COVID-19 curb: Germany to impose emergency month-long lockdown

Clay Curtis
October 28, 2020

German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants a meeting with state leaders on Wednesday to agree to close all restaurants and bars from November 4 in a bid to curb coronavirus infections but keep schools and nurseries open, newspaper Bild reported.

The proposed restrictions, which would take effect November 4 and remain in force until the end of the month, must still be discussed with the state leaders.

"If we wait until intensive care is full, it is too late", said Health Minister Jens Spahn, who last week tested positive for the virus.

Schools, daycare centres and shops will remain open, but hotels nights will be allowed only for "necessary and expressedly non-tourism purposes".

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for disease control said 14,964 new coronavirus infections had been confirmed during a 24-hour period, marking the country's highest daily increase since the pandemic began. The U.N. health agency said virus-related deaths were also on the rise in Europe, with about a 35% spike since the previous week, as well as hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

The coronavirus incidence in Germany is very high, and if this continues, the healthcare system will reach its limits in a few weeks, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday.

French President Emmanuel Macron planned to make a televised evening address to the nation later Wednesday.

Protesters crowd a Berlin street they are against a new lockdown in Germany

"The curve must be flattened that contact tracing can be once again carried out", she said, adding that in three out of four cases today, officials are no longer able to determine where the transmission occurred.

"We will compensate affected companies, institutions and clubs", she said. "The coronavirus itself and corona fatigue, that is the growing weariness when it comes to the precautionary measures".

Germany, widely praised for keeping its infection rate much lower than other major powers in the initial phase of the crisis in the first half of this year, now confronts a faster new upswing in cases than expected, spurring Merkel to advance to Wednesday talks with state leaders on additional curbs.

The Czech government has further tightened its regulations, imposing a nationwide curfew between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. that started Wednesday.

There have been over 456,000 cases of the virus in Germany since the beginning of the current pandemic.

But Economy Minister Peter Altmaier warned that Germany was seeing "exponential growth" in case numbers and would probably reach "20,000 new infections per day" by the end of the week.

"Those are not decisions that are easy to take", he added.

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One man drowned , while a woman, along with two children - aged five and eight - suffered cardiac arrests and never recovered. French maritime officials routinely rescue migrants trying to cross the Channel and warn against the risky crossing.

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