Merkel gravely concerned about rising coronavirus cases in Germany
Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed grave concern about the development of the coronavirus epidemic in Germany. In a video conference, she warned that the federal republic could be seeing up to 19.200 infections per day by Christmas if the trend continues this way.
Rising infection numbers in Germany causing Merkel concern
In a meeting with top figures from her Christian Democrats (CDU) party on Monday, Merkel stressed that development of the coronavirus pandemic was causing her great concern, and that everything had to be done to contain the spread of the virus as quickly as possible. She warned that infection numbers in Germany could leap up to 19.200 per day by Christmas “if things continue like this.”
“The development of infection numbers is of great concern to us,” said Merkel’s spokesperson Steffan Seibert on Monday. “We can see from some of our European friends where that could lead.” Seibert emphasised that “we are anything but powerless” in the fight against the virus and that, where “courageous intervention” is taken, the situation can be brought back under control.
Federal states to meet on Tuesday to discuss new measures
These warnings came a day before Merkel is due to hold a video conference with the leaders of Germany’s 16 federal states, to discuss measures to keep coronavirus infections down. In the CDU meeting, Merkel also reportedly laid out her thinking as to where her priorities would lie if it came to further restrictions.
“We must set priorities,” she is quoted as saying in German tabloid Bild. “Keeping the economy running, schools and kindergartens open. Football is secondary.” She also reportedly sees parties, visits to restaurants and religious events as problematic, from the perspective of containing the pandemic.
2.000 new coronavirus cases per day in Germany
Back in March, rising coronavirus infections prompted the federal government to enact a range of unprecedented nationwide restrictions, including shop, restaurant and bar closures. These stringent measures were gradually eased from late April, but the resumption of inter-European travel and larger social gatherings over the summer has caused infection numbers to rise again.
Germany recorded 2.507 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, the highest value since April, although still a significantly smaller number than the 6.000 per day seen at the peak of the pandemic in March.