Lockdown in Germany Extended Amid Pressure over Vaccine Strategy

Lockdown in Germany Extended Amid Pressure over Vaccine Strategy. image: Pixabay

Lockdown in Germany Extended Amid Pressure over Vaccine Strategy.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to extend the national lockdown and introduce stricter measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus, according to German media.

Germany’s daily deaths surpassed the 1,000-mark for the first time on 30 December, the pressure has now escalated to slow the spread of the disease which has claimed more than 34,000 lives. Chancellor Merkel together with the premiers of Germany’s 16 states held a video conference on Tuesday, January 5th, to extend the current partial lockdown beyond the 10 January deadline, probably until the end of the month.

Participants in the conference call were discussing sharpening some of the existing curbs including tightening limits on contacts from another household and introducing movement restrictions for people in regions with the worst outbreaks.

Health Minister Jens Spahn said: “Given that infection rates are still too high, it will be necessary to extend the restrictions.” Spahn noted that given such figures, a return to “face-to-face” learning for children was “highly implausible” and called for national guidelines on when and how schools could reopen.

Officials say the impact of holiday travel and socialising on the virus’s spread will not be known until mid-January but that the figures to date are already deeply worrying. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said with some 5,700 corona patients in intensive care, “hospitals in many places are working close to capacity”.

 


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Tony Winterburn

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