Germany is warned against easing lockdown as Covid cases jump and third wave of infections as bad as Christmas is predicted to arrive next month
- The number of Covid cases in Germany has been rising for the last few weeks
- Health experts warn restrictions are not enough to contain British strain
- Frustration building within the country at slow pace of vaccination roll out
Health experts have warned against easing lockdown measures in Germany due to the spread of the more infectious variant of Covid-19 first detected in Britain.
The number of covid cases in the country have been rising for the last few weeks as some restrictions have been lifted, with a third wave of infections as bad as Christmas predicted to arrive next month.
The number of cases rose by 12,674 on Saturday alone, with the death toll up 239. The total death toll from the virus currently stands at more than 73,000.
Karl Lauterbach, health expert for the Social Democrats, told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper that there can only be ‘more relaxation [of the rules] if there are stable of falling case numbers.’
He added that this was unlikely to happen anytime soon.
Stefan Pilsinger, a doctor and member of parliament for the sister part of the ruling Christian Democrats, has predicted that the spread of the British strain in Germany could cause a spike in cases, similar to that seen around Christmas.
‘The previous lockdown measures were already insufficient to contain the more dangerous British COVID-19 variant,’ he told the newspaper.
Earlier this month, Chancellor Angela Merkel and state leaders agreed a phased easing of restrictions along with an ’emergency brake’ to let authorities reimpose lockdown if case numbers rise above 100 per 100,000 on three consecutive days.
They are due to meet on March 22 to discuss the possibility of relaxing the rules further.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and state leaders agreed on a phased easing of restrictions earlier this month, and gave authorities the power to reimpose restrictions if necessary
There has been wide spread frustration within the country due to the ongoing lockdown and slow pace of the vaccination roll out, further impacted by a face mask procurement scandal involving lawmakers within Angela Merkel’s party.
Last month Bild, Germany’s best-selling newspaper, led its front page with a picture of a Union Jack and the headline: ‘Dear Brits . . . We envy you!’ A caption added: ‘The English have announced their return to normality on June 21 . . . and here there is no hope.’
Merkel’s Christian Democrats have seen a decline in support in the states of Baden-Wuerttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate, where elections are being held this weekend.
Protesters were due to gather in Berlin over the weekend to demonstrate against the lockdown.
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