Merkel backs tougher Covid-19 lockdown in Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel. File photo.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel. File photo.
Image: Markus Schreiber/Pool via REUTERS

Chancellor Angela Merkel supports demands for a short, tough lockdown in Germany to curb the spread of the coronavirus as infection rates are too high, a German government spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Germany is struggling to tackle a third wave of the pandemic and several regional leaders have called for a short, sharp lockdown while the country tries to vaccinate more people.

“Every call for a short, uniform lockdown is right,” deputy government spokesperson Ulrike Demmer told reporters, adding Germany was seeing a growing number of intensive care patients.

“We need a stable incidence below 100,” she said, referring to the number of cases over seven days per 100,000 inhabitants. It is now 110.1, according to the Robert Koch Institute.

She also said that the government was looking at whether nationwide, rather than regional, measures were needed.

“The range of regulations does not help acceptance,” said Demmer. While some states have imposed night-time curfews over Easter, others are experimenting with some easing of restrictions.

The majority of Germany's 16 federal state premiers was against bringing forward talks scheduled for April 12 on what action to take.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany rose by 9,677 on Wednesday to more than 2.9 million, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases said. It has warned that the numbers may not yet show the full picture as not all cases were registered over Easter.

More than 77,000 people have died in the country. 


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