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Coronavirus: Why Angela Merkel can’t set an end date for lockdown

Coronavirus lockdown will remain in place for a while. Chancellor Angela Merkel sees some hope in the situation improving in Germany, but she is not yet ready to set an end date for the nationwide restrictions on public life.

In a video address to nation on Friday she said next week’s Easter holidays will be “completely different than any we had before,” DW reported.

The rise in confirmed coronavirus infections in Germany “is now a bit slower than it was just a few days ago,” Ms Merkel said. “It is true that the latest numbers… as high as they are, very cautiously give a bit of hope,” she said.

She however pointed out that it was “definitely too soon to recognize a definite trend, and it is way too soon to start loosening any of the strict rules we have imposed on ourselves.”

She described the coronavirus lockdown measures are “literally of life importance.”

Ms Merkel warned that the virus was still quickly spreading through Germany and described the country’s anti-pandemic effort as a “Herculean task.”

She said she would be acting in an irresponsible manner to lift the coronavirus lockdown measures at this stage. In this scenario “we would go from the frying pan into the fire — medically, economically, socially,” Ms Merkel said.

She advised people in Germany to avoid celebrating the Easter holiday in their usual way.

“For millions of Christians, Easter means going to church, spending Easter Sunday with the entire family, maybe taking a walk or making a celebration,” Ms Merkel said. “But not this year.

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Ms Merkel returned to her Berlin office on Friday after two weeks in home quarantine. “Thankfully the chancellor tested negative for the coronavirus several times … Now the work continues from the chancellery,” said government spokesman Steffen Seibert.

She will however continue to observe social distancing rules and lead the country via video and audio conferencing.


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