Chancellor Angela Merkel On Tuesday, the governors of the 16 states decided to extend the country’s lockdown for two weeks until February 14 and tighten some measures, for example ordering surgical masks – rather than cloth face coverings – in stores and on public transport.
On Thursday, Germany’s CDC said that 20,398 new cases had been reported in the past 24 hours, which is 5,000 fewer than last week. The number of new cases per 100,000 residents over the course of seven days reached 119, the lowest level since the start of November – though still well above the 50 level the government is targeting. And another 1,013 deaths were recorded, bringing the total number of deaths in Germany so far to 49,783.
The new variable that was discovered in Germany and many other European countriesMerkel told reporters: “It is not in control there yet, but we must deal with the threat of this boom very seriously.”
“We must slow the spread of this mutation as much as possible, which means … we should not wait for the danger to become more concrete here,” she said. “It will be too late to prevent a third wave of the epidemic, and it may be more severe than before. We can still prevent that.”
Merkel said Germany will not be able to open everything all at once when the lockdown ends, declaring that schools must open first.
“We have to be very careful not to see what is happening in many countries: they close too hard, open up, open too much, and then they have the result that they’re back to exponential growth very quickly,” she said.
She referred to Britain’s experience in December, when the new alternative took hold.