Germany must suppress virus now or risk losing control, Merkel aide says

By Caroline Copley BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany must bring down coronavirus infections in the next few weeks or risk new virus mutations that are resistant to vaccines, and should impose night-time curfews in regions with high caseloads, said a top aide to Chancellor Angela Merkel. 'We are in the most dangerous phase of the pandemic,' Merkel's chief of staff Helge Braun told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper. 'The next few weeks will determine whether we can foreseeably get the pandemic under control.' If the number of infections rises rapidly again there is a growing danger that the next virus mutation will become resistant to the vaccine, Braun said

Reuters March 28, 2021 05:10:36 IST
Germany must suppress virus now or risk losing control, Merkel aide says

Germany must suppress virus now or risk losing control Merkel aide says

By Caroline Copley

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany must bring down coronavirus infections in the next few weeks or risk new virus mutations that are resistant to vaccines, and should impose night-time curfews in regions with high caseloads, said a top aide to Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"We are in the most dangerous phase of the pandemic," Merkel's chief of staff Helge Braun told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper. "The next few weeks will determine whether we can foreseeably get the pandemic under control."

If the number of infections rises rapidly again there is a growing danger that the next virus mutation will become resistant to the vaccine, Braun said.

"Then we would need new vaccines, then we would have to start vaccinating all over again," he added.

After a popular backlash and legal hurdles, Merkel was forced to ditch plans for an extended Easter holiday intended to try to break a third wave of COVID-19, but Braun said it remained imperative to reduce the number of infections.

In regions where the number of cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days is more than 100, he spoke out in favour of additional curbs. "That's where regional curfews in the evening and at night can help, because we have the highest infection rates at meetings in people's homes," he said

Coronavirus infections have risen sharply in Germany in recent weeks, driven by a more transmissible variant of the virus and moves to ease some restrictions.

On Saturday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 20,472, while the reported death toll rose by 157, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.

Braun said he expected the infection situation to ease in May, helped by the impact of vaccinations and the onset of warmer weather. "By Whitsun (May 23) we will see the first positive effects - provided the situation doesn't get out of hand by then."

(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by David Holmes)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.