German official warns of months of severe COVID-19 restrictions

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Germany’s Economy Minister said the nation should be prepared for a multi-month lockdown to deal with the rising number of coronavirus cases.”We are not out of the woods yet,” Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told the weekly Bild am Sonntag, according to Reuters. “We can’t afford a yo-yo shutdown with an economy that’s constantly opening and closing.”

“If we don’t want days with 50,000 new infections, as was the case in France a few weeks ago, we have to see through this and not constantly speculate on measures that can be relaxed again,” at he declared for publication. “All countries that lifted their restrictions too early have so far paid a high price in terms of the lives lost.”

Germany is one of many European countries to reimpose restrictions during the second wave of the virus. Although it has closed businesses like cafes and restaurants, it has not closed schools or retailers.

The president of the World Medical Association, meanwhile, warned that German hospitals could be overwhelmed, according to Reuters.

“I anticipate that we will have to talk about additional restrictions rather than any easing,” Frank Ulrich Montgomery told Augsburger Allgemeine, a German daily.

Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned last week that the second wave of the virus would likely be “more serious” than the initial outbreak.

“As was the case with the Spanish flu, we must now expect the second wave to be more severe,” she told economic advisers on Wednesday.

Germany has recorded 261 deaths, the highest daily number since April last week. Overall, new infections have declined slightly, but Health Minister Jens Spahn warned that “we still can’t talk about a trend reversal” despite “signs of a change”.

“It’s encouraging but it’s not enough,” he told German channel RTL last week.

Germany’s totals are just under 800,000 infections and 12,511 deaths on Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University.



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