Germany is at a critical period in the fight against COVID-19, and human behavior in the coming weeks will be crucial.
From an economic point of view, Germany cannot afford a new closure, as during the first wave of the coronavirus epidemic in the spring. The situation needs to be addressed urgently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was quoted as saying by world news agencies after a meeting with the prime ministers of the federal regions at which additional measures against the spread of the coronavirus were agreed.
Hours after the talks, the Robert Koch Institute announced that 6,638 newly infected people had been registered in 24 hours – an absolute record since the beginning of the pandemic and about 1,500 more than yesterday.
“We have adopted a budget that provides for a new debt of over EUR 250 billion for this year alone. For this reason, we cannot afford, including economically, a second wave like the one in the spring with the same consequences”, Merkel said, adding that it is not just about the health system. The chancellor stressed that the country is at a critical stage in the fight against COVID-19 and that people’s behavior in the coming weeks will be crucial.
Merkel acknowledged that the results of the meeting were not entirely satisfactory. No unanimity was reached on whether to introduce a single ban on the movement of citizens by the so-called risk areas – areas where the number of infected per week exceeds 50 per 100,000 inhabitants. The chancellor called on young people to contribute to the fight against the pandemic by giving up partying after several private celebrations have been cited as the cause of localized coronavirus outbreaks in German cities.
It is recommended that masks, which have been mandatory in public transport and shops since April, to become mandatory in public spaces where people are close to each other in the regions with more than 35 per 100,000 newly infected people per week. In areas with more than 50 per 100,000 people infected per week, public and private gatherings will be limited to 10 people.