Now one of the three Berlin “Corona traffic lights” is on red. But what does that mean exactly? First of all: the traffic lights are a Berlin peculiarity. Unlike the other federal states, the city uses its own warning system.
There are traffic lights for the reproductive rate, the number of new infections and the occupancy of the intensive care beds with Covid 19 patients.
The Berlin Senate decided on the traffic light system after the other countries and the federal government had agreed on the upper limit for the number of infections. According to this, counties or independent cities should implement a consistent restriction concept if more than 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants are counted within seven days.
For a large city like Berlin, however, this is “not practical” from the Senate’s point of view. Because this would mean 1,800 cases per week – at the peak of the contagions in the city, there were about 1,200. According to the plan, the traffic light system should react more sensitively to the situation.
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The state government now explains the system as follows: If two of the three traffic lights are yellow, there is “need for discussion” and “preparation of possible measures” is necessary. If there are two reds, there is a need to intervene, which then means that loosening will only come later – or, in the worst case, withdrawn entirely.
The much-discussed R value
The traffic light for the reproduction rate now stands in red: the much-discussed R-value exceeded 1.2 in three days. The value indicates how many other people are infected on average by an infected person.
It is currently 1.37. The traffic light lights up yellow from 1.1. “We now have to see whether this crossing of the red line remains constant,” Health Senator Dilek Kalayci (SPD) said on Monday in the Health Committee.
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The second traffic light shows the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days, the so-called incidence. At 20 it switches to yellow, at 30 to red.
The Senate therefore applies the stricter standard here than the federal and state governments had agreed. In the case of five new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in a week (as of Monday evening), the traffic light still shows green.
The occupancy of the intensive care beds is indicated by the third traffic light. If 15 percent are occupied by Covid 19 patients, the color changes from green to yellow and 25 percent to red. 4.7 percent were occupied on Monday evening – everything was still in the green range.