German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier were in the northern city of Kiel on Thursday for commemorations marking the country’s reunification 29 years ago.
They were joined by the president of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Schaeuble, and the prime minister of Schleswig-Holstein, Daniel Guenther, in signing the city’s Golden Book.
They are then set to attend an ecumenical service, followed by an official ceremony in which Merkel and Guenther will give speeches.
The national celebrations for German Unity Day are traditionally hosted by the state that holds the Bundesrat presidency, which is currently Schleswig-Holstein.
The fall of the Berlin Wall gave impetus to a process that eventually led to the reunification of the former states of East and West Germany on Oct. 3, 1990.
Edited by Hadiza Mohammed/Ismail Abdulaziz
Navy flags off OKUN ALAFIA II to intensify territorial waters security
Daji said that the 30 days exercise which would be in three folds was also to ensure that the backwaters was safe.
“Western, Central and Eastern Naval Command to have handshake at sea, so that criminals from the west to central and vice versa does not have the leeway to do that,” he said.
“We are carrying out operations in our backwaters to ensure that those that are already at sea does not have the freedom to be terrorising people in the backwaters.
”Every activity that is taking place at sea, the ultimate goal is on land and the benefits.
“Within the creeks, the channels and the adjoining land areas, the operational basis and the forward operational bases will be conducting clearance operations to take the battle to the criminal hideouts,” Daji said.
He urged members of the public to freely divulge credible information to get rid of criminals in their localities.
A total of eight ships, two helicopters and a detachment of Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service (SBS) participated in the Exercise.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the command had earlier engaged in exercises and operations such as OPERATION JUNCTION RAIN; EXERCISE SWIFT RESPONSE; EXERCISE ATEGUN ALAFIA; EXERCISE OKUN ALAFIA I and TREASURE GUARD II.
Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
German prosecutors investigate hospital where virus outbreak occurred
German prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into a hospital near Berlin that suffered from a severe coronavirus outbreak in March.
The prosecutor’s office in the city of Potsdam said that the top doctors and then-executive leadership of the Ernst von Bergmann hospital were being investigated for negligent homicide and negligent bodily harm.
The hospital was linked to a coronavirus outbreak in March in which several dozen people died of COVID-19.
While local flare-ups have occurred, Germany has mostly kept the number of new infections in check even out of lockdown.
Health authorities on Monday morning announced 192 new cases of coronavirus had been recorded since the day before.
It brings the total number of infections in Germany since the outbreak’s beginning to 186,461 according to Germany’s infectious disease body, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).
The death toll rose by 4 during the previous 24 hours, bringing the total number of fatalities to 8,791.
A further 400 patients had recovered, bringing the total number of patients who have overcome the virus to 172,600, according to the RKI.
The RKI noted that daily figures may be amended after quality checks.
The reproduction rate, which measures the disease’s ability to spread, sat above the critical value of 1, to 1.05 on Monday, meaning each infected person is spreading the virus to around one other. The day before, it was at 1.02.
Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)
Dutch deliver 4,000 salted herrings to German hospital as thank you
The Dutch government delivered 4,000 young salted herrings to staff at a German hospital on Monday as a thank you for taking in Dutch COVID-19 patients over recent weeks.
A Dutch delegation made the presentation – while observing social distancing and hygiene rules – to the Muenster University Hospital.
From the start of April, Germany took in 58 Dutch patients, treating them in various intensive care units. Of these, 49 were treated in the state of North Rhine Westphalia, where the hospital is located.
Nine of the patients did not survive, while the remainder have returned home.
“We are not only neighbours, but also friends,” North Rhine Westphalia Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumann said on welcoming the delegation. “And among friends, you help each other when in need.”
Matjes are young herrings which have matured in brine for five days and are commonly enjoyed as a sandwich or in other dishes along the North Sea coast.
The first barrel of Dutch matjes heralds the new season at the beginning of June and is usually ceremoniously auctioned off for charity.
But this year, all traditional matjes festivals and markets had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)
German gov’t to buy 300-mln-euro stake in vaccine developer CureVac
The German government intends to invest 300 million euros (338 million United States dollars) in local biotechnology company CureVac, the country’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy announced here on Monday.
The investment aims to support the further development of the German company and its projects in the pipeline, according to a joint statement by CureVac and the ministry. CureVac is currently developing a coronavirus vaccine.
“CureVac’s technology has the potential to develop disruptive new vaccines and therapeutic modalities that are accessible for many people and available via the market,” said Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier.
The investment would be made via the German state-owned development bank (KfW), which would then hold a stake of around 23 percent in CureVac. The investment would not mean that the German government would influence CureVac’s corporate policy decisions.
Dietmar Hopp, controlling shareholder of CureVac and co-founder of the investment company dievini Hopp BioTech holding, was pleased that “the importance of biotechnology is also recognized by the government and that this key industry will now receive support beyond early research.”
In March, German media reported that United States President Donald Trump had attempted to lure scientists from CureVac to the United States with large financial contributions. However, CureVac rejected “allegations about offers for acquisition of the company or its technology.”
According to Altmaier, the government’s investment in CureVac is a “first and important implementation” of the comprehensive economic stimulus package that was presented two weeks ago.
The German stimulus package worth 130 billion euros to mitigate the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic includes a temporarily reduction of the value-added tax (VAT), a one-time 300-euro bonus per child as well as promotion of domestic production of key pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.
“With this package, we aim to secure more independence in the entire production process of medical substances and vaccines,” stressed Altmaier, adding that the investment in CureVac was a first step in this direction. (1 euro = 1.13 United States dollars)