German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she will do everything in her power to avoid another national lockdown as coronavirus infections rise again in Europe’s largest economy.
“We all want to avoid a second national shutdown and we can do that,” Merkel said, adding that people know much more about how to protect themselves and the health system than they did in March, when a first national lockdown was implemented.
Merkel and the leaders of Germany’s 16 states have agreed to restrict the size of gatherings and to fine anyone who flouts tracking rules in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 over autumn and winter.
The German leader said on Wednesday a national lockdown should be avoided at all costs.
By European standards, Germany has experienced relatively low infection and death rates during the pandemic, but Merkel said cases could hit 19,200 per day if current trends continue.
The country reported 2,089 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing their total to 287,421 – with 9,471 fatalities – according to the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.
Speaking in parliament, Merkel said new restrictive measures over the winter months were necessary to save lives, expressing hope that the pandemic will soon end.
“I am sure that life as we knew it will return,” she said.
“Families will celebrate again, and clubs, theatres and soccer stadiums will be full again. And what a joy this will be.”
Australian Associated Press