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Germany: Merkel for extending lockdown beyond January 31
German chancellor is considering to extend strict measures for 8 to 10 weeks amid fears of mutated coronavirus
Germany: Merkel for extending lockdown beyond January 31

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is considering to extend strict lockdown measures beyond Jan. 31 due to concerns over mutated versions of the coronavirus, local media reported on Tuesday.

Merkel told a closed-door meeting of lawmakers that they would need “eight to 10 more weeks of tough measures” to contain the spread of coronavirus, Bild daily reported citing participants in the meeting.

The chancellor reportedly expressed her concern over the mutated versions of the virus, and warned that the new daily cases may increase tenfold in April, if they would not impose stricter measures now.

Coronavirus-related deaths and new infections have continued to increase in Germany in recent weeks raising alarm among the authorities.

There are an estimated 322,846 active COVID-19 cases in the country as of Tuesday, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

Currently, 5,230 seriously ill coronavirus patients are receiving treatment in intensive care units, with 3,000 of them on mechanical ventilators.

German health authorities voiced concern over the new virus variant B.1.1.7, which was first reported in the UK last month, and are still examining whether it played a role in the recent spike in coronavirus cases in the country.

German Health Ministry has prepared a new regulation this week, which would oblige laboratories to conduct more detailed testing, in order to detect infections with the mutated variants of coronavirus.

The new variant B.1.1.7 is up to 70% more transmissible than previously circulating variants, according to the preliminary studies in the UK.

Germany has the fifth-highest tally of COVID-19 infections in Western Europe, behind the UK, France, Italy, and Spain.

The national total now stands at over 1.93 million cases with at least 41,577 deaths.

Image Credit: © AA


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