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VIRUS / OVERALL ROUNDUP: Team of experts presents measures to ease the crisis message


DSSELDORF (dpa-AFX) – While people in North Rhine-Westphalia dealt with the Corona contact ban in a disciplined manner over Easter, experts submit suggestions for the possible reduction of the restrictions. In the paper of the interdisciplinary team, it is said that easing can only be considered if it is clear that the health system “is not foreseeably overwhelmed” and conditions are in place for better “monitoring” of the crisis.

But then the return to normality “could be forced step by step”. The paper on behalf of the NRW state government is available to the German Press Agency. It is intended to serve as the basis for a meeting in the coming week in which the prime ministers of the federal states will meet with the Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) should advise on the next steps.

In an attached letter to Merkel and the heads of government, North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Armin Laschet (both CDU) emphasizes that “an open, transparent debate about the way out of the crisis and a road map to a responsible normality are needed”. The expert paper and a study on the Heinsberg district, which is particularly affected by the coronavirus epidemic, should “contribute to the substantive basis for our joint consultations next week”.

The number of confirmed infections with the pathogen Sars-CoV-2 in NRW rose to 26,333 on Easter Sunday. That was 682 cases more than on Holy Saturday, as the NRW Ministry of Health announced. Since the pandemic began, 569 deaths have been recorded in the most populous state by Sunday, 35 more than the previous day. In addition, the ministry (as of 11:30 a.m.) reported a total of 12,832 people recovered in the country – 656 more than on the morning of the previous day.

Despite the wonderful spring weather, people in North Rhine-Westphalia have so far largely adhered to the ban on contact stipulated by the state in the Corona crisis on Easter weekend. The number of proceedings initiated after administrative offenses was mostly below that of the previous weekend, the cities said. Ausreier was Aachen on Holy Saturday. Here, the public order office increasingly registered groups that violated the Corona ban on contacts and met in squares or barbecued in parks. According to the city of Easter Sunday, 30 cases have been initiated. Together with the police, the municipal regulatory office also dissolved an unauthorized demonstration. Around 25 people had illegally gathered at a fountain, according to the announcement.

In other cities such as Kln, Mnster, Bielefeld or Dortmund, the administrations were satisfied and spoke of a disciplined population.

Because of the ban on worship in the Corona crisis, the churches in NRW remain empty for the first time at Easter. Instead, Cardinal Rainer Woelki from Klner and Manfred Rekowski, preacher of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland, preach to unoccupied pews. The services are broadcast on the Internet, some also on the radio or television.

An exception is a Dsseldorf drive-in cinema: believers should be able to take part in an open-air Catholic mass on Sunday. However, they sit in their vehicle and have no direct contact with the other participants.

The Christians have come up with a few ideas to create a festive mood. So on Easter Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. all bells should be rung in all Catholic and Protestant churches in North Rhine-Westphalia. In some communities, the believers were also able to collect Easter candles. According to a dpa reporter, around 500 members of the faith gathered in front of the cathedral in Klner, listened to the ringing of bells and held up Christ pictures / heights / DP / He

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