tv DW News LINKTV November 22, 2021 3:00pm-3:31pm PST
berlin. covid clampdown. austria back in lockdown after a recent wave of covid-19 roles across europe. nonessential shops closed their doors for at least 10 days. millions have been asked to work from home. but anger over tighter restrictions is building. also coming up sounding the alarm,. poland says that borr crisis with belarus is a sign of things
to come. the prime minister warns of a security threat flaring up on the frontier to destabilize europe. plus peng shuai's puzzling video call. after vanishing from public view, the chinese tennis star resurfaces, telling olympic officials she is safe at home. that is not easing concerns about her well-being. ♪ welcome to our viewers around the world. i am michael oku. we start off with the covid-19 crisis in europe. in response to skyrocketing cases, austria has gone back into full lockdown, the first country in europe to reimpose a nationwide shutdown as a surge in coronavirus infections hits the continent. for the next 10 days, people can only leave their home to work,
exercise, or shop for essential items. >> traditional shopping has been out the window in downtown vienna, making windowshopping for some a second best alternative. it is the fourth wave of the pandemic in austria. most people understand the need for nationwide restrictions, but it does not mean they trust the government to lead them through the crisis. some say false hopes were raised too often during the pandemic only to be dashe shortly afterwardsd. >> we have had all these promises broken, one after the other. we don't have a government that we can rely on. > reporter: politicians are asleep at the wheel and there is no consequences if, the doctor makes a mistake, they probably can't work again, but a politician can do what he wants. people no longer have faith in politics schools are allowed to stay open, leaving parents to decide if they want to send
their children to school or keep them home. >> most students are at school. not like there is a choice because the is pressure. if you stay at home, you have to workut the material yourself. you actually can only be at home if you are good enough at school. it shouldn't be that way. reporter: of austrians demonstrated against the new restrictions over the weekend. and like the netherlands and belgium, protests were largely peaceful. but that coulddays, and if it he extended, many fear that austria, too, may see violence in the streets. michael: let's get more analysis from the journalist from austria's public broadcaster, orf, based in vienna. it is early days. but our people complying with the locown? steve: complying, yes, but not happily. the governnt has managed to
upset everybody. there were large protests over the weekend from the usual suspects. but even the people who have supported government efforts that's far are also not upset because the lockdown has arrived. as you mentioned in the report, it was indicative of how unhappy people work, schools were 70% full across the country even after the government asked people to keep their kids at home if possible. so 75% of families sent their children to school. so there is compliance, because as of today, everything is closed. people really don't have any other choice. michael: as you well know, austria will also be the first european country to introduce a vaccine mandate starting in february. how will they enforce it? steve: the legislation is being put in place that willntroduce punitive fines if people do not
comply. in the run-up to that, appointment letters are being sent out to people, which is an important change, because up until now, it has been up to people to decide if they want to make arrangements for themselves. now they are getting letters. if they haven't received any shots yet, with an appointment. they have to actively cancel that. so as we approach february when the vaccine mandate will go into force, it will be made clear to people what price they will have to pay, and so far it has been quite comfortable for people who have decided not to get vaccinated. they are getting paychecks. the government has had a very generous work program. there haven't been any really serious consequences. as of february, there will be serious consequences. michael: is it your sense that this will change people's minds? steve: yes.
we are hearing from the vaccination centers that lots more people are showing up, from the largest center in vienna, doctors they are talking about a tenfold increase in the number of vaccines. so i think people are getting the message. the ones who are on the fenc are being pushed in the right direction now. there will still be that rd-core bit that wl do everything possible to avoid getting the shot, but therere enough people in the middle that this will put us on course to solving the crisis. michael: that is the journalist steve reporting from vienna. many thanks. many countries in europe have been struggling to convince large parts of their population to get vaccinated against covid-19, and they are now seeing a dramatic surge in infections. dw reporter joel gilroy is reporting the numbers. how did europe become the coronavirus hotspot of the world? joel: if you think back to the start of the summer, many european countries had some of the lowest covid-19 infection rates in the world.
but that has changed dramatically. in the past week, nine out of the 10 countries where the situation has worsened the fastest are here. in europe. let's have a look at the countries that have been hit the hardest those marked in. dark colors on this might have had a surge in infection. you can see in the middle of europe a big dark patch around austria and its neighboring countries. meanwhile, the lighter colored countries are faring better. you can see those in the southern european countries. here is a few examples. portugal maintained a relatively littleover 100,000. germany is over 380 and has triggered tighter restrictions. slovakia has over 1200 cases, one of the highest rates in the world. what explains the difference? health officials say that vaccinations is a major factor. have a look at this next map,
which shows a difference in vaccination rates across the e.u. darker colored countries are those that are doing better. later colored countries have fallen behind. we can see this also in our three examples. portugal is europe's vaccination success story, inoculating over 81% of its population and now has later cases. germany is close to the e.u. average. but slovakia has managed to only protect less than half of its population, and is now seeing infection rates soaring. it is this apparent correlation between low vaccinations and the high infections that is prompting more european countries to push people to get the jab, whether by choice, or whether through mandates, michael. michael: dw news jeweled gilroy -- joel gilroy, thanks. the health institute in germany gave a blunt warning, saying that those refusing vaccination
should expect to catch covid-19 or possibly die. there were mixed messages about which vaccines would be available to those who would like to get a shot. reporter: germanys caretaker health minister jens spahn and his advisors, on the damage limitation exercise after the minister suggested supplies of the biontech vaccine could be held back. on monday, jens spahn was getting the case for getting that jab with whichever vaccine. but now he's communication style runs the risk of increasing anxieties. >> some have called this a cynical approach, but by the end of winter, pretty much everyone in germany will have either been vaccinated, recovered, or died. reporter: the minister had hoped more of the moderna vaccine would be used in the short-term so that those doses do not expire. germany's medicines agency says it is not helpful to argue about the relative merits of moderna and biontech>>.
in terms of the very rare side effects which were less than 10 cases per 100,000, they are equivalent. the effectiveness of both vaccines in clinical tyrel's has been shown to -- clinical trials has been shown to be 90% or higher. in some regions of germany, hospitals' intensive care units are already full. in the eastern state of saxony, for example, doctors report there is no spare capacity. >> we are seeing unrestrained growth, so that i believe we will have to start talking about moving patients around germany within the next few days and weeks. as the fourth covid-19 wave takes hold across germany, there are growing calls for making vaccination mandatory. this lawmaker and health experts said it needs to be looked at but whether there is a legal
requirement or not, vaccination has to be looked at as an important tool. >> we knew that boosters would be needed. now we have to look to the future ringing everyone who can and wants to get the vaccine. in some german states such as bavaria or baden-wurttemberg, coronavirus cases are so high that tighter restrictions are already in place or imminent. this is the new reality in parts of germany. curfews for being vaccinated and shattered bars, clubs, and christmas markets. michael: let's cross over to a professor and acting director at the institute for virology at the university of meinz. welcome to the program. things are not looking good across europe, to put it mildly. let's focus on germany first. do you share the politician's view in that report that vaccination complacency has led to these high infection rates? >> i guess that is true.
you have just shown in the report that there are countries like portugal or spain who have much higher vaccination rates and lower hospital admission rates. this is a direct corlation. we have a lower vaccination rate anour intensive care units are full. we he more and more patients also in isolation wards. that is a direct correlation between the vaccination rates nd what we see in our hospitals now. michael: as you well know, germany is not the only country. austria, for example, is going into another lockdown today and mandating vaccines as from february. do you think vaccine mandates are the way forward? >> fir of all, we need to vaccinate elderly people, because we see more and more people who are already twice vaccinated, with vaccine
breakthroughs. then we have to talk about mandatory vaccinations like in places like hospitals or retirement homes. then one could think about general mandatory vaccinations. i guess at this point, we need to get as many vaccine shots into people to really get more people vaccinated. . michael: let's settle something here. when it comes to vaccinations, is there a critical point, a percentage of the population that needs to be vaccinated in order to avoid the outcome we are currently seeing? guest: as we see in countries like portugal and spain, they have a vaccination rate of 80%. that leads to an infection rate that is not a comfortable, but a rate that is acceptable. this is about the level we need to reach.
where the virus spread is lower and people don't get sick as much. michael: when you talk to people on the streets, i think it is fair to say, a lot of people ca leak outcome here -- see a bleak outcome. what is the way out of the situation, in your opinion? guest: the way out is restrictions. try to avoid contacts and large parties. the way out of the pandemic is, vaccination will not work in the short range, that the way out of the pandemic is only the vaccine. michael: that was a professor and acting director at the institute for virology at the university of mainz. many thanks. guest: thank you. michael: let's look at other stories making headlines around the world at this hour. u.s. police will charge a man with intentional homicide after
he plowed his suv into a christmas parade. at least five people were killed and nearly 50 injured in the incident in wisconsin. authorities say the man had just left a domestic disturbance in the area and that the incident was not terror related. australia has signed a contentious nuclear submarine deal with the u.s. and the u.k.. it is part of the new defense alliance to combat tensions in the indo-pacific. china calls the packed a threat to regional stability. france was left enraged after australia backed out of their joint deal. authorities on the spanish island of la palma have ordered residents in some coastal towns to stay inside as first lava flow hit the ocean. toxic team is sent into the sky as hot lava reaches the water, creating a potential health. hazard. . the volcano has been erupting for the last two months. the humanitarian crisis on the
border between poland and belarus remains dire. poland continues to push back migrants trying to cross illegally. they are facing harsh winter conditions out in the forest along the border. more than 10 people have died in recent weeks while trying to cross into the e.u. >> he died in the forest near the polish-pollution border, likely from the cold -- polish-belarussian border, likely from the cold. he had been trying to cross the border to reach the european union. he was laid to rest by the small muslim community in this bullish town, next to the graves of two other migrants buried next week. children as young as one have also died on the border. thousands of migrants have been facing dire conditions for weeks, camped out in the cold or walking four kilometers in the forest.
on the belarusian side, many are now being housed in the warehouse, after authorities dismantled their makeshift camp. on the polish side, reports of near nightly attempts at illegal crossings. but on top of the humanitarian crisis, political tensions are also rife. the literacy and leader alexander lukashenko -- belarusian leader alexander lukashenko said he asked germany and the e.u. to take 2000 refugees. berlin rejected the proposal. >> we have said this in recent weeks and interior minister said this during his visit to his polish counterpart, the idea that there can be a humanitarian corridor to germany for 2000 migrants is not acceptable for germany or further e.u. reporter: the polish prime minister called the crisis on the borderhe greatest attempt
to destabilize europe since the cold war. >> over the last few months, belarus has reinforced its actions against the e.u., and for us, it is important to understand that this is not an artificial conflict with poland or lithuania. this is an attempt to breach the eastern borders of plato and the european union. reporter: he said he fears the crisis could be a prelude for something much worse. and he is not alone. an opinion poll by a major polish newspaper has found that 55% of poles our worried that the crisis could become an all-out war. michael: i am joined now by our correspondent, nick connolly. you are in minsk now, that you spent most of the day at the belarusian-polish border. tell us about the situation they are now. nickyou really get a sense
that the migrants there are stack in increasingly cold temperatures. it is -6 where i am tonight and people6 weeks. they are stock a lot of them beeen the outer belarusian border fence and the polish border and they have barbed wire behind them. they cannot move back to the belarus. the border is totally dependent on the belarusian border guards who are still driving them around to give them a bter chance ocrossing rather than those bi columns of people of 20, 30, 40, 50 that we saw in recent weeks. i was in the warehouse near the bullish border close to where we saw the big confrontations last week. people have been brought to safety in the warehouse and given footing shelter, but they were still reporting to as off-camera that the belarusian guards are putting them under pressure, hinting that it is
time for them to make time to cross if they don't want to return home, which for most of those people, it is back to iraq. michael: as we just heard, germany rejects lukashenko's proposal to let thousand migrants in. how is minsk reacting? is lukashenko changing tactics? nick: for now, there has been no acceptance of that statement from berlin. they are still pushi the line that it is time for germany to take responsibility for some of these people. belarusian state media are repeing the mtra that these people have come to europe to come to germany and not stay in belarus or go anhere else. so ty are not accepting this refusal from berlin. there were kids at the warehouse who had the flag painted on their cheeks. it was officially a pr stunt to try to create the television image and put pressure on the germans. but increasingly now the belarusian authorities are faced withhe reality that the
alternative is either to send these people back to their home countries, or allowing them to ask for asylum. interestingly, though, the belarusian leader saying today that there had been no asylum claiomething we were able to clarify is not the case. people telling us they have made official asylum clas. they are still ting to get some people into the border smaller groups, in the hope that it will be more effective. given that the winter temperatures, there is a sense for many at the warehouse that they are on borrowed time and they might forest back in the forest to create more dramatic images and more suffering, that will potentially force european countries to act. so there is a sense that this is not resolved. for now it seems that the belarusian side has stepped down and is taking stock of the situation it has created. michael: many thanks to nick connolly in minsk. the wta says it remains concerned about the welfare of
chinese tennis star peng shuai. she disappeared from public view after accusing a senior politician of sexual assault. on sunday, the international olympic committee said peng was safe and well after, a video call with the olympiad. but the wta and women's rights groups remain unconvinced. reporter: this is what china is presenting as proof that she is safe and well. a public appearance, supposedly added tennis tournament in beijing on sunday. the international olympic committee backs up this version of events, after a 30 minute video call with peng. the ioc said she was at home and wanted her privacy to be respted. but rights groups are not convinced. >> the international olympic committee is entering dangerous quarters. they should be extremely careful not to participate in a itewash of possible human rights violations.
reporter: what the ioc did not mention is that peng has made sexual assault allegations against a politician. she claims that the now deleted social media post that she was raped year ago. the country's political machine has swept away the topic. >> what i have to tell you is that this is indeed not a diplomatic matter. as you will have noticed, she has appeared in public events recently. next question. reporter: with beijing to host the winter olympics, the ioc appears reluctant to rock the boat. but women's tennis has threatened to take tournaments away from china if peng's allegations are not properly investigated.
in its latest statement, the wta said the videos do not alleviate or address their concerns about her well-being and ability to communicate without censorship or coercion. many have been using the hashtag #whereispengshuai on social media. that may have been answered. but how is she, that is not clear. michael: switching to an awards ceremony that is not as prestigious as the grammys or as the mtv's, but the american music awards are closer to the fans. the public cast their votes online. no surprise that the night belongs to the biggest pop phenomenon of the moment. ♪ reporter: it was a night of eccentric performances. heart wrenching songs, and superstars like jennifer lopez.
and bruno mars. ♪ but they weren't the evening's biggest winners. >> bts! [shouting] >>bts! >> bts! reporter: that i could boy band bts. >> seriously, we never take this for granted. thank you so much we love you all. reporter: the k-pop sensation have the biggest voting fan base, clinching favorite pop group, pop song, and the biggest prize, artist of the year, dethroning taylor swift, who has won it three years in a row. swift picked up his favorite female pop artist and pop album. >> thank you so much for doing this. i just have to say to the fans,
thank you for all the amazing support. reporter: the evening was hosted by u.s. rubber cardi b, in a series of fanciful outfits. she was also honored by fans, picking up the award for favorite hip-hop song. but the undisputed high point was a showstopping performance by bts and british rockers coldplay. the tv premiere of their joint hit "my universe." two generations of pop history federally sharing a stage. ♪ michael: a zoo in northern germany has announced the arrival of twin polar bears. mama bear sizzle welcomed them to the world on november 14. zoo keepers say she is taking care of her offspring and that the cubs are doing well. but visitors will have to wait until spring to see the twins. the new family will spend the next few months in the den.
a quick reminder of e top story we are following for you, several european countries seeing a backlash against tightening coronavirus restrictions as infections surge. austria has gotten back into a national lockdown. christmas markets, shops, bars and restaurants must close for 10 days. you are watching dw news. i will take you through "the day" in just a moment. i am a my phone oku -- i am michael oku. thanks for watching. ♪ ♪
anchor: catch up on our world news headlines here on live from paris. austria back in lockdown, the first european country to close down non-essential shops as well as cafés and bars since the vaccine rollout. a hard-line conservative has won the first round of chile's presidential race. he will now face the leftist candidate in a december runoff. and in the united states, five people have been killed, 14 more injured after a vehicle plowed into dozens of people at a christmas parade in wisconsin. ♪