Berlin, April 10 (IANS) Germany’s largest university hospital, Berlin’s Charite, has sounded the alarm over the third wave of worsening coronavirus infections in the country.
“If the number of seriously ill Covid-19 patients exceeds that experienced during the second wave, we will be in a critical situation,” said Martin Kreis, board member at Charite, news agency DPA reported.
Earlier in the year, the number of severe Covid-19 cases in the Charite intensive care unit reached its absolute limit. As a result, the hospital was unable to accept patients from other parts of Germany.
“We will continue to do everything in our power to treat patients from the Berlin region,” said Kreis.
The number of people entering the intensive care unit at Charite has increased significantly over the past two weeks, with the 30-60 year age group being particularly affected as they are less likely to receive vaccinations.
Although a large proportion of the hospital workforce are now vaccinated, many are suffering from exhaustion and trauma from the many coronavirus-related deaths, Kreis said.
Germany is battling a third wave of infections driven primarily by the British variant virus.
The Robert Koch Institute for disease control said on Saturday that 24,097 cases and 246 deaths had been registered within 24 hours. The seven-day incidence rate per 100,000 population is 120.6.
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He was born in Greece, attended schools in France, Germany and Scotland, trained in England and served in World War II naval theater in the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.
And, 10 times with his wife and less often alone, Prince Philip – who died Friday at age 99 – crossed many oceans to reach a collection of islands so distant from British monarchy a few kilometers further and he would find himself on his way back.
The first time, in the summer of 1953-1954, his wife Elizabeth was not only the newly crowned Queen, but also a mother of two.
Preparations, despite being offset by the Tangiwai tragedy – Prince Philip will lay wreaths at a mass funeral for victims of the Christmas Eve disaster – go far beyond digging up pregnant women.
Sheep tinged with Union Jack colors, sails erected to block tired buildings and armies of children in freshly sewn clothes were dispatched to parks, squares and train stations across the country.
Rotorua girl Miriama Searancke, 13, was among them, walking into Arawa Park with thousands of players and spectators in her new red boots with the Crown and the initials ER on the side.
“Everyone comes to perform for the Queen,” Searancke told the Daily Post in 2018.
“It was amazing.”
The 38-day tour takes the couple to 46 major cities and 110 events, with three-quarters of the country thought to have seen a royal surge.
Like all of the couple’s official tours over the past seven decades of marriage, Prince Philip is usually in the background.
When Pat Jamieson joined the crowd chanting “We want the Queen” outside the Revington Hotel in Greymouth, he was sure he actually took the couple to the balcony. after – in a moment of silence – shouting “I want Duke”.
The 11-year-old had shared a moment with the empress earlier in the day after running half a mile beside their car during a street parade, she later told the NZHistory Government website.
“The Duke of Edinburgh looked across and said, ‘If you run any further, you’ll explode.'”
He’s known for his long list of blunt – and often outrageous – comments.
One, drawn up in a 1954 letter to Australian politician Sir Harold Hartley and unearthed last year, paints a different picture of the Duke of Edinburgh’s thinking about New Zealand and its inhabitants than one can get from spontaneous waves or the laying of wreaths.
Māori are treated in New Zealand like “museum objects and pets”, he wrote, and the country is a “perfect welfare state” that is “excessively regulated with little room for initiative”.
However, he was impressed by the exhibits of the Māori culture museum, a special interest after reading The Coming of the Māori by Sir Peter Buck / Te Rangi Hīroa (Ngāti Mutunga).
And her people are “universally charming and overall most caring,” he wrote.
He would return two years later – alone – to appear after the Melbourne Olympics.
A decade after their first hugely successful New Zealand tour, the royal couple sailed to the Bay of Islands on Royal Yacht Britannia on Waitangi Day 1963, visiting ports across the country, including Nelson, where the Duke – whose flagship Duke of Edinburgh rewards program helped thousands of children young people rule a precious life skills – visit the Outward Bound School in Anakiwa.
The Queen and Duke, along with young Prince Charles and Princess Anne, returned seven years later for James Cook’s bicentennial, during which they debuted with the royal “walkabout”.
The royal couple will return to the Commonwealth Games in Christchurch four years later, three years after that to mark the Queen’s Silver Celebration – considered by some to be the closest to the joy of a quarter of a century earlier – and, in 1981, a brief visit following the Heads of the Commonwealth Government conference through the trench .
It may have been brief, but the 1981 tour left the country with captivating memories of Ginette McDonald’s Lyn of Laughter speaking directly to royals at the Royal Variety Performance.
McDonald’s, characterized by a no-bra outfit, blue jumpsuit, and wide Kiwi accent, won over the Duke when he commented on the royals opening the memorial pool at Laughter.
“The Queen doesn’t laugh at anything,” McDonald later told New Zealand Women’s Weekly.
“Prince Philip who is engaged to me. We met them after that and he mumbled something in my ear. He said he liked the sound of the ‘piddling’ pool.”
The next most notable visit came in 1990, when New Zealand marked 150 years since the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Auckland hosted the Commonwealth Games, with the Queen, Duke and their son Prince Edward in attendance.
The couple’s last visit to New Zealand was in 2002, with the only fault being related to the faulty Daimler, who suffered a flat battery.
Daimler, which is only used for visiting heads of state, has a flat battery.
As the royal couple waits on their now stationary plane bound for Australia, airport workers have the embarrassing task of pushing the incapacitated car off course.
City of Speyer, Germany (source: flickr / Daniel Sancho, creative commons)
The utility town of Speyer, Germany is looking for ways to expand renewable energy for its district heating system with geothermal seen as a top option.
Municipal power company Stadtwerke Speyer (SWS) has announced plans to become climate neutral for electricity by 2030 and warming by 2040. Geothermal energy must also make a contribution.
So while utilities are already making big strides forward in utilizing renewable energy, in the context of this heat it can still be expanded, said Wolfgang Bühring, SWS Managing Director.
The share of “green energy” in district warming is currently only around 30 percent. The majority comes from neighboring Mannheim, where waste heat from coal-fired power plants flows into heating grids. The green portion was contributed largely by MVV thermal waste recycling at Friesenheimer Insel.
In addition to decentralized heat generation, for example within the CHP unit, Stadtwerke Speyer is currently examining the contribution of deep geothermal energy to climate neutral heat supply. They have been working with Stadtwerke Schifferstadt here for three years. The two municipal utilities jointly have a search permit for the “Rhein-Pfalz” field, which covers about 150 square kilometers. According to SWS spokesman Rheinpfalz Sonja Daum reported this at a city council meeting.
District heating networks have been installed in many parts of the city, the coal-fired power plant in Mannheim will have to be disconnected from the grid by 2038 – most likely much earlier. So it makes sense to use the good geothermal potential of Upper Rhine Graben in Speyer and Schifferstadt as well.
Germany’s clash against Australia was intended as an opportunity for the hosts to gauge their mettle against other top teams. In contrast, the increasingly common complications of COVID-19 are forcing new faces to emerge in Wiesbaden.
Just hours before the match, Germany announced defender Felicitas Rauch had tested positive for COVID-19, while team-mates Lena Oberdorf, Sara Doorsoun and Svenja Huth had to be quarantined despite negative test results due to their close contact with Rauch.
With talisman midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan unavailable for this match due to a series of positive COVID-19 cases at his club Lyon, Germany will have to adapt. Four of head coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s eleven players have five caps or less.
Despite their experiences, young Germans never seem out of place. After controlling Australia, the hosts dominated the rest of the match.
Sjoeke Nüsken, winning his second caps, scored an early goal. The 20-year-old midfielder looks as comfortable as on the international stage. Nüsken elegantly dribbled the ball out of space, launched into attacks with some perfectly weighted passes, and annoyed his opponent along with his tireless partner in the center, Sara Däbritz.
The goal immediately snatched away Australia’s growl, and the German youth team continued on, never to lower their intensity. Much had been made to face Sam Kerr before the match, but Jana Feldkamp, a surprise starter after Oberdorf was forced into quarantine, impressively tackled one of the best strikers in the world.
Laura Freigang, who is comparatively a veteran of five outstanding appearances, has been particularly impressed by how her Feldkamp and her fellow defenders have been built from the back.
“We said before the game we wanted to be brave and you saw it against the top teams today. We didn’t shy away despite their high pressure, we played our game, built from behind and that led to our success,” he told DW after the final whistle.
With a frustrated Kerr kicked out of the match, Germany can focus on advancing. First half mastery was turned into a second half of onslaught.
Not wanting to be outdone by his young counterparts, substitute and debutant Jule Brand scored in just three minutes of his career in Germany before adding an assist on Laura Freigang’s finish two minutes later for good measure. If one of the young core hosts was nervous, they didn’t show up.
Even though Emily Glienik’s late two goals snatched Merle Frohms’ clean sheet, it didn’t matter. At that time Germany had scored five goals.
After suffering their first defeat since 2019 at the hands of the Netherlands, Germany took the opportunity to test themselves against other top teams. Germany took the last minute of a four-man loss in stride, with Nüsken, Feldkamp and Brand shining. Despite a few late hiccups at the back, the Germans have passed their latest test in a flash.
The German Christian Church is gearing up to hold their annual Week of Life April 17-24, which will focus on the importance of palliative care and pastoral support for those who are dying.
By Lisa Zengarini
Christian churches in Germany will focus their annual ecumenical ‘Week for Life’ on people who are dying or seriously ill.
Titled “Living in Death”, this week will be celebrated from April 17-24, in Augsburg, and is hosted by the Catholic Bishops Conference (Dbk) together with the German Evangelical Church (EKD).
The debate about euthanasia
The theme was chosen based on the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, but also from current discussions on legalizing euthanasia in the country, following last year’s controversial ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court.
In February 2020, the Karlsruhe Court allowed pro-euthanasia associations that help people to commit suicide to publicize their activities, declaring a law approved by the Bundestag (German Parliament) in 2015 unconstitutional.
As a result, the current law must be changed and the Bundestag is expected to discuss the matter next week. In a statement in January, German Bishop Matthias Kopp’s spokesman reiterated that, from a Christian point of view, “assisted suicide is not an ethically acceptable option.” He said that what was needed in this situation was not help to die, but “support to develop the prospect of life.”
Pastoral assistance, palliative care for seriously ill
Therefore, the focus of Week for Life is on assistance for the seriously ill and dying through palliative care and pastoral support.
The event will open on April 17 with ecumenical services at Augsburg Cathedral at 10.30am, which will be concelebrated by the president of the Catholic bishop of Germany, Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg, and by his evangelical counterpart, Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm. They will be joined by local Catholic Bishop Bertram Meier and Evangelical Bishop Axel Piper.
Promote a global culture of life
Following the celebration, online discussions about the ethical and pastoral implications of the end of life will begin, with the participation of Church and civil society representatives, including the auxiliary bishop of Augsburg, Anton Losinger, who is a member of the Bavarian and Protestant Ethics Council. Theologian Traugott Roser of the University of Münster.
“We want to promote palliative support and hospital, as well as a culture of global life in our society in a more coherent way,” explained Bishop Bätzing and Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm.
Ecumenical Week for Life was first launched in 1994 to raise awareness in the Church and the wider community about the dignity of every human life, from conception to natural death.