Merkel in favor of short national lockdown to curb spike in cases

Berlin, Apr 7 (efe-epa).- German chancellor Angela Merkel has backed a short national lockdown to help slow a recent resurgence of coronavirus infections in the country, a government spokesperson said Wednesday.

Several leaders of Germany’s federal states have been calling for a tougher, unified nationwide lockdown as the country grapples with a third wave of cases.

“Every call for a short, uniform lockdown is right,” Ulrike Demmer said. “A common nationwide approach would be important here.”

She said that the number of patients requiring intensive care was again on the rise, adding that the inconsistent application of public health rules across the 16 states “is not contributing to security and acceptance at the moment.”

The slight drop in cases seen over Easter weekend is not a stable indicator of the epidemiological situation, she insisted, as fewer tests are done on weekends and public holidays.

Merkel’s stance in favor of a short lockdown echoes calls made by her Christian Democratic Union party’s leader and prime minister of North-Rhine Westphalia, Armin Laschet, who on Monday called for a so-called “bridge” lockdown until the effects of Germany’s sluggish vaccination program start to be felt.

Germany has been under some form of lockdown since early November, when restaurants and cultural venues were ordered to shut. Shops and other non-essential businesses were also closed a month later, just before Christmas.

Attempts to reopen since then have had to be abandoned as case numbers have remained too high. EFE-EPA


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