German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that of the possibility of getting caught up in the third wave if lockdown in Germany is lifted too soon.
The warning comes after 10 of Germany’s 16 states reopened daycare centers and elementary schools, as the nation started to consider ways to lift the heavy restrictions that has managed to shutter the country’s non-essential businesses for more than 10 weeks.
In an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Ms Merkel said: “Because of (variants), we are entering a new phase of the pandemic, from which a third wave may emerge. So we must proceed wisely and carefully so that a third wave does not necessitate a new complete shutdown throughout Germany.” we wrote about the variants HERE.
Most parts of Europe recorded new cases of the new variant, mainly the first reported variants from United Kingdom and South Africa. Both have shown characteristics of spreading rapidly.
While other businesses will remain shut until the 7th of March, hairdressers are expected to resume business by March 1st.
According to the Robert Koch Institute, there 61.7 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. Ms Merkel said the goal was to reduce the incident rate to 35 per 100,000, so that the economy can reopen in a meaningful way.
She defended the states’ decisions to reopen schools, saying that districts that achieve the 35 in 100,000 rate could do so without having an impact on other areas.
“An intelligent opening strategy is inextricably linked with comprehensive quick tests, as it were as free tests,” Ms Merkel said. “I cannot say exactly how long it will take to install such a system. But it will be in March.”
Meanwhile Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has warned that restrictions in his country are starting to lose their impact, highlighting the urgent need of a boost to the bloc’s vaccine stocks.
Talking to German Newspaper Bild, he said: “The objective situation in Austria was simply that after six weeks the lockdown had lost its effect. People have adhered to it less and less, there have been more and more shifts to the private sector, and a lockdown where no one participates, of course, makes little sense.”
Source:CNN, Bild, Afronews.de