Left Menu
Development News Edition

Record daily German COVID-19 deaths spark Merkel 'mega-lockdown' plan -Bild

Germany recorded a new record number of deaths from the coronavirus on Thursday, prompting calls for an even tighter lockdown after the country emerged relatively unscathed in 2020. Chancellor Angela Merkel wanted a "mega-lockdown", mass-selling newspaper Bild reported, shutting down the country almost completely for fear of the fast-spreading variant of the virus first detected in Britain.

Reuters | Berlin | Updated: 15-01-2021 01:55 IST | Created: 15-01-2021 01:43 IST
Record daily German COVID-19 deaths spark Merkel 'mega-lockdown' plan -Bild
File Photo Image Credit: Flickr

Germany recorded a new record number of deaths from the coronavirus on Thursday, prompting calls for an even tighter lockdown after the country emerged relatively unscathed in 2020.

Chancellor Angela Merkel wanted a "mega-lockdown", mass-selling newspaper Bild reported, shutting down the country almost completely for fear of the fast-spreading variant of the virus first detected in Britain. She was considering measures including shutting down both local and long-distance public transport, though such steps had not yet been decided, Bild said. However, state officials were resisting tighter measures, state sources told Reuters.

At a meeting of top officials from her party on Thursday, Merkel called for "very fast action" against the spread of virus mutations, participants told Reuters. She also wanted to bring forward a meeting with regional leaders planned for Jan. 25. While Germany's total deaths per capita since the pandemic began remain far lower than the United States, its daily per capita mortality since mid-December has often exceeded that of that country.

Germany's daily death toll currently equates to about 15 deaths per million people, versus a U.S. toll of 13 deaths per million. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported 25,164 new coronavirus cases and 1,244 fatalities, bringing Germany's total death toll since the start of the pandemic to 43,881.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, ruling parties in the eastern state of Thuringia said they were postponing a regional election scheduled for April 25 until Sept. 26, the same day as this year's federal election. Germany initially managed the pandemic better than its neighbours with a strict lockdown last spring, but it has seen a sharp rise in cases and deaths in recent months, with the RKI saying people were not taking the virus seriously enough.

RKI president Lothar Wieler said on Thursday restrictions were not being implemented as consistently as they were during the first wave and said more people should work from home, adding that the current lockdown needed to be tightened further. Germany introduced a partial lockdown in November that kept shops and schools open, but it tightened the rules in mid-December, closing non-essential stores, and children have not returned to classrooms since the Christmas holidays.

Hospitals in 10 out of Germany's 16 states were facing bottlenecks as 85% of intensive care unit beds were occupied by coronavirus patients, Wieler said. So far only about 1% of the German population has been vaccinated, or 842,455 people, the RKI reported.

Germany has so far recorded 16 cases of people with the fast-spreading variant of the virus first detected in Britain and four with the variant from South Africa, Wieler said, although he admitted gene sequencing of samples was not being done broadly. Wieler urged people who were offered a COVID-19 vaccination to accept it.

"At the end of the year we will have this pandemic under control," Wieler said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

China: A savior for emerging markets or a poison pill?

... ...

Future of Urban Planning: Artificial Intelligence guiding the way

Advances in emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can help us understand our cities better and derive useful insights from real-time data collected through automated models....

Videos

Latest News

Deutsche Bank starts probe in relation to engagement with some clients

Deutsche Bank AG said on Sunday it began a probe in relation to engagement with some clients after the Financial Times reported earlier that the German lender was investigating the alleged mis-selling of investment banking products.We initi...

France probably needs new lockdown as early as February -top adviser

France probably needs to move into a third lockdown, perhaps as early as the February school holidays, because of the circulation of new variants of the virus, the governments top medical adviser on COVID-19 policy said on Sunday. French sc...

'Get out Bolsonaro!' say ex-supporters in Brazil as COVID-19, vaccines weigh

Meggy Fernandes voted for Jair Bolsonaro in Brazils 2018 presidential election, attracted by the far-right former army captains promise to shake up a hidebound political establishment mired in endless graft scandals.But after watching him j...

Portugal President Rebelo de Sousa wins new term in socially distanced ballot

Portugals centre-right President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa won a second term on Sunday, exit polls showed, in an election marked by strict health and safety rules as the country battles a crippling third wave of coronavirus contagion. Polls b...

Give Feedback