Coronavirus

Parties and raves: are young people to blame for the hotspot Berlin?

Despite Corona, people celebrate in Volkspark Hasenheide.

Getty Images / Christoph Soeder

Illegal parties and private celebrations: The young people in the capital are to blame for the fact that, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), four Berlin districts – Mitte, Neukölln, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg and Tempelhof-Schöneberg – are now next to Hamm, Vechta and Remscheid as Risk areas apply.

In these seven hotspots nationwide, the limit of 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants is currently being exceeded – and as far as Berlin is concerned: for many also the limit of what is tolerable. On social media, among politicians, on the street, there is ranting about the irresponsibility and selfishness of the young age groups who meet for raves in the park or celebrate flat-share parties as if Covid-19 didn’t exist.

The Berlin Senate is now putting a stop to the party capital Berlin – and is giving it a curfew. Most shops and all restaurants and bars in Berlin have to close between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Exceptions are planned for gas stations, for example, but these are no longer allowed to sell alcohol at night. Private celebrations will also be further restricted. In future, a maximum of ten people will be allowed to take part instead of the previous 25.

But is the accusation even true? Are young people driving the rising corona numbers in the capital?

The fact is: After the number of corona cases nationwide had leveled off at an increased level over the summer, the number of registered new infections has continued to rise in some federal states since mid-September. The RKI writes that the proportion of cases among travelers returning is falling, but the proportion of Covid-19 cases in the elderly population is currently increasing slightly.

In three of the seven hotspots, young adults do not play a major role

“Nationwide, there are outbreaks in various districts that are related to different situations, including other larger celebrations in family and friends, in companies and in the vicinity of religious events, or also, especially in cases among younger people, based on travelers returning” , so the RKI.

The RKI is also looking at the seven hotspots, including the four in Berlin. The Corona cases in Hamm are largely due to around 200 Covid 19 cases that are related to a wedding celebration. In Vechta, the outbreak in a care facility is currently responsible for 100 Covid-19 cases in the district. And in Remscheid, the majority of the current cases come from infections in day-care centers and schools and their contact persons.

Nationwide and in the three hotspots outside Berlin, younger party people are apparently not largely responsible for the increase in the number of infections. On closer inspection, however, the situation in Berlin is different. In the capital, a sharp increase in the corona numbers has been observed since mid-September, as the RKI graphic shows.

Most of the new infections registered within the past seven days are in the 30-39 age group. This is followed by the 15-19 year olds and, closely spaced, those between 20 and 29 years old. By far the most new Covid-19 cases in Berlin are adults under 40 years of age.

RKI

In the four Berlin districts, which are above the limit of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days, “it is a diffuse occurrence, partly carried out by young people, international
Travelers and celebrants who get infected on the go or at parties and then spread these infections in their households and families, ”writes the RKI.

Often times, health authorities cannot find the location of the outbreak

It is also a diffuse occurrence because in many cases it is not possible for the health authorities to trace Covid-19 outbreaks back to the place where they began.

The “Berliner Morgenpost” reports on statistics from the State Office for Health and Social Affairs. In 674 of a total of more than 3000 new infections in September, the health authorities were able to attribute Covid-19 infections to a known outbreak.

Accordingly, clubs, refugee shelters and dormitories played no role in larger outbreaks in September, and there were almost no cases in restaurants and kindergartens. There were nine outbreaks in schools with 31 infected people and ten outbreaks in workplaces with 32 cases. Two outbreaks resulted in 47 infections in old people’s homes.

However, the vast majority of the infected were in private households, where 135 outbreaks resulted in 388 infections. And finally there was the “Leisure” category: Although there were only seven proven outbreaks here, a total of 79 people were infected there.

The experience of Patrick Larscheid, medical officer in the Reinickendorf district of Berlin, underlines these figures. In an interview with “WELT”, when asked where there are currently the most infections in Berlin, he said: “There are parties with 400 or 500 people or illegal raves or flat-share parties with 120 people.” This is especially true in the inner city districts extremely noticeable. Currently, this is more than 50 percent of the cases that the districts register. “It is unequivocally clear to us that over half of the cases take place privately.”

With material from the dpa

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