Does the coronavirus also infect German economic output?

A woman with a face mask works at the Ambiente trade fair in Frankfurt in early February (Photo: Imago Images / rheinmainfoto)

The BDI is concerned about recession fears of the pandemic. He fears an end to the successful series that has been going on since 2009. Meanwhile, the struggle of politicians and authorities against the coronavirus continues in many countries.

The industry sees the danger of a recession in Germany increasing considerably in view of the massive consequences for the economy caused by the coronavirus. “Economic growth is almost at a standstill,” says the new quarterly report of the Federation of German Industries (BDI). If there is no economic normalization in the countries affected by the corona epidemic in the second quarter, the BDI expects Germany’s economic output to decline for the year as a whole.

It would be the first recession in the German economy, which has been spoiled by growth for many years, since 2009. At that time, all major economies had plummeted as a result of the global financial crisis. The BDI had previously expected growth in the gross domestic product in Germany of 0.5 percent.

Israel blocks European tourists

In order to get the progressive spread of the coronavirus under control, many states continue to take massive measures. Israel is now denying entry to tourists from Germany, France, Spain, Austria and Switzerland without taking quarantine measures in advance. In addition, Israelis flying home from one of the countries concerned must stay at home for 14 days. The country has so far reported 15 coronavirus cases. Around 5,000 citizens who have returned from areas affected by the virus are quarantined at home. Israel had already adopted the regulation for flights from China, Singapore, and Italy.

A cleaner disinfects the classroom of a Turin school (Photo: Reuters / M. Pinca)A cleaner disinfects the classroom of a Turin school

School closings and empty stadiums in Italy

In Italy, all schools and universities will close this Thursday due to the virus spread. The measure will initially last until March 15, as Education Minister Lucia Azzolina said. The government decree also excludes the public from all sporting events until April 3. This also applies to the matches of the first football league and the European football competitions that take place in Italy’s stadiums. The country is considered the largest virus focus in Europe. According to the latest information from Italian civil defense, at least 107 people have died and the number of confirmed cases of infection has risen to 3,089.

In contrast, no school closures are planned in Germany. The President of the Conference of Ministers of Education (KMK), Stefanie Hubig, said that she does not currently think such a measure is necessary because the coronavirus situation in Germany differs from region to region. Also, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn spoke out against the general closure of educational institutions.

Iconic snapshot: In front of the New York Stock Exchange (Photo: Reuters / B. McDermid)Iconic “snapshot”: In front of the New York Stock Exchange

Billions of dollars against the virus

The U.S. Congress plans to allocate billions to fight the spread of the corona pathogen. Republicans and Democrats agreed to fund $ 8.3 billion in emergency measures against the epidemic, equivalent to House President Nancy Pelosi. In the United States, more than 130 people have now been infected with the virus. To date, eleven patients have succumbed to the lung disease COVID-19 caused by the pathogen. In the southern California metropolis of Los Angeles, the authorities declared a state of emergency after another six cases of infection had been confirmed there.

The Grand Princess in front of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco (Photo: picture-alliance / AP Photo / San Francisco Chronicle / S. Strazzante)The “Grand Princess” in front of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco (archive picture from mid-February)

Cruise ship “Grand Princess” stopped

Meanwhile, thousands of people are stuck on a cruise ship off the coast of California. The “Grand Princess” was stopped because passengers and crew members showed symptoms of illness, Governor Gavin Newsom said. They are now to be tested on the corona pathogen. Infection is suspected in eleven passengers and ten crew members. Around 2500 passengers and about 1150 crew members are on board the “Grand Princess”. The ship was returning from Hawaii to San Francisco. The “Grand Princess” had previously traveled to Mexico. Also on board was a 71-year-old man who died from COVID-19. It is the first virus of death in California.

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