In Brief: Germany passes 750 billion euro aid package to save economy amid coronavirus crisis

As the coronavirus infections in Germany skyrocket, the parliament passed a historic aid package to ease the impact of the pandemic on the country’s economy.

Photo by Monika Mueller-Kroll

By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and Monika Müller-Kroll

The German parliament passed an aid package worth 750 billion euros yesterday to ease the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy.

Some MPs said the vote generated complaints that the parliament violated Germany’s ban on gatherings. But Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble defended the session, saying the MPs must help Germans meet the many challenges caused by the pandemic.

He did limit the number of lawmakers in the chamber and ordered MPs to keep at least two empty seats between them.

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Germany’s Minister for Family Affairs Franziska Giffey is warning of an anticipated increase in domestic violence linked to coronavirus-related lockdowns.

Giffey announced plans to offer additional counseling services on existing helplines during the pandemic. This includes a special hotline for distressed children and teenagers.

The minister told reporters she’s already hearing from women’s shelters seeking more support for victims of domestic violence.

The children’s charity “Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk” says it also anticipates a rise in psychological and physical violence against children. The charity’s director told Funke media group that tensions escalate when people are stuck indoors.

The hotline for distressed children and teenagers or “Nummer gegen Kummer” is 116 111 and the hotline for parents or “Elterntelefon” is 0800 111 0550.

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The number of coronavirus infections in Germany is skyrocketing, but exactly how many people are sick varies depending on the source.

The Robert Koch Institute, which is Germany’s center for disease control, says it updates its list once a day and uses numbers sent electronically by the federal states.

The Johns Hopkins University dashboard, which is widely cited, is updated more frequently. Its researchers say their figures come from governments and global health monitors.

Meanwhile, Germany is reporting about 1,000 infected patients in intensive care, a number Health Minister Jens Spahn says hospitals here can manage for now.

 

This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.

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