11:04 a.m.: Telekom sends cell phone data to the RK

11:04 a.m.: Telekom sends cell phone data to the RK

12.43 p.m.: Cologne, 9 p.m .: applause from balconies and from open windows

At 9 p.m. on Tuesday evening in Cologne, applause suddenly broke out in many places, sometimes accompanied by cheers. Many people stood on balconies, at open windows and in gardens and followed by clapping a call for a solidarity campaign that had been spread via social networks. "Now it’s time to show solidarity and appreciation!", it said. "Everyone come to your windows and balconies tonight and applaud the people who are currently still working for us and society."

# Cologne claps for all nurses on duty. Thanks! #coronavirusdeutschland pic.twitter.com/CAVpxhBnQv

– Maxi Gstettenbauer (@MxGstettenbauer) March 17, 2020

12.33 p.m.: The French army flies corona patients from Alsace

The French army flies coronavirus patients from the risk area in Alsace for the first time. Six infected people were brought to the Mediterranean cities of Toulon and Marseille by military aircraft, according to military sources. This is to relieve hospitals in Mulhouse and Colmar in the south of Alsace. The area borders on Baden-Württemberg and Switzerland. In the south of France, intensive care patients are admitted to military hospitals.

The French region of Grand-Est had previously sounded the alarm because the hospitals are overloaded, especially in the Mulhouse area. The Robert Koch Institute classifies the entire Grand-Est region as a risk area. There were recently 1,820 infected people and 61 deaths. This makes it one of the hardest hit in France. At the urging of Baden-Württemberg and the Saarland, the federal government has reintroduced strict controls at the border.

12.29 p.m.: Warning of possible "mass extinction" in Syria

Aid organizations are warning of dramatic consequences if the new type of corona virus spreads among displaced people in northwest Syria. "Then, as brutal as it sounds, you can almost expect mass deaths"said Dirk Hegmanns, Welthungerhilfe’s regional director for Syria, to the German press agency. "Since the Russian Air Force has systematically destroyed clinics, there is no health care there." There are 50 ventilators in the entire north-west of Syria.

The region around the city of Idlib is the last major rebel area in the civil war country. According to UN estimates, almost a million people have fled the bombing and government troops since December. According to aid organizations, the humanitarian situation is dire anyway. There is an acute shortage of food, shelter and heating material. A ceasefire that the protecting powers Russia and Turkey had agreed upon has been in force for almost two weeks.

12.13 p.m.: The curfew in Belgium has begun

People in Belgium are expected to stay at home for 19 days to prevent the coronavirus from spreading further. At noon, a curfew began for the country’s nearly 11.5 million residents. All companies must – wherever possible – introduce telework, otherwise they face high fines.

Exceptions to the curfew are provided for important errands. People are allowed to leave their homes to work, to buy groceries and medicines, to visit the doctor and to do post or banking. Book shops and newsagents will also remain open. Walks and sports in the fresh air are not only allowed, they are even advised, said Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès when presenting the measures. However, citizens are only allowed to go out onto the street with a maximum of one accompanying person and must keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters from other people. Access to supermarkets will be limited so that customers don’t get infected with the coronavirus in a crowd. School lessons were suspended for three weeks on Monday.

11.56 a.m.: Tübingen institute tests Covid-19 drug

The Tübingen Institute for Tropical Medicine wants to test the drug chloroquine in the fight against corona diseases. As institute director Peter Kremsner announced on Wednesday, a study on humans is to begin in the coming week. The SWR had previously reported.

According to Kremsner, chloroquine has long been on the market as an anti-malarial agent. But it also works against many viruses – including Sars-CoV-2, as at least tests in the test tube have shown. According to Kremsner, a large number of Covid 19 patients have been treated with chloroquine in China and Italy. It is unclear, however, whether with success, since the sick had received chloroquine in some cases in very high doses and together with many other drugs. "It can also be that it does not work or even does harm"said Kremsner.

11:51 a.m.: The number of infected people exceeds the 10,000 mark

The number of coronavirus infected people in Germany has exceeded 10,000. There are currently 10,087 confirmed cases nationwide (as of March 18, 11:40 a.m.), as the figures from the federal states show after research by t-online.de. 26 people died.argumentative essay outline A map showing the distribution of infections across the federal states can be found here.

11.43 a.m.: Federal government plans for 2021 with a black zero for the time being

Regardless of the corona crisis, the federal government is planning to continue with a black zero for the 2021 budget. That emerges from the key points for the budget that were decided by the cabinet in the morning. The budget volume should therefore amount to 370.3 billion euros in the coming year.

11:04 a.m.: Telekom sends cell phone data to the RKI

Deutsche Telekom has provided the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) with anonymized customer data for research into the spread of the coronavirus. Scientists would use the information to map movement flows in order to make predictions about the spread of Covid-19 in Germany, said a Telekom spokeswoman. The information could be broken down to federal state and district level. You can find more information on the topic here.

10:57 a.m.: Cabinet advises on measures against the corona crisis

In the morning, the cabinet discussed the implementation of essential measures in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus. In the round, under the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), the pending questions of cross-border traffic in connection with the flow of goods and the campaign to bring German citizens back from abroad were discussed, according to government circles. In addition, it was about the travel warning in connection with the corona virus.

10.45 a.m.: Russia closes all schools across the country

Russia is now also closing its schools across the country. The students will be sent into the extended spring break for three weeks from next Monday, said Minister of Education Sergei Kravtsov, according to the Interfax agency. However, some schools have already closed in order to contain the spread of the new virus.

The minister said that students should be able to continue learning from a distance. Larger publishers therefore enable free access to learning materials on the Internet. In the largest country in the world in terms of area, more than 16 million children and young people go to school.

10:31 a.m.: Merkel gives a televised address in the evening

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) wants to address the population in the evening with a televised address. The speech should be broadcast after the main news on ARD and ZDF. "It’s not about new measures. It’s about what needs to be done in Germany now to slow the spread of the virus and how everyone should get involved"the spokesman continued. He countered possible speculation that Merkel could announce further restrictions on public life or even a curfew.

10.19 a.m .: "If we don’t reduce social contacts, we could get millions of people infected"

RKI President Lothar Wieler called in the fight against the virus to urgently adhere to the calls of the authorities. Wieler warned: "If we don’t manage to drastically reduce social contacts, we could have 10 million cases in Germany in a few months."

Wieler made an urgent appeal to doctors, hospitals and German citizens: "Restructure your doctor’s offices, isolate your coronavirus patients, coordinate with other practices. Expand the ventilation capacities in the clinics, activate all possibilities to increase the staff. It is imperative that you implement the measures of the federal government in everyday life, always keep at least one and a half meters distance from other people, avoid social contacts. Stay home if you show symptoms. Protect old and vulnerable people."

10.08 a.m .: "The epidemic will be on the way in Germany for weeks and months"

The President of the Robert Koch Institute, Lothar Wieler, is concerned about the spread of the corona virus in Germany. With a view to the rapidly increasing number of new infections, Wieler spoke of an exponential development. "We are at the beginning of an epidemic that will be in our country for many weeks and months", he said.

9.31 a.m.: Bavaria postpones the start of the Abitur exams

Bavaria is postponing the start of the Abitur exams from April 30 to May 20, 2020. "Despite the Corona crisis, we want to ensure fair conditions for our high school graduates"said Minister of Education Michael Piazolo (Free Voters). Due to the suspension of lessons until after the Easter break, the students would not have enough preparation time without a change in the schedule.

Due to the unclear developments in the spread of the virus, further changes in the process cannot be ruled out. "The current situation is a challenge for the whole school community and requires flexible action. We have to respond to changes"said Piazolo.

9 a.m.: Aid loans for coronavirus-stricken companies start

According to Finance Secretary Jörg Kukies, the German banks now have clarity about the specific conditions for auxiliary loans to companies. The state development bank KfW sent the corresponding conditions around on Wednesday morning. The funding programs were coordinated with the EU Commission and could now start in large volumes. KfW works according to the so-called pass-through principle, which means it does not have its own branches. A company must therefore apply for an aid loan from its commercial bank – and get it from KfW.

8.30 a.m.: Karliczek warns of hopes for a rapid corona vaccine

Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU) has warned against exaggerated hopes for the rapid development of a vaccine against the novel corona virus. Researchers everywhere were working flat out "but development takes time"said Karliczek "Passauer Neue Presse" from Wednesday. In the development of drugs, high safety standards apply that must be adhered to in order to rule out side effects. "As far as we can answer, we are accelerating the process"said the Minister.

The co-owner of the pharmaceutical company CureVac, the investor Dietmar Hopp, said the "picture"-Zeitung, if the vaccine development goes well, the company could "start clinical trials around early summer". Because the pressure is enormous "approval by the authorities should go faster than in other cases. So we would be able to deliver the vaccine in the fall".

7.30 a.m.: China only reports one new infection

China only reported one new coronavirus infection on Wednesday. For the second day in a row, there was only one new broadcast in the central city of Wuhan, the National Health Commission said. There are also twelve new cases in which the corona virus was introduced to China from abroad. This increased the number of imported infections to 155.

6.37 a.m.: Australia prohibits travel abroad

In the fight against the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Australian government has banned its citizens from traveling abroad until further notice. "It is the first time this has happened in Australian history"Prime Minister Scott Morrison said at a press conference in the capital Canberra on Wednesday. The ban applies for an indefinite period of time, he emphasized.

The greatest risk comes from Australians who were infected with Sars-CoV-2 abroad and are now returning to the country from overseas. Most of the cases in Australia are due to such returnees, said Morrison. Since the weekend, all immigrants have had to be in a two-week quarantine.

6.31 a.m.: Fear of corona bottlenecks: police exams brought forward

For fear of bottlenecks in the Corona crisis, Bavaria prefers the exams for police candidates. The final exams were originally supposed to start in May, now they have been brought forward to March 23, as a spokesman for the Bavarian riot police in Bamberg announced. Several media had previously reported.

"The reason for this is the duty of care, as the tests can currently still be carried out with all test subjects, which may no longer be the case in the future due to possible infections", said the riot police. After passing the exam, 800 new, ready-made police officers would be available – "and it could respond to possible staff shortages". The problem is expressly not yet posed.

6.23 a.m.: NRW: Further restrictions planned

As of today, further massive restrictions on public life will apply in North Rhine-Westphalia. Closed playgrounds, restaurants in short-term operation, school operations finally closed: "The situation is now dire"said North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Armin Laschet in a video message. "And therefore my appeal: stay at home."

All playgrounds and football fields are closed from Wednesday. In schools there are only care options for children whose parents are needed for the country’s critical infrastructure. Restaurants have to close at 3 p.m. "It may be delightful to sit outside in cafes and restaurants now in the fine weather, but the situation is too serious", Laschet emphasized with a view to temperatures of up to 19 degrees on Wednesday. Vacationers in North Rhine-Westphalia are also affected by the tightened measures against the virus: They have to leave because they are no longer allowed to stay in hotels and pensions.