By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, William Glucroft and Dina Elsayed
For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, Germany’s disease prevention authority this week reported more than 10,000 new COVID-19 cases in the country in a single day.
Dr. Lothar Wieler, who heads the Robert Koch Institute, said the climbing numbers are serious and that there are three times as many cases reported this week than two weeks ago.
Wieler added the number of people infected who are over 60 is also on the rise as are pandemic-related hospitalizations in Germany.
Meanwhile, news outlets report the Belgian foreign minister is in intensive care with COVID-19. Sophie Wilmès, who is 45, first reported being sick with the virus last weekend.
In Dresden, German authorities suspect Muslim extremism played a role in the stabbing of two tourists earlier this month.
Prosecutors have charged a 20-year-old Syrian man with murder, attempted murder and serious battery. He was arrested this week in connection with the double stabbing on Oct. 4.
Police say the suspect has a criminal record, including assault charges and soliciting support for a foreign terrorist organization. Public broadcaster ARD reports he used a kitchen knife in the stabbing of the two men from North Rhine-Westphalia.
News reports say the suspect came to Germany in 2015 and was denied asylum. He remained in the country on what’s known as a “Duldung” or tolerated status.
Germany’s federal public prosecutor has taken over the investigation from the authorities in Saxony, which is standard for suspected terrorism cases.
Berlin’s transit agency, BVG, will test two environmentally friendly double-decker buses in the city next month.
Public broadcaster rbb reports the rest of the fleet, about 200 buses, is set to arrive in the German capital by the end of 2022.
The Scottish-made buses will initially run on diesel engines but are expected to go electric in the future.
Each of the buses will have some perks for its 112 passengers, including USB charging sockets, as well as a display of how many seats remain free in the upper deck.
This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.