Chancellor Angela Merkel said that German officials have agreed to close restaurants, bars, cinemas, theaters and other leisure venues for four weeks to curb the sharp rise in coronavirus infections.
Merkel and the country’s 16 governors responsible for implementing and relaxing restrictions agreed to a partial lockdown in a video conference on Wednesday. It is scheduled to take effect on Monday and will last until the end of November.
Merkel said: “We must act now to avoid an urgent national health emergency.”
Shops and schools will remain open, unlike the German closure period during the first phase of the pandemic in March and April. Restaurants will be able to provide takeaway food.
Merkel urged people not to make unnecessary trips and said the hotel would not be able to accommodate tourists.
The decision was made a few hours later. The German disease control agency said that a record 1
The Robert Koch Institute said on Wednesday that there are 83 million people in Germany and it also recorded 27 virus-related deaths, bringing the overall death toll to 10,098.
During the pandemic, it performed better than many European countries, but officials there warned that it had also begun to lose control of the situation and cited the surge in cases in the Czech Republic as the reason for the early blockade.
Merkel said: “We can say that our health system can meet today’s challenges.” “But if the rate of infection continues like this, then we will reach the limit that the health system can manage within a few weeks.”
Earler of the World Health Organization said that the European region-by its definition, includes Russia, Turkey, Israel and Central Asia-accounted for nearly half of the 2.8 million new coronavirus cases reported worldwide last week.
The United Nations health agency said that the number of virus-related deaths in Europe is also on the rise, up by about 35% since last week, and hospitalization and ICU occupancy rates due to COVID-19 are increasing.
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European Commission President Ursula von der Lehn told reporters in Brussels: “We have entered the second wave.” “I think this Christmas will be a different Christmas.”
In France, more than half of the country’s intensive care units are already occupied by COVID-19 patients. As hospitals became crowded, French military and civilian aircraft transported severely ill virus patients to other areas, and French doctors called on the government to implement new lockdown measures across the country.
French President Emmanuel Macron plans to have a national televised evening show later on Wednesday.
In the past 14 days, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the Czech Republic have also seen an increase in new cases, while Germany’s infection rate is low but steadily increasing.