Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel today defended the severity of the restrictions that came into force in Germany on Monday to stop the spread of the coronavirus and reiterated that its objective is to reduce contact between people as much as possible. “The virus punishes half-hearted decisions,” Merkel said to explain the harshness of the measures taken by the Berlin government and the executives of the 16 federal states at a press conference unexpectedly called a few hours earlier in the “Bundespressekonferenz”, the international press center in Berlin, instead of the Federal Chancellery as usual. “We cannot allow the spread of the virus to overwhelm our health offices,” stressed the Chancellor, who described the fact that currently 75% of infections cannot be traced as worrying. “We must reduce our contacts where possible,” the conservative policy appealed to the German people.
“We have long weighed whether there is a better or a softer way. But we haven’t found it. For this reason, we approve these guidelines with all heartache, ”explained Angela Merkel, referring to the closure from today and throughout the month of November of all bars, restaurants and hotels, as well as cultural and sports centers throughout Germany. He added that the decision to dictate the new restrictions is supported by leading organizations and scientific experts, who permanently advise the Berlin executive. For the chancellor, it is a priority now that health centers return to control the chains of infections and the situation of the pandemic in this country. In that sense, he pointed out that the current incidence rate of the Sars-Covid-2 virus in Germany is 127.8 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in a week and that the objective of the restrictions is to reduce that rate to less than 50 infections. , the upper limit set by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for virology to declare a region of risk.
“It is natural that people are disappointed because all this lasts so long,” acknowledged Merkel, who commented that the virus has regained ground in autumn and the long winter months still lie ahead. After bluntly warning that “the light at the end of the tunnel is still quite far away,” the head of the German government said she understood “the discontent, although I must ask for understanding, because we have no alternative” to the measures taken to deal with the pandemic. The federal chancellor said she believes in the force of reason and responsibility in a democracy. “This is a test that we have not experienced since the Second World War,” he commented, then pointing out that “it is an event that only occurs once in the century.”
Angela Merkel demanded that the population be willing to sacrifice. “This means four weeks of giving up many things that make life beautiful,” declared the conservative policy, for which it is the responsibility of each and every citizen to help suppress the pandemic. “If we succeed, and I believe we will succeed, we will have a more bearable December, although under the dictates of the regulations against the coronavirus,” said the federal chancellor hopefully. Asked about the upcoming holidays, Merkel stressed that “there should be no Christmas alone”, although the decision depends on how this month unfolds: “if we are all very responsible in November, we can allow ourselves more freedom at Christmas.” But then he added that “I don’t think there are going to be big New Year’s parties.” The head of the federal government did not want to compromise on the situation that awaits the country at the end of the year and recalled that in the middle of this month she will have a new meeting with the prime ministers of the 16 federal states to analyze the situation of the pandemic in Germany and the effect of the new restrictions.
The federal chancellor also had words for the owners of bars, restaurants and hotels, but also other businesses such as gyms, massage or manicure and pedicure shops that this Monday had to close their doors in a compulsory and forced manner. “We will not leave anyone alone with their losses,” said the Chancellor, then to recall that the Ministries of Economy and Finance have prepared a comprehensive package of aid to prevent these small companies from being doomed to bankruptcy.
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