‘Too early’ to say how long anti-coronavirus ‘lockdown light’ will last, German health minister says
Germany’s health minister cannot say whether the country’s anti-coronavirus restrictions, introduced last week, will span beyond November, as authorities are still assessing whether they “are making a difference.”
Speaking to broadcaster ARD on Friday, Health Minister Jens Spahn refused to give any prognosis for how long the partial lockdown will last.
“It is actually too early to assess this now. We will see in the next few days whether they are making a difference.”
The new restrictions, dubbed “lockdown light” by German media, were implemented by the country’s authorities last Monday. The measures, intended to curb the spread of the virus, included the closure of restaurants and pubs, plus cinemas, theaters, gyms, and other public venues.
Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to meet the heads of Germany’s states next Monday to review the new measures and determine whether they’ve been effective in curbing the sharp increase in coronavirus cases.
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While the “lockdown light” has been in place for nearly two weeks already, the number of new coronavirus cases registered in Germany continues to grow. On Friday, the country set a grim record, reporting some 23,542 new coronavirus patients, according to the latest statistics by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the German federal agency responsible for tackling infectious diseases.
The total number of coronavirus cases in Germany has passed the 750,000 mark, putting the nation among the worst-affected countries in Europe.
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