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9 Apr, 2021 11:06

New lockdown of up to one month necessary to prevent third wave of coronavirus – Germany's top public health official

New lockdown of up to one month necessary to prevent third wave of coronavirus  – Germany's top public health official

The president of Germany’s Robert Koch Institute has called for a new lockdown of two to four weeks to end a third Covid-19 wave there, as Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to impose uniform restrictions across the country.

“Every day in which we don’t act, we lose lives,” said Prof. Wieler, president of the Robert Koch Institute – a German federal government agency and research institute responsible for disease control and prevention – during a weekly news conference.

Meanwhile Chancellor Merkel plans to take control from federal states to impose lockdown restrictions across the country. German government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said the federal government was planning to adopt new legislation next week to impose uniform coronavirus restrictions across the country.

Germany is in the middle of a third wave, so the federal government and the states have agreed to add to the national legislation,” Demmer told the media.

Germany has a federal system, which means each of its 16 states makes its own Covid-19 rules. The meeting with state leaders to revise coronavirus rules that was planned for April 12 has been cancelled.

This follows Merkel’s comments earlier this week in favor of a short and sharp lockdown across the country to ease the growing pressure on the nation’s health system.

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

Germany has been in some form of lockdown since November but is struggling to curb a recent spike in cases linked to the so-called British variant. The Robert Koch Institute says the number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased to almost 25,500 in one day on Thursday, which was around 3,000 more than the week before, adding however that the figures may be affected by the long Easter holiday weekend.  

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Germany plans to hold bilateral talks with Russia over possible deliveries of its Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine if the jab is approved by the European Union. Health Minister Jens Spahn said Berlin would discuss with Moscow when and what quantities of the vaccine could be delivered. 

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