Germany extends virus lockdown till mid-April as cases rise

Germany extends virus lockdown till mid-April as cases rise
German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: Germany has extended its coronavirus lockdown measures by another month and imposed several new restrictions in attempt to contain the spread, including largely shutting down public life over Easter holiday.

Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that restrictions previously set to run through March 28 will now remain in place until April 18. Ms Merkel announced it after a lengthy video call with the country’s 16 state governors.

Germany has been facing a sharp rise in coronavirus infections as the more contagious variant of the virus first detected in Britain has become dominant, and the country’s daily number of cases per capita has passed that of the US.

Merket told reporters: “We basically have a new pandemic.”

She said while speaking to journalist in Barlin: “Essentially we have a new virus, obviously of the same type but with completely different characteristics. Significantly more deadly, significantly more infectious (and) infectious for longer.”

Since the last meeting between Merkel and governors three weeks ago, which saw the two sides agree a multi-step plan to relax restrictions, several states have tried to avoid going back into tougher Covid lockdowns when the weekly number of new infections exceeds 100 per 100,000 residents on three consecutive days.

The German Chancellor made clear that she wouldn’t accept that.

She said: “Unfortunately, we will have to make use of this emergency brake.”

The weekly coronavirus infection rate per 100,000 people stood at 107 nationwide on Monday, up from the mid-60s three weeks ago.

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