Bonn Bonn's city director Wolfgang Fuchs is threatening high fines for violations of the Corona Rules of Conduct. He also encourages Bonners to report violations of Corona rules of conduct by telephone.
Following Mayor Ashok Sridharan, city director Wolfgang Fuchs has also announced tough action in the event of violations of the contact ban in the Corona crisis. "If we catch anyone else now, we will impose the highest fine possible in a specific individual case," explains Fuchs, who heads the city's crisis management team. That's up to 5,000 Euro, and in the event of a repeat offence up to 25,000 Euro.
Since Sunday evening, no more than two people are allowed to be out together in public - unless they are close family members or are sharing flats or apartments. Since then, there have also been significantly fewer violations than on weekends, Fuchs reports. At that time, the security staff had had to instruct twelve landlords and 15 shop owners who had not complied with the closure order.
The city crisis meeting varies according to the situation: regularly attending are the alderman Carolin Krause (social affairs), Margarete Heidler (finances) and Helmut Wiesner (planning), as well as the city spokeswoman Monika Hörig and the heads of the offices for health, social affairs, youth, school, internal organisation and the citizens' services. The police send a liaison man to the crisis team, the university hospitals send the hygiene expert Martin Exner, the public utilities send their bus and train manager Anja Wenmakers.
The crisis committee makes decisions such as the planned complete closure of Bonn's hotels. At the moment, they are considering whether a second diagnostic centre is necessary, reports Fuchs. The city had set up a first contact point on Gotenstrasse, where smear tests are taken in cases of suspected corona.
Lord Mayor Sridharan attended the meetings, said Fuchs. Although the Lord Mayor does not head the crisis team, the overall political responsibility lies with Sridharan. "All major decisions are referred to him."
"Some people have acted completely irresponsibly," rebukes the city director. You only have to look at the Corona mortality rate in Italy and Spain to understand what "horrendous numbers" could also threaten Germany. Nevertheless, by Wednesday the city had registered 26 cases, 25 of which involved people in illegally large groups and a shisha bar operator who had to pay 4000 Euro. "But the vast majority of citizens have understood the seriousness of the situation," says Fuchs.
The security service, which is on four-man patrol, currently has around 44 people working in two shifts. If necessary, administrative staff from other offices would be called in to reinforce the team. If there are any serious conflicts with people who won’t listen, the police are alerted.
The city director encourages Bonn residents to report violations of Corona regulations. "Nobody should be afraid to call us, because the health of everyone is at stake." Citizens are best advised to use the hotline of the public order service (0228/77-3333). So far, 146 reports have been received. For example, a neighbour in an apartment heard loud music and many voices and alerted the public order office, says Fuchs. The officers had ended the birthday party with about 20 guests. There is not yet a legal basis for this. The state government only advises against parties in private rooms. "We urgently appeal to refrain from private parties", warns Fuchs. "If it turns out in the next few days that there is no response to this appeal, we will contact the Ministry and ask them to issue a concrete regulation in this regard."
For weeks now, the public health department (73 offices) has been under high pressure. About 20 doctors are employed in the office, some of them part-time. According to the city, 15 people have responded to the call for retired physicians to volunteer as helpers for the Corona hotline. Due to the increasing number of cases, it is no longer realistic to determine all contact persons for every confirmed infection, said Fuchs. The public health department is trying to do so anyway. So far, 15 employees from other administrative areas would strengthen the office. For example, they would take over the daily calls to Bonn citizens who are in quarantine - on Wednesday, that was 550.
According to Fuchs, the offer of Bonn landlords to cook at cost price for homeless people and system-relevant professional groups is currently being examined in the administration. "That's a good idea," says the city manager. "I would like to thank everyone who is committed to our community. The helpfulness of the people is impressive."