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Merkel backs shock lockdown to stem rising Covid cases across Germany

Merkel backs shock lockdown to stem rising Covid cases across Germany
Chancellor Angela Merkel is backing a short, sharp lockdown across Germany to stem a sudden rise in Covid cases, her spokeswoman confirmed, saying the nation’s health system was under growing pressure.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, German government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said Merkel favored “a short, national lockdown,” adding that “every call for a short, uniform lockdown is right.”

Earlier, Markus Söder, the premier of Bavaria, told German broadcaster ARD he favored a “short, consistent lockdown,” adding such a move “only makes sense if everyone joins in.”

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“The less consistent we are, the longer it will take,” he warned.

The country has been in some form of lockdown since November but is struggling to curb a recent rise in cases linked to the so-called British variant. Because Germany is a federal system, each of its 16 states makes its own coronavirus rules.

Merkel is due to meet state leaders on April 12 to revise coronavirus rules.

Demmer said intensive-care cases of Covid are growing across Germany with a 5% increase in the past 24 hours, adding that coronavirus cases per 100,000 needed to be below 100, as the different rules are “not contributing to security and acceptance at the moment.”

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On Wednesday, officials at the Robert Koch Institute – Germany’s public health monitor – said the current rate is 110.1 per 100,000 population.

Germany has reported more than 2.91 million cases of coronavirus over the past year and recorded 77,245 deaths from Covid-19.

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