Jens Spahn

Regional News • Europe • Germany
The German Health Minister Jens Spahn tested positive for Covid-19
Jens Spahn
Jens Spahn Credit: Olaf Kosinsky (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 DE)

Jens Spahn, the German Health Minister, tested positive for Covid-19 and has gone into immediate isolation.

The healthy ministry confirmed all those in close contact with Spahn had been informed.

Members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet, that have met Spahn earlier on Wednesday, will not be self-isolating.

According to a government spokesperson: "The Federal Cabinet meets in compliance with hygiene and distance rules, which aim to ensure that even if a person who later tests positive were to participate, quarantining of other or even all participants would not be necessary."

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Friedrich Merz 'regrets' controversial gay chancellor remarks
Friedrich Merz
Friedrich Merz Credit: Olaf Kosinsky (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

German politician Friedrich Merz says he now "regrets" comments made when asked whether he would have reservations if an LGBT+ chancellor were to lead Germany.

During a video interview for the Bild newspaper, Merz replied to the question with: "No. Concerning the question of sexual orientation, as long as it is within the law and does not affect children — which at this point, for me, would be an absolute limit — it is not an issue for public discussion."

Merz is the leading candidate for the position of chair of the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU). Whoever is selected for the role would likely become the party's candidate to replace Angela Merkel as chancellor.

Merz' answer sparked an outcry from German politicians, especially as one of his rivals for the position of CDU chair, Health Minister Jens Spahn, is openly gay.

Another gay politician, deputy chair of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), Kevin Kühnert tweeted: "This is how someone works who cannot hide the fact that he cannot deal with the normalization of homosexuality."

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Russian Covid-19 vaccine possibly "dangerous" according to German Health Minister
Jens Spahn
Jens Spahn Credit: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

In a radio interview with Deutschlandfunk, the German Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn has stated: "it is not about being first somehow, but about having an effective, a tested and therefore safe vaccine, which - and this is the important part - will vaccinate 100 million, if not billions of people".

According to his judgment, Russia has not been transparent enough about the studies, trials and science behind the Covid-19 vaccine that has already been approved.

He stated that "at least we now know that there have been no phase 3 studies" adding that it could be "dangerous to start vaccinating millions". Possible negative effects could "be quite fatal to the acceptance of vaccination if it goes wrong" as the approved Vaccine "has not been sufficiently tested here".

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany reports 1226 new coronavirus infections in single day, highest since May
Germany reports 1226 new coronavirus infections in single day, highest since May
Credit: Fridolin freudenfett (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The German Robert Koch-Institut (RKI) as official source for the Covid-19 infection numbers has reported 1226 new coronavirus infections in a single day.

The federal minister of health Jens Spahn has previously stated that: "At the moment, we are in any case still on a scale that the health care system and the public health service can cope with" and added that "If we stabilize at a certain level now, then we can handle it".

The last day with a higher number of new infections has been the 9th of May with 1251 cases.

Regional News • World
Germany increases WHO contribution to over €500 million in 2020
Germany increases WHO contribution to over €500 million in 2020
Credit: Stephan Baumann (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

The German Health Minister Jens Spahn has announced that Germany will increase its contribution to the funds of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2020 to over €500 million in total. He stated that "We need a strong, transparent and accountable WHO today more than ever" and that "We stand together in fighting global health problems".

Sports • Soccer
German health minister endorses Bundesliga plan to resume play behind closed doors

Jens Spahn stated earlier today "The (football league's) basic plan makes sense and could serve as a model for other professional sports".

The German Football League (DFL), which operates Germany's top two divisions, is hoping to restart the season behind closed doors as soon as May 15 the first of the five major European domestic leagues to resume since the Covid-19 pandemic started.

The official announcement will come after the Committee of Sports holds a meeting on Wednesday and put its proposal forward to the government.

Technology • Internet & Web
Germany backs Google and Apple app to trace coronavirus infections

Germany changed course over which type of smartphone technology to use to trace coronavirus infections, backing an approach supported by Apple and Google instead of an initiative called Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT).

Health Minister Jens Spahn and Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff Helge Braun told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that the German Government now favors a "decentralized software architecture" that would see data stored on users' phones instead of on a central database.

The Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT) has Germany's Fraunhofer HHI research institute and the Robert Koch Institute public health body as key players.

Volkswagen announces donation of 200,000 masks

In a press release, the Volkswagen Group has announced that it'll donate around 200,000 FFP-2 and FFP-3 protective masks. The donation is coordinated with Jens Spahn, the German Federal Minister of Health. In addition to this Wolfsburg, the hometown of the Volkswagen Group will receive medical material donations from the company.