In Brief: German government urges people to download contact tracing ‘Corona-Warn-App’

German Health Minister Jens Spahn said though the “Corona-Warn-App” is a helpful tool, it’s “no panacea” and people must continue adhering to social distancing rules.

Photo (c) John Dickerson

 

By Sylvia Cunningham, William Glucroft and Monika Müller-Kroll

The German government is urging people to download its COVID-19 contact tracing app, which was made available on the German Apple Store and via Google Play yesterday.

Health Minister Jens Spahn told reporters the “Corona-Warn-App,” which uses Bluetooth technology to alert users if they’ve been near someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus, is a helpful tool as restrictions loosen.

But Spahn also cautions: “This app is no panacea.” He said people must continue to practice social distancing and follow hygiene rules.

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Berlin transit officials report the number of passengers wearing masks has declined since the rule was introduced at the end of April.

A BVG spokeswoman told KCRW Berlin that based on video footage and staff reporting, compliance is highest on buses and trams at 90% and 75% on subways.

She said that’s down several points since Berlin started easing restrictions – though she added, acceptance is still widespread and varies based on the time of day.

At stations and stops, mask wearing is significantly lower — 20% while waiting for buses and trams, and 50% on subway platforms.

In the coming weeks, the BVG says it plans to expand its masking requirement awareness campaign.

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The trial of the two right-wing extremists charged in the killing of Walter Lübcke began in Frankfurt yesterday, nearly a year after the CDU lawmaker’s death.

The lawyer for Lübcke’s family, Holger Matt, said he wants everything about the murder to come to light, including the planning, the execution and the motives of the perpetrators.

The defendants’ lawyers filed various motions to suspend the trial, which delayed the reading of the indictment for several hours.

The alleged shooter is Stephan Ernst, who is accused of killing the pro-immigration politician at his home last June. The 46-year-old initially confessed to the crime, but later recanted.

The other defendant, identified only as Markus H., is charged with aiding the killing.

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

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