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Merkel backs 'short, uniform lockdown' across Germany

April 07, 2021
The German government led by Chancellor Angela Merkel is calling for a short country-wide lockdown to try and curb the spread of COVID-19. — Courtesy file photo
The German government led by Chancellor Angela Merkel is calling for a short country-wide lockdown to try and curb the spread of COVID-19. — Courtesy file photo



BERLIN — The German government led by Chancellor Angela Merkel is calling for a short country-wide lockdown to try and curb the spread of COVID-19.

“Every call for a short, unified, lockdown is correct,” Ulrike Demmer, the spokeswoman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, confirmed on Wednesday.

“The variety of the current measures are not contributing to safety or to acceptance,” she added, highlighting the importance of a "common federal approach."

Demmer went on to say the current situation was unsustainable, with too much pressure on German healthcare. “We need a stable incidence rate below 100,” she concluded.

German state governors, who are responsible for imposing and lifting virus restrictions, have taken different approaches lately. Some have continued to back limited reopening steps while others advocate a stricter shutdown.

Merkel and the 16 state governors confer every few weeks on coronavirus measures. Those sometimes sprawling and ill-tempered get-togethers have drawn increasing criticism, particularly as governors have frequently taken different approaches to implement what they agree upon.

Last month, Merkel and the governors sparred for hours before announcing unexpected plans for a five-day Easter shutdown. Merkel then dumped the plans less than 36 hours later after concluding they were unworkable and apologized to Germans.

Last week, Germany's public health authority, the Robert Koch Institute, found that the coronavirus variant B.1.1.7 -- which was first identified in the UK -- accounted for nearly 90% of new infections in the country. — Agencies


April 07, 2021
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