Oxygen crisis in India ++ Explosion in Iraq hospital ++ Curfew in Germany | COVID Update

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  • DW News published this video item, entitled “Oxygen crisis in India ++ Explosion in Iraq hospital ++ Curfew in Germany | COVID Update” – below is their description.

    At least 27 people have been killed and dozens more injured after a blaze broke out in a COVID ward of a Baghdad hospital. Iraq’s Prime Minister, Mustafa al-Khademi has called for an investigation into the cause of the blaze and declared three days of national mourning.

    The stuff of nightmares: A COVID ward overrun with smoke and flames. Patients who were already struggling to breathe, now on the verge of suffocating.

    Rescuers say dozens died as a result of the fire, and are still searching the scene of this Baghdad hospital.

    A video posted on social media claims to show the moment an oxygen tank exploded, and started the fire.

    In just a matter of minutes, the situation is out of control.

    The head of the civil defense unit says ninety people were rescued from the hospital. But the event has fueled anger about a healthcare system worn down by decades of neglect, and left unable to cope with the pandemic. Officials say the hospital had no fire protection system and that false ceilings helped spread the blaze. People are now demanding the health minister be sacked.

    On Wednesday, the number of coronavirus cases in Iraq surpassed one million, the highest of any Arab state. The blaze in Baghdad marks another grim development in Iraq’s battle against COVID.


    Germany is switching gears in the fight against the pandemic, after months of struggling to contain a severe third wave of the virus. Tighter national restrictions were put in place this weekend, including a controversial overnight curfew. Our reporter Kate Brady was out in the capital, Berlin.

    Saturday night in Berlin’s Friedrichshain district: With just minutes to go before the new curfew kicks in at 10pm. Time to grab a quick beer or some late night food for the road. Right on cue as the clock strikes 10, many local shops begin to roll down their shutters. Minutes later, police arrive to clear stragglers from the square.

    According to federal rules, repeated violations of the measures risk a hefty fine of up to €25,000 euros.

    For most tonight though, it’s just a polite request to head home. The restrictions on movement during late hours have been met with mixed responses. By almost midnight, the streets have largely cleared.

    Travel by public transport or by car is only permitted for specific exceptions, including work and emergencies. Between 10pm and midnight, walks and runs are also still allowed.

    Now the question remains: exactly how long can the curfew be allowed to stay in place? — with several constitutional complaints from around the country already threatening to already bring the measure to an end. If Germany’s Constitutional Court does indeed rule the curfew is unlawful, it will be a huge blow not least of all for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who for months has been pushing for a stricter and more uniform response to the pandemic.

    For now though, there will be many a quieter night in Berlin and beyond.

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    In This Story: COVID-19

    Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

    Symptoms of coronavirus

    The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

    • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
    • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
    • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

    Latest News about Covid-19

    Below are stories from around the globe related to the 2020 outbreak of novel Coronavirus – since the WHO gave the Covid-19 naming. Most recent items are posted nearest the top.

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  • In This Story: Germany

    Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe. It lies between the Baltic and North seas to the north, and the Alps to the south.

    Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor. With over 83 million inhabitants of its 16 constituent states, it is the second-most populous country in Europe after Russia, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Its capital and largest city is Berlin, and its financial centre is Frankfurt; the largest urban area is the Ruhr.

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  • In This Story: India

    India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the second-most populous country, the seventh-largest country by land area, and the most populous democracy in the world. New Delhi is the capital.

    It has an exceptionally diverse population, with Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and other religions speaking over 21 recognised languages.

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  • In This Story: Iraq

    Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia. The capital and largest city is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrians, Yazidis, Shabakis, Armenians, Mandaeans, Circassians, Sabians and Kawliya. Around 99% of the country’s 38 million citizens are Muslims, with small minorities of Christians, Yarsans, Yezidis and Mandeans also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.

    Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km (36 miles) on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf. These rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, historically known as Mesopotamia, is often referred to as the cradle of civilisation.

    Iraq is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of 19 governorates, four of which make up the autonomous Kurdistan Region. Disputes over the sovereignty of Kurdistan Region continue.

    Iraq is a founding member of the UN as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF.

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