In Brief: Association of German zoos appeals to Merkel for 100 million euros in emergency aid

An association of more than 50 German zoos is appealing for 100 million euros in federal emergency aid. Its executive director says the money is urgently needed to stabilize the situation brought on by the coronavirus health crisis.

© 2020 Zoo Berlin.

 

By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, Sylvia Cunningham and Caleb Larson

German experts are predicting the coronavirus pandemic could peak here at the beginning of June if the ban on gatherings, and closures are lifted after Easter.

German media report that researchers at the Johannes-Gutenberg University of Mainz and the University of Hamburg predict about 1.3 million people would be infected in Germany during the peak.

The experts predict that extending the closures until mid-June could reduce the number of infected, but also delay the peak of the pandemic.

The researchers say that by August or September, the number could drop to zero.

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An association of more than 50 German zoos is appealing for federal emergency aid, saying that even though they are closed, they need to feed their animals and pay their staff. 

The executive director of the Association of Zoological Gardens, Volker Homes, says the zoos need 100 million euros, just to stabilize the situation brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

“At the moment they cannot reduce costs that much, but since they don’t have visitors they don’t have income,” Homes says.

He adds winter is normally a slower time for zoos anyway. Easter is when the visitors start pouring in again.

But with no date yet on when the restrictions on public life will end, Homes says the money is needed urgently.

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Countries like South Korea and Singapore are tracking the spread of their coronavirus infections through mobile apps, an idea that is gaining traction here in Germany.

In an interview with Deutschlandfunk, German Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht said a mobile app could be a useful tool to help trace coronavirus infections, but she said it’s very important that users decide whether to use such an app.

Lambrecht also added it’s important that the application stores user information anonymously and only temporarily.

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

For up-to-date information on what you should be doing to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, check our fact sheet. 

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