Berlin (dpa) - Despite clear criticism from the federal government, the Bundeswehr is still not allowed to help fight the corona pandemic in the Berlin district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg.

The district assembly decided with a large majority of those present to continue to discuss two corresponding proposals from the SPD and CDU first in the social committee.

Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, which is characterized by a green left-wing alternative, is the only one of twelve Berlin districts that does not allow corona aid from the Bundeswehr, for example when tracking chains of infection.

Federal Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Health Minister Jens Spahn (both CDU) had criticized this and suspected ideological reasons behind this approach.

The district has one of the highest infection rates in the red-red-green ruled capital, in which the number of corona cases has recently increased sharply anyway.

Nonetheless, in the debate in the district parliament, the left and the Greens in particular asserted that, as evidenced by the responsible city council, the health department had the situation under control and could follow up contacts without help.

In eleven of the twelve Berlin districts, 60 soldiers have been deployed for a long time, helping in overloaded health departments with the follow-up of contacts of infected people, often by telephone, or in teams for tests.

At the beginning of the week, 180 more soldiers were added.

Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg goes on to say: «No thanks».

"I have no understanding that red-red-green is more likely to risk that there are rapidly increasing infections, that chains of infection cannot be tracked or contained, other than to be helped by the Bundeswehr," said Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) told the "Tagesspiegel" about the negative attitude of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg.

Spahn made a similar statement on ARD.

Against this background, the Governing Mayor Michael Müller felt compelled to clarify that help from the Bundeswehr is welcome in the pandemic.

If Berlin could continue to use soldiers, for example to track the chains of infection, he would be very happy, said the SPD politician in the House of Representatives.

He would be grateful if the troops would continue to help in Berlin, as in other federal states.

Müller and Health Senator Dilek Kalayci (SPD) emphasized that Berlin had already received a lot of support from the Bundeswehr during the pandemic.

This applies, for example, to the construction of an emergency hospital, the procurement of protective clothing, the operation of test sites or storage capacities.

"I will make it clear at every point that we will continue to be happy to accept the help," said Müller.

According to the decision of the district parliament, however, it cannot be assumed that the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district office, which is comparable to the town hall of a municipality, will allow the Bundeswehr.

District Mayor Monika Herrmann (Greens) had spoken out in favor of the Bundeswehr's relief effort in view of the turmoil.

"Any helping hand is welcome," she told the Tagesspiegel.

At the same time she referred to the district parliament.

In the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district with 290,400 inhabitants, there are so far 1517 confirmed corona infections.

The number of infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days was recently just below the value of 50, which is considered critical.

Already at a value of 30 the alarm bells ring all over Berlin.

This has been exceeded for several days, so last Tuesday the Senate decided on restrictive upper limits for private celebrations and a mask requirement for office and administrative buildings.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 201002-99-793120 / 3