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German Health Minister pleads for lockdown 'to break Covid wave'

AFP
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German Health Minister pleads for lockdown 'to break Covid wave'
Health Minister Jens Spahn on Friday. Photo: DPA

Germany's Health Minister Jens Spahn and medical experts have renewed calls for drastic measures to gain control over spiralling coronavirus cases as hospital beds fill up.

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"We need a lockdown in order to break this wave," said Health Minister Spahn, saying that tougher measures could provide a "bridge" to an eventual reopening of public life.

Official figures on Friday showed 25,464 new cases in the past 24 hours, while intensive care doctors warned that hospitals could soon be inundated.

"We are profoundly concerned about the current situation," said Gernot Marx, president of Germany's intensive medicine association DIVI.

"We are on the brink of overwhelming our health system," he added, explaining that Germany currently had only 3,000 free intensive care beds after a "dramatic rise" in admissions in recent weeks.

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In an "urgent appeal" to political leaders, he called for a "hard lockdown of two to three weeks".

READ ALSO: German virologist warns of 'permanent lockdown' amid rising Covid infections

The head of the Robert Koch Institute infectious disease agency, Lothar Wieler, also called for tighter measures in the face of a "very serious situation".

"If we don't go into lockdown, a lot of people will lose their lives," he said.

Earlier on Friday, German leaders agreed to tighten the national coronavirus law in a bid to give the federal government powers to enact health measures.

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Comments (4)

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Anonymous 2021/04/09 18:05
I thought we have been in a lockdown for months? Doing more of the same and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. That just forces people into smaller spaces and riskier behaviors, and it creates a different set of health and mental issues as people are not getting screenings of treatments for other diseases. The state of Texas has been fully open, no masks are required, and the number of cases has been dropping. Of course the vaccination campaign across the USA has been a lot more successful than on this side of the world.
Anonymous 2021/04/09 17:12
AGAIN. Closing Shops etc. is not the way. People behave there. It is the visits to other people's Homes, people hanging out in Parks, Parties at Flats that are the problems. That is what should be monitored & heavily punished.
Anonymous 2021/04/09 16:48
Do a 3 weeks lockdown and vaccinate at least 10 million people in these 3 weeks. No point in partial lockdown. Do a complete lockdown and have an opening plan with a high vaccination option.
Anonymous 2021/04/09 15:58
THEN DO IT!! All this talk and no action by German politicians has got us to this point. Half measures, pussyfooting, and pandering has us six months lock down. Take responsibility and DO SOMETHING!

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