Full stadium, carnival party – the children have to pay for the Cologne risk course
The Cologne city administration has so far taken it easy with carnival celebrations and a full stadium. Now the number of cases in the cathedral city is going through the roof – a large part of the possibly infected cannot even appear in the statistics.
Dhe corona incidence in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia is skyrocketing this week – and the number of infections is increasing particularly strongly in Cologne. The Cologne residents had to report an incidence value of 397.7 as of December first, higher than ever before in the pandemic. On Monday the value was still a good 300. The health department had to report 860 new cases to the RKI, a good 10,000 residents of the city of Cologne are currently infected, 200 corona patients are in Cologne hospitals.
In view of the numbers, which are well above the average for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Cologne city administration is currently under pressure to justify itself. First, the mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker, allowed the people of Cologne to celebrate at the beginning of the Cologne Carnival on November 11th. Then, last Saturday, their authorities allowed a local derby in the Bundesliga between FC Köln and Borussia Mönchengladbach in front of around 50,000 spectators in the sold-out Müngersdorfer stadium.
Both events were criticized at the federal level and by the prime ministers of other federal states: Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder openly doubted the common sense of the decision-makers in Cologne and commented that he was “a little difficult” in imagining the carnival.
On the occasion of the derby in Cologne at the weekend, SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach called games in full stadiums “unacceptable” and “highly problematic” at the moment. He particularly problematized the parties and meetings before and after the games, where no one could check tests or vaccination status.
In view of the criticism, the Cologne health department head had Harald Rau countered on Tuesday via Instagram that the decisions for the events were justifiable in view of the low rate of cases in the hospital. In addition, the numbers were falsified by a data transmission error: Last week, due to a software problem, the Cologne-based company could not deliver case data on several days, this has now been reported.
In addition, the decision in favor of carnival did not result in significantly more cases. Reker commented, “Even the best security concept will not bring us absolute security.” Nevertheless, she has now canceled the city’s events on New Year’s Eve – but that is still a long way off.
A look at the Cologne incidence curve compared to the rest of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia shows: Cologne’s residents have been above average since the beginning of November, the carnival widened the gap, and now football games and Christmas markets are aggravating factors.
And people who may have been infected with football or mulled wine at the weekend cannot even appear in the statistics – the deadline is too short, their tests will only fail in the next few days.
The Cologne-based company is taking a risk course that the unvaccinated daycare children and schoolchildren have to pay for. Because in schools and kindergartens, the number of cases has more than tripled since the beginning of November.
Since the employees are also affected, kindergartens have to close for days, entire groups are quarantined, and school classes forego lessons. So Reker has to be asked what is more important to her: the children of the city, or the carnivalists and football fans.
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