a dramatic economic downturn as a result of the Corona crisis. By March, the number of initial applications had regularly been below 100,000 a week.

4:30 p.m. – Söder warns of the consequences of too rapid a loosening

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder warns of the risk of immense damage if the restrictions in the corona crisis are eased prematurely. In this case, there is a risk of an uncontrolled spread of the pandemic. “If there is a relapse, the economic damage can no longer be quantified and compensated for,” says the CSU chief at a joint appearance with the Baden-Württemberg Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann in Ulm.

4:00 p.m. – Mediengruppe RTL goes into short-time work

Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland is expected to go into short-time work of 80 percent from May, but discussions are still ongoing as to whether certain areas such as the editorial section will be excluded. The media group’s channels include RTL, ntv, Vox, RTLzwei, Nitro, Super RTL and payment channels such as RTL Crime.

The short-time work should initially apply for four months, the media group plans to increase the salary to 100 percent during this time. An internal mask requirement was also introduced in May.

3:50 p.m. – Coronavirus is likely to enter the body through the nose

According to a study, special cells in the nose are the most likely entry points for the new coronavirus. Several research teams had examined cells from the lungs, nose, eyes, intestines, heart, kidneys and liver, as reported by the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) in Berlin on Thursday. “We then showed that of all cells, the mucus-producing goblet cells and cilia in the nose have the highest concentrations of these two proteins,” explained lead author Waradon Sungnak of the Wellcome Sanger Institute. “This makes these cells the most likely primary route of infection for the virus.”

3:15 p.m. – No Bundesliga for the time being

Football fans have had to do without the 1st and 2nd Bundesliga since the middle of March because of the corona pandemic – and it will remain so for the time being. Politicians have to set the date for a new start, said DFL boss Christian Seifert on Thursday after the general meeting of the German Football League.

2:40 pm – Consumer advocates are demanding enough masks for everyone

In view of the obligation to wear a mask, the consumer advice centers in all federal states demand that the population be adequately supplied with the appropriate everyday protective wipes. “It is crucial that all people are cared for, including those who cannot afford it,” said Klaus Müller, head of the Federal Association of Consumer Centers (vzbv), the newspapers of the Funke media group. The basic condition for the introduction of the obligation to wear is “that there are enough mouth-nose masks available”. “It has to be clear where the masks to be worn come from and that they are available all over Germany without queues.” At present, they can only be obtained in many places at a cost that is not insignificant for financially weak people.

13:58 – Berlin’s Senator for Education calls for the playgrounds to be opened

Berlin’s Senator for Education Sandra Scheeres (SPD) has asked the districts of the capital to reopen the playgrounds. “Especially daycare centers and children’s shops without their own outdoor facilities must be able to use the playgrounds again. Families who live with children in the densely built-up city center also have to rely on it,” she told the German Press Agency on Wednesday. Even if you do not want to open the playgrounds completely again, you can find regulations for restricted use. Berlin Mayor Michael Müller (SPD) emphasized on Tuesday that the decision to open the playgrounds was up to the districts. The district mayors want to discuss this on Thursday.

1:41 pm – Women’s football championship postponed by one year

After the postponement of the men’s European Championship and the Olympic Games in 2021 due to the corona crisis, the women’s soccer European Championship will also take place a year later than planned. As the European Football Union (UEFA) announced on Thursday, the tournament will be held in England due to the schedule clashes from July 6 to 31, 2022. The World Cup for men in Qatar takes place in the same year, but in winter. Originally, the 13th European Championship for women was to be held in the mother country of football from 7 July to 1 August 2021, and the planned ten venues will be held.

1:20 p.m. – Police officer calls for “walk” in Saxony

In Pirna, Saxony, a police officer of all people called for a walk on Wednesday evening. Initially, five people took part in the meeting. More and more people joined in during the walk until there were finally around 180 people. The police threatened to break up the meeting if the 49-year-old organizer did not do so himself. The man is now under investigation.

You can find more information about the incident here.

12:58 p.m. – WHO Europe: “We are still in very turbulent waters”

The World Health Organization’s European Office has called on European countries to exercise caution in easing the measures taken in the corona crisis. Any moderation in social and physical distance measures must be considered with extreme caution and undertaken gradually, WHO regional director Hans Kluge said on Thursday at his weekly online press conference. “We are still in very turbulent waters and will remain so for some time to come,” he said. Almost half of all cases of infection worldwide have been detected in Europe, and of the ten countries that have had the most new infections in the past 24 hours, six are in the European region.

Virologist Christian Drosten also warns against rash loosening.

12:31 pm – Corona program: Free rental cars also for carers and rescuers

The state program for free rental cars in the health sector is being expanded due to high demand in the corona crisis, according to NRW Transport Minister Hendrik Wüst (CDU). So far, employees in “acute hospitals” with Corona patients have been able to use rental cars free of charge – provided they do not have their own car. The measure is now being extended to employees of the public ambulance service, inpatient care facilities for the elderly, as well as psychiatric and dialysis centers. The offer runs until the end of June. The budget originally envisaged has now been quintupled to five million euros.

12:20 pm – Corona-Herd: Cruise ship “Ruby Princess” leaves Australia

Coronavirus – Australia

© dpa, Dean Lewins, dl ss esz fgj

The cruise ship “Ruby Princess”, the largest corona focus in Australia, has left the continent for the Philippines. Around 500 crew members were on board, as the dpa British-American company Carnival Cruise said on Thursday. 33 employees who tested positive for the pathogen Sars-CoV-2 were in hotels in quarantine. The “Ruby Princess” had moored off Sydney on March 8 after 11 days at sea. The roughly 2,700 travelers were released after only minimal controls, although there were cases of breathing difficulties. After that, according to health authorities, with 650 cases more than every tenth virus patient in Australia was a “Ruby Princess” passenger. 21 of the 76 people who died from Covid-19 lung disease had previously been on the ship.

12:10 p.m. – Volkswagen is producing cars again in Germany

The car maker Volkswagen resumed domestic vehicle production in Zwickau, Saxony on Thursday. After more than five weeks of a Corona forced break, the belts started up in Hall 5 of the first VW electric car factory in the morning – but at half the pace. “Health comes first,” said Reinhard de Vries, Managing Director Technology and Logistics at Volkswagen Saxony. For the time being, 50 vehicles are to be built in just one shift per day, a third of the previous volume. Extensive hygiene and distance rules are designed to ensure the safety of the 1,500 employees who will be brought back from short-time work this week.

11:57 – Corona crisis threatens thousands of driving schools in Germany

According to a survey, the Corona crisis could put more than 3,000 driving schools in Germany out of action. The state’s economic support is not enough for 30 percent of those surveyed to maintain their business, according to a survey published by the industry association Moving on Thursday, according to the dpa. “The driving schools need a short-term perspective in order to preserve jobs in a systemically relevant profession and, among other things, to make the urgently necessary professional driver training possible,” said association president Jörg-Michael Satz.

According to Moving, there are currently around 10,000 driving schools in Germany. Because of the measures to contain the corona virus, they have to remain closed for the time being.

11:43 am – Söder wants to abolish solos

Immediately after the coalition agreement on further state aid in the corona crisis, CSU leader Markus Söder called for the solidarity surcharge to be abolished before this summer. “Tax cuts instead of increases are the right concept in the crisis,” wrote the Prime Minister of Bavaria on Thursday. “Gastronomy could be the pioneer for other areas. Next, the soli should be abolished before the summer.”

So far, the coalition has agreed to abolish the solidarity surcharge nationwide in 2021 for around 90 percent of payers. At a meeting of the coalition committee in March, the SPD had already suggested that this step be brought forward to the summer. The Union ultimately did not agree to this – whereby the CSU in particular has long been calling for the solos not only to be abolished for 90 percent, but for everyone.

11:20 am – France wants to open all stores from May 11th

If the coronavirus protection measures are relaxed in mid-May, France also wants to allow all retail stores to open. “We want all retailers to be able to open the same way on May 11th for fairness,” said Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire at Radio France Info. However, it remains to be seen whether this will be possible nationwide or only regionally. However, restaurants, bars and cafes should remain closed.

10:45 am – Rostock declared “Corona-free”

Mayor Claus Ruhe Madsen has declared the Hanseatic city “Corona-free”. There is currently no active case that the last patient has quarantined. In the past four weeks, 75 Corona cases have been registered among the almost 210,000 inhabitants. The measures taken early had a successful effect, said Madsen.

You can read here which measures the city of Rostock had taken in detail.

10:35 am – World Medical President criticizes mask requirement in Germany

World Medical President Frank Ulrich Montgomery was critical of the decision to make a mask in the fight against the corona virus in the newspaper “Rheinische Post”. If used improperly, masks could even become dangerous. From Montgomery’s point of view, there should only be a legal mask requirement for real protective masks – a requirement for scarves or shawls is “ridiculous”. More information here.

10:05 am – Do you already know the “Covidiot”?

Hamster purchases

Who hamsters toilet paper is a “covidiot”.

© German press agency

New words have also emerged in connection with the corona virus in recent weeks. Such as “Covidiot”. The term, which is made up of the words “Covid” and “Idiot”, stands for someone who does not take the virus seriously. According to the definition of the Babbel language app, “Covidiot” also refers to people who act in a non-solidarity manner and make hamsters in the supermarket. Apropos: The word “buying hamsters” is currently experiencing a real renaissance. For all those who see the light of day at the end of 2020, “The Coronials” is currently being hotly traded as a future generation name.

9:45 am – China donates $ 30 million to WHO

China has made an additional $ 30 million available to the World Health Organization (WHO). A spokeswoman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted that the money should be used to fight Covid-19. US President Donald Trump has stopped payments to WHO. He accuses WHO of making gross mistakes in fighting the pandemic and being too close to China.

9:15 am – Angela Merkel: it is “cruel”

Chancellor Angela Merkel defends her corona policy – with a lot of emotion! With regard to people in nursing and old people’s homes, in her government statement she says: It is “cruel” when people die alone. “It also bother me when children cannot play with friends,” she said of the contact block. “We are not living in the final phase of the pandemic,” said Merkel in the Bundestag. The population will have to deal with the virus and the restrictions in public life for a long time: “We can only end the pandemic with a vaccine.” The restrictions are “an imposition” for democracy. The relevant decisions were not easy for her, but necessary. The federal and state resolutions on the first easing of the conditions are supported, but one should not gamble away what has been achieved and risk a setback. To act “wisely and carefully” was the order of the day.

9:05 a.m .: Nicotine patches against Covid-19

Does nicotine slow down the growth of coronavirus cells? A study of smokers less likely to get Covid-19. French scientists now want to get to the bottom of this. The rate of smokers among Covid 19 patients worldwide is between 1.4 and 12.5 percent, according to several studies. At a Paris hospital, people now want to test the preventive and therapeutic effects of nicotine patches.

8:30 a.m. – New Corona help also for schoolchildren

The federal government wants to support schools and students with digital lessons at home with 500 million euros. Among other things, needy pupils should receive a grant of 150 euros for the purchase of appropriate equipment. All information on the new aid worth billions, which the grand coalition has agreed on, can be found here.

8:00 am – “The Liar Tweets Tonight” – anti-Trump anthem goes viral

Take a well-known melody (“The Lion Sleeps Tonight”) and a few slogans from Donald Trump – and a new hit is born. Cabaret artist Roy Zimmerman shows US President Donald Trump in the song “The Liar Tweets Tonight” based on previous statements about the corona pandemic. The clip is an absolute hit on the net.

7:45 am – Almost a fifth of German companies are planning to cut jobs

According to the ifo Institute, almost a fifth of German companies are planning to cut jobs in the wake of the crisis. 18 percent of the companies wanted to fire employees or not to extend fixed-term contracts, the institute said, citing its April survey. 46 percent of the companies wanted to postpone investments, almost 50 percent would do short-time work.

7:35 a.m. – Daimler reports extreme drop in profits

  DEU Germany, Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart, April 19, 2020 - After four weeks of standstill due to the corona pandemic in large parts of the production, the car manufacturer Daimler is starting up its plants again on Monday. Here is the Möhringen branch. *** DEU

When it comes to profits, the Corona crisis has slowed the company down considerably.

© imago images / Arnulf Hettrich, Arnulf Hettrich via,

The corona crisis led to a slump in profits for the automaker Daimler in the first quarter and makes it impossible to make a precise forecast for the year as a whole. From January to March, earnings before interest and taxes dropped 78 percent to 617 million euros, the Dax group announced in a mandatory announcement on Thursday night.

There were already deep signs of a brake on the Corona crisis when it came to sales: the passenger car subsidiary Mercedes-Benz sold 15 percent less worldwide in the first quarter, while sales in the truck business dropped 20 percent. Production at Daimler only started slowly again this week in Europe after a four-week break. The car dealerships opened. In China, production has already returned to normal.

07:20 – UN Secretary General: “The threat is the virus, not the people”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has warned of respect for human rights in the fight against the corona virus. Combating corona should not be an excuse for repression. In some societies, hate speech would increase and minorities would become the target of aggression. “We have seen the virus itself not discriminate but its effects – by uncovering deep weaknesses in public services and structural inequalities that hinder access to them,” Guterres said in a video message Thursday. Human rights should therefore be at the center of the response to the pandemic. “Let us never forget – the threat is the virus, not the people.”

07:00 a.m. – Current figures from Germany and the world

country Infected dead
Worldwide 2,628,916 183,441
USA 842.376 46,784
Spain 208,389 21,717
Italy 187.327 25,085
France 157.135 21,340
Germany 150,648 5,315
Great Britain 134,638 18,100
Turkey 98,674 2,376

Source: Johns Hopkins University

6:30 a.m. – More short-time work allowance, less catering VAT

After a marathon session, the grand coalition agreed on new billion-dollar aid for employees, restaurants, businesses and schools at night. Short-time work benefits are to be increased in order to compensate for loss of income, especially for low-wage earners. The catering industry, which is particularly hard hit by the crisis, will receive tax relief. At the same time, the duration of the unemployment benefit is extended. An overview of the decisions.

11:00 p.m. – Current figures from Germany and the world

country Infected Deaths
USA 839.836 46,399
Spain 208,389 21,717
Italy 187.327 25.985
France 159,315 21,373
Germany 149,771 5,211
Great Britain 134,637 18,151
Worldwide 2,623,231 182,740

Source: Johns Hopkins University

10:25 p.m. – Denmark allows foreign family members to enter again

The Danish government eased entry requirements on Wednesday due to the corona pandemic. Foreign spouses and life partners as well as children and parents of Danes can now return to the country even if they do not have a residence permit. Denmark was one of the first countries in Europe to close almost the passenger border on March 14th due to the Corona crisis. Only foreigners who had an important reason were allowed to enter. “However, people with symptoms continue to be rejected at the border,” Foreign and Integration Minister Mattias Tesfaye said in parliament.

9:30 p.m. – Ramelow with everyday mask on the asparagus field

April 22, 2020, Thuringia, Kutzleben: Bodo Ramelow (Die Linke), Prime Minister of Thuringia, presents an asparagus spear in a field of the Spargelhof Kutzleben. The company in the Unstrut-Hainich district is one of the largest asparagus growers in Thuringia

Asparagus harvest at the Kutzleben asparagus farm

© dpa, Martin Schutt, msc htf

Black suit, blue tie – and a cloth over your mouth and nose: Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (left) set a good example on Wednesday with the asparagus pricking. The red and green cloth with which the head of government protected large parts of his face was, according to the imprint, a remnant from older times. It promoted the German Hiking Day three years ago – and “Luther 2017”.

8:55 pm – Virus detected for the first time in US pets

ARCHIVE - The two-month-old cat Delayla is sitting in the cat room of the animal shelter in Mainz on June 27th, 2008. While some enjoy their summer vacation in a relaxed manner, others have to toil: Animal shelters and pensions are always on during their long vacations

An infected person actually lived in just one household. (Icon image)

© dpa, Fredrik von Erichsen

In the USA, the novel corona virus has been detected in pets for the first time. Two domestic cats in the state of New York were tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the US health agency CDC announced on Wednesday. Both animals that lived in different locations in the state had had respiratory problems. In one case, the cat’s owner had previously tested positive for the virus. In the other case, no infection is known in the affected household.

The agency said there is currently no evidence that pets have played a role in the spread of the corona virus. There is therefore no reason for measures against pets. The health authority advised that pets outside of their own household should not be allowed to come into contact with other animals or people. Sick people should stay away from their pets and other animals.

8:30 p.m. – British virologist: little chance of vaccine in 2021

England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty sees little chance of an effective remedy for the disease in the coming year. In the long term, there are two things you can get out of the current situation, he says: Either “a highly effective vaccine and / or a very effective medication”. However, the probability that they will be available in the coming year is “incredibly low”. You have to see this realistically.

News from April 22nd

You can read all developments from April 22nd here.


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