Skip to main content

tv   DW News  LINKTV  May 15, 2020 3:00pm-3:31pm PDT

3:00 pm
>> this is dw news live from berlin. after a springtime stuck at home, what are the chances of being able to get away from holiday coronavirus restrictions have left germans a yearning to leave the logged on behind. but will europe be ready to open up its borders and breakout the beach chairs perhaps they could head over to slovenia, it has lakes, mountains and a close link, and has just become the first member of the european union to declare itself free of the pandemic.
3:01 pm
spare a thought for people in the chinese city of wuhan who thought they had beat the virus. now, all 11 million people are being retested after a discovery of a new cluster of cases. and an inquiry into the actions of hong kong police during last year's pro-democracy protests clears them of using unnecessary violence, saying the officers were responding to threats. ♪ accor: i am phil gail. welcome to the program. germans love their holidays in the sun, with the government starting to lift pandemic controls, the only thing getting them away from those dreams are other countries' borders. germany's foreign minister is due to discuss exactly that with his european counterparts next week the
3:02 pm
endless beaches of france and the majestic mountains of austria. in any normal summer, german tourists love to head for these and many other european beauty spots. but because of the coronavirus, the route to germany's neighbors has beenen blocked. for many, the pandemic has given travel in you importance. >> of course it is about our health all around the world, but they can't take away our freedom to travel, not because of corona or an economic crisis. >> i would like to go to spain. i don't yet know if that is possible. it depends if the spanish open their border. at the moment, there is no sign. maybe we will know in four weeks but there is a sign from the german government on how it plans to reopen its frontiers. the border with belgium and the netherlands was never closed, and from saturday, police will not patrol the luxembourg border either. denmark has said it is willing, in principle, to allow traffic
3:03 pm
to flow, but needs more time to work out the details. germany's borders with france, austria, and switzerland will first see looser controls. if there is no major spread of the virus, the checks will be completely lifted in mid-june. the borders with poland and the czech republic have not been closed by germany, but by the governments in warsaw and prague. those two countries are not yet ready to open their fronts to germany,y, but berlin is hopingo persuade them that uncertainty to has made some germans rethink their plans. >> i think i will just work a lot and then go away in the autumn. i don't think i i will take a holiday this year. it makes no sense there is still a long way to go until europe''s vacation hotspots are crowded. but from this weekend, germans whwho want to trtravel at leaste a timetable for when they will enjoy freedom of movement once again.
3:04 pm
. phil: lots of restaurants, cafes and hotels started to reopen across germany, a welcome relief to many, as some in the hospitality industry are choosing to stay closed. alex whiting has more. welcome. what requirements do cafes and restaurants need to meet before they can reopen? >> because germany is a federal system, it is up to 16 states to decide how they can open. today in berlin, cafes and restaurants began to open. on monday in bavaria, we will see dining facilities with outdoor seating opening, so that will allow some of those important beer gardens the re. some states have 30 doors, including western pomerania, that began last weekend. in fact, one cafe, in a publicity stunt, decided to give every customer a hat with a simple togo on top to make sure they were keeping their social. phil: distance from each other
3:05 pm
[laughter] very important. [laughter] alex: other states are taking this very seriously, and sharing all the misses are writing down the names and addresses of each guest, ensuring they bash ensuring that only people from the same household can sit at the same table and kitchen staff are having to wear a mask at all times. phil: why are some restaurant owners deciding to stay closed alex: we were speaking earlier to the berlin hotel and astronomy association. they say it is partly to do with the health and safety rules, but to really make you sure people are keeping the 1.5 meter distance. difficult if you own a cafe. some people say it is simply down to the numbers, is it financially liable? there are fixed costs already associated with having a restaurant or cafe. if you are bringing in staff to work in and you only have half the people coming through your doors because of tourism
3:06 pm
and social distancing policies, it will become very difficult. one restaurant or who has reopened in berlin, explained exactly why his business has a ready been hit. >> i don't expect a profit in 2020. i would be happy if we can absorb the losses a little bit. but only a little bit. we expect perhaps to have a normal turnover the rest of the year, then we hope in 2021, tourism will be boosted again and we will have more guests. but even then, the focus is only 50% to 60% of 2019. phil: so what sort of economic impact has the pandemic had on germany's hospitality sector? alex: pretty dreadful. the restaurant and hotel association warned in april but around 10 billion euros of sales would be lost by the end of april. that gives you an idea. some restaurants and cafes
3:07 pm
across berlin and frankfurt actually had a protest, an empty chair protest a couple of weeks ago, where they were trying to draw attention to how serious a problem this is for them. more than 220,000 businesses are affected across germany, a huge number. so although it is great that finally doors are being opened now here in berlin and across germany, the question is, will they need more government help in the future, or will they end up having to close their doors because they can't get the money through and those people through as well? feephil: alex, thank you. slovenia has become the first member state of the european union to declare its coronavirus pandemic over. the prime minister announced the spread of the virus is under control, with only a few confirmed infections a day. the country borders italy and austria. it is not reopening its borders to e.u. citizens.
3:08 pm
reporter: light at the and of the tunnel, forced lavinia's government, at least. the number of new coronavirus infections, only 35 in the last few weeks, has reassured authorities and let them to take an unprecedented step, announcing that the coronavirus pandemic in it the country is over. >> today, slovenia has the best epidemiological picture in europe which means we can declare an end to the general epidemic. this will prprobably coincide wh the end of the first two coronavirus packages. reporter: packages that include financial aid toto citizens and companies hit by the coronavirus crisis. some thihink this could have ben a strong motivator for the government to say that outbreak in the country was over. authorities are gradually loosening restrictions which are introduced two months ago. schools will begin to reopen next week, and cafes and restaurants will be able to serve customers indoors.
3:09 pm
>> it was kind of a shock, but it is cool. in the end, nothing will change. no school, no big parties. but the tensions in people i think will be diminished. peoplele will be morore relaxed. i hope not to relaxed. reporter: in loosening, but not a free-for-all. people are still required to follow basic rules to avoid spreading the virus can let like wearing facemasks and practicing social distancing. slovenia alsowould open its borders to he used citizens the hope -- open its borders to e.u. citizens. the hope is that tourism will return. phil: a journalist joins us from ljubljana. welcome to dw. what do they mean when they say the epidemic is over. reporter: of course, the
3:10 pm
numbers, there are only 35 cases in the last 14 days. today there was only one new case reported. 29 are presently in hospital, seven of them in intensive care. even for a small country with slovenia, 2 million inhabitants, this is like the presiden prime ministster claimed, , best in c. however, critics say it was purely a political decision, taken half an hour before midnight before the status would have prolonged automatically for another month. this is why the decision was taken relatively hastily last night. however, you have to say that most of the e protectiveve measures that t are in placece presently stay i in place at let until the in of the month, so there is also a gradual opening of businesses and facilities here in the country, but it goes
3:11 pm
slowly, step-by-step. phil: either way, 35 infections only in the past two weeks is still impressive. how bad did things get there? gust: all in all, it didn't get half as bad as expected. so the hospitals at no point had a problem dealing with the cases , except one sector, the elderly homes. just today, there was research published by the london school of economics saying that slovenia had, among the european states, among the highest death rates in elderly homes, and that sparked quite some critics here. all in all, you have to say, the numbers were low and stayed low. and the situation was under control. not least because the government imposed very early, relatively strict measures.
3:12 pm
for example, we were, for several weeks, not allowed to leave our commune except for going to work, and most of the businesses were closed anyway. but pepeople are also very disciplined. the german discussion about wearing masks, from the slovenian perspective, seems rather awkward, because people were wearing masks basically from day one, and they keep doing so. even today, you don't enter a store without wearing a mask. phil: briefly, how much economic damage has this pandemic caused? guest: a lot. because all over europe, a lot of businesses had to close down, especially in the small and medium-sized enterprises.. they got some help from the slovenian state, but it was marginal, 700 euros a month for the self-employed, fat is thus lavinia minimum wage. on the other hand, the slovenian economy is dependede mostly on
3:13 pm
exports to germany, and as hard as the german economy was hit, you just heard about it, it will also leave scars here in the slovenian economy in the next weeks and months to come. phil: thank you for that. joining us from the be o ljublj. let's look at the other stories making headlines. the german economy has taken its hardest hit since the 2009 financial crisis, shrinking 2.2% in the first quarter. experts are warning of an even deeper slump in ththe second quarter, as the full impact of coronavirus restrictctions is felt. the latest r rounds of talalks n the uk's most brexit relationship with the european union ended in a stalemate. that you use chief negotiator, michelle bernier, said he was no longer optimistic in you trade deal would be agreed before the end of the transition period on december 31. protesters in the u.s. have
3:14 pm
rallied outside pennsylvania's state capitol,: fun and to stay-at-home orders. pennsylvania has begun to is coronavirus lockdowns -- ease coronavirus lockdowns, but half of the state remains under restrictions allowing only business and travel. critics say the measures are inflicting undue economic suffering. to china, where fears of a second wave of coronavirus infection are growing. clusters of is symptomatic cases have been reported in wuhan, where the virus was first detected. the city now aims to test all 11 living residents over the coming days. >>, to get a usable sample you have to rub the swab deep inside the threat. to test the entire population, you need to do this 11 million times. that is an enormous undertaking that officials at the roots of the global pandemic are attempting. >> [speaking foreign language]
3:15 pm
>> i am a little worried. it is a huge effort for the government to take these measures to provide a test for everyone. >> [speaking foreign language] translator: it shows the care fofor our residents's health. for around two weeks, the chinese city will be transformed into a giant lab after a cluster of cases spooked local leaders. testing will be increased from a capacity of around 100,000 tests, to more than 700,000 per day. >> lindsey translator: i think it is necessary because a cluster of new infections appeared in a neighborhood a few days ago. there is a possibility of area currents of the epidemic. it will all be covered by the government, so i think it is is all for our protection of our own lives and our
3:16 pm
property. reporter: for months, residents were for bid and to go outside. now they are being beckoned to line up together and get tested. not for the first time, the world is watching wuhan. regular mass testing on n this scale could be one route out of lockdown, although few governments can marshal the resources required to pull it off. phil: tobias is an epidemiologist at a berlin hospital. he told us aboutut the importate of testing. guest: testing is important to identify clusters. if you need to o test the entire popopulation or entire city but, is the question, because you need to repeat these tests. in a pandemic, you need to have information almost daily to see where e are your n new infectio? if you test t today and yoyou ae negative, itit doesn't t mean y will be negagative tomorrow. that is the queststion, how much effort you do in one testing or in repeated testing. maybe your are r random sampling
3:17 pm
and idenentifying clusters, and identifying those who have symptoms and have been in contact with people who have been infected, is the key to go, rather than testing everyone. phil: despite the importance of testing, most of the world is suffering from a shortage of test kits. doctors have traveled to columbia, where their precious cargo is there invaluable experernce to helelp keep peoeople safe. reporter: i inconspicuous boxes filled with hope for columbia to geget a hold off its invisible enemy. this delegation of epidemiologists from berlin arrived in bogota with precious cargo, 80,000 teststs and a lotf experience. >> >> [speakining in spanish] translator: we all have a lot to learn from each other. what has been the bebest way to improve health care? which have been the best social distanci m measus?
3:18 pm
but we also have to cooperate to improve scientificic researcrchd make s sure virologigists and epidemiologigists can sharare tr findings. reporter: this doctor's team came to columbibia under the government's request. in collaboration w with local experts, thehey hope to o improe testing capacities especially in reremote regions that lack an adequate infrastructure e to fae the pandemic. >> [speaking in german] translator: our goaoal is t to establish teg in t the north along the bordedr with venezueuela. the region is home to a large foldable population. we want to make sure -- large, vuvulnerable population. wewe want t to make sure they he safe diagnostics to enablee the implementation of public healthh measures in the regioion. reporter: knowing where help is needed is crucucial for the success of t the mission. in one of the country's top labs, the e team from germany
3:19 pm
learns things are e in a differt way to back home. >> [spspeaking in spanish] translator: in one of our researchch projects s in germane processed 60,000 samples between jajanuary and apapril with the p of robots. here they toldld us they process the e same number of samples manunually, workrking 17 hours a day. thatat is very impmpressive. reporterer: but the battle agait the virus isn't t only fought in sterile labs, it is the work on the ground that makes the biggggt difference. the german d doctorsurining locl healalth-care ofofficials, checg oneoeople in the kenenne neighbororhood of b bogota. no d district has b been hit har than this one, home t tmany of the city's most disadvantaged. >> [speaking in spanish] trananslator: between 25% to 30% are considered v vulnerable. they can't self isolate or ququarantine because they have o make money for their families.s.
3:20 pm
so it is not only a public health p problem, it is a also a social issue t that needs to be addrsedd simultaneneously. reporter:: thehe sococioeconomic reality in colombia h has little in common with that of germany. but as countries move closer together to defeat the pandemic, these didifferences become irrelevant. building on the lasting benefits of scientific exchange, the doctor's mission is meant to be but a first step in the cooperation it has hoped will outlive the common enemy. [applause] phil: in other news, a long anticipated report has cleared hong kong police of any wrongdoing during the pro-democracy protests last year. the report by an independent police complaint counsel said police used force against demonstrators only when officers had reasonable suspicion of lethal force being used or prepared against them. the report was released as a pro-democracy protester was
3:21 pm
jailed after pleading guilty to rioting during last year's unrest. reporter: for these protesters, he is a hero. stay strong, they shout, as he is taken away to serve a four-year prison sentence. he was the first pro-democracy protester to plead guilty to charges of rioting. nearly 600 more face similar charges. the violence of hong kong police during last year's massive protests was also under review, though they were exonerated. the police watchdog claimed officers' use of force was not excessive. >> we have to be careful and fair to the police force in these cases, but they did have a very, very difficult situation to deal with. they had to enforce the law. reporter: the findings of the council, whose members are appointed by chief executive carrie lam, were quickly dismissed by the opposition. >> those who read the report,
3:22 pm
they simply chose to look the other way. that is why we have been adamant about our demand that there has to be a proper, genuine, independent inquiry into allll this police brutality. reporter: the report is unlikely to quell the public's anger toward hong kong police. images like these are seared into the memories of those who participated in or supported the pro-democracy movement. tear gas is a taste that nearly everyone remembers well. all too well. this ice cream shop has even made it into a flavor, as a tribute to the sting of struggle. >> [speaking foreign language] translator: we wanted to make a flavor to remind people to persist and not lose their passion. reporter: demonstrations stop to
3:23 pm
this winter because of the coronavirus outbreak, by protesters have clashed with police in recent days, now that the spread of the virus in hong kong has practically come to a halt. phil: dw reporter cheri chan covered d the proteststs in hong kong a and give us her impressions. reporter: the few months i was in hong kong, i encountered intense situations. i have seen protests throwing petrol bombs. i have seen them setting fire on properties. i have seen them vandalizingg shshops or infraststructure on e street. but i have also seen, in many cases, the police were using force indiscriminately on the public. i have seen them using pepper spray on lawmakers who were trying to calm down the situation. i have seen them in targeting passersby in the demonstrations
3:24 pm
-- interrogating passersby in the demonstration and applying teargas at close range. in many cases, this violence was not on the used against the protesters, but also the press and reporters who were there to cover the situation. actually, there was one indonesian reporter in one of the demonstrations, she lost the isight on her right eye because -- she lost the sight on her right eye. so this report neglected these kinds ofof incidents, and they didn't really elaborate on this kind of situation. phil: now let's take a look at some of the other stories making news around the world. the coronavirus has reached bangladesh's huge migrant camps, which have more than one million were hing rohingya refugees.
3:25 pm
medical workers in belgium have staged a flash mob to protest their government's handling of the pandemic and to raise awareness of their difficult working conditions. about 250 health workers joined the unusual. protest belgium's per capita death toll from covid-19 is one of the highest. a south african brewery has repurposed its beer vats to make soup for people struggling during the pandemic. the woodstock brewery in cape town stopped making beer during the lockdown introduced in march. now volunteers make 5000 liters of soup everyday and distributed to communities and homeless shelters. this weekend, sees the return of professional football in germany. the bundesliga will become the first major league in europe to restart following the coronavirus lockdown. football bosses say it is not just a sport but an economic
3:26 pm
driver. the big leagues across europe will be watching to see how the bundesliga farares with games being played under unusual conditions. reporter: since mid-march, the football stadiums in germany have fallen silent. now the bundesliga aims to emerge from ththcoronavirus break withth so-called closed-dr matches with no fans and under strict hygiene rules. thee idea, t to get back on the pitch as soon as p possible. >> [speaking in german] trtranslator: anyone who rejects clolosed-door matches -- because in that case, there w will not be 20 professional clubs left. reporter: it is not only a make or break issue for the german league, the other you big european leagues are also deliberating how to emerge from lockdown. the english premier league is the biggest moneymaker in european football, followed by the bundesliga and by spain's la
3:27 pm
liga. tv revenue accounts for more than half of all incomome. it is slightly less than that for the bundesliga, but they are determined to get the ball rolling again, even without spectators, if that is what it takes to keep revenueses flowowing. when matches are aired, advertising boards around the pitch will add another income boost. the incoming weeks will show how well it works. no doubt the game will be a different one, as seen in south korea where the season kicked off last week. goals celebrated, with social distancing. a sign of the times. phil: since you are up-to-date, morere at the top of the hour. i will be back with "the day" in just a moment. ♪
3:28 pm
3:29 pm
3:30 pm


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on