In Brief: Germany’s Red Cross reports blood donation shortages possibly linked to coronavirus fears

Food banks also say they are suffering shortages due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Photo by LuAnn Hunt on Unsplash


By Nikki Motson and Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson

All of Germany’s 16 states are now reporting cases of the coronavirus.

Food banks and the German Red Cross say they are suffering shortages due to the outbreak. The head of the Berliner Tafel aid organization says food donations are down because supermarket shelves are emptying out faster, as people stockpile food reserves.

And Kersten Schweiger of the German Red Cross says a reduction in blood donations is also endangering the chronically ill and injured.

Schweiger says donations  to aid ill patients must continue as normal. She says 650 blood donations are needed every day in Berlin and Brandenburg.


A new poll by German public broadcaster ARD finds that nearly two-thirds of German mayors have been threatened or attacked.

Of the 2,500 mayors who took part in the ARD survey, nearly one in ten reported being subjected to violence, including being attacked, spat on or beaten. That number climbed threefold among mayors of larger cities.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in a speech condemned such violence, which he said threatens democracy. Steinmeier added that local politicians should not become “doormats for the frustrated.”

Some researchers say mayors are more vulnerable because they are more accessible to the public than state or federal officials.

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

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