Friday, April 3, 2020

Angela Merkel asks citizens for patience | TIME ONLINE

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Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) believes it is premature to debate whether measures to curb the coronavirus crisis could be eased again. She wants to “say very clearly that it is not the time to talk about easing these measures at the moment,” she said. At the moment, it still only takes four to five days for the number of infected to double. This period had to be stretched much further, “towards ten days”. The aim of the measures is that the health system is not overloaded.

The incubation period lasted at least five days and could last up to 14 days, said Merkel. Since the measures have only been in force since Monday, it is not yet possible to see whether they have worked. She therefore had to “ask the people in Germany for patience,” said the Chancellor, adding: “It was always clear that we can only think about the measures if we see effects”. Unfortunately, one is “quite a distance away” from this.

Business representatives and politicians are already discussing the duration of the restrictions. Reint E. Gropp, President of the Leibniz Institute for Economic Research Halle, said in an interview with the Central German newspaper, The German economy can withstand the current restrictions for a maximum of two months. Should the lockdown last longer, a long-lasting recession threatens despite the rescue packages. “Companies would break down en masse. It would take a lot of time to rebuild them,” said Gropp. In the interview, the economist suggests massive virus rapid tests, according to which only infected people would have to stay at home. Furthermore, the restrictions should apply to people with previous illnesses and those over 65 years of age.

“No longer than absolutely necessary”

Lower Saxony’s Interior Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) spoke in an interview with the New Osnabrück newspaper also about a relaxation of the starting conditions as soon as possible. “I promise: As soon as possible, we will gradually lift the restrictions,” he told the newspaper. He was not only concerned about the social, health and economic consequences of the official measures. “We are also massively restricting civil and liberty rights. This can only be justified in a historical situation like the current one and must not take longer than absolutely necessary,” said Pistorius.

The independent Mayor of Cologne spoke out against an early relaxation of the ban on contacts Henriette Reker out. At the same time, she warned of a split in society. She referred to suggestions to limit the isolation to the risk group of sick and elderly people Cologne city scoreboard as “cynical and wrong”. The cohesion of society “is not endangered by the decisions we have to make to slow the spread of the virus – but by those who speak out about a ‘youth rebellion’ because the corona virus does not affect it at all” , says Reker.

In doing so, she responded to a suggestion by her Düsseldorf colleague Thomas Geisel (SPD) who made a contribution in the Wednesday Rheinische Post proposed a change of strategy in combating the pandemic. Geisel had written that one should only “isolate the older people at risk” in order to avoid a months-long standstill in economic life. It is “high time to think about whether we are really on the right track.” Geisel was criticized nationwide for his proposal, among others by Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU)

In the meantime, more than 43,000 infections with the new corona virus have been registered in Germany. More than 260 infected people have died nationwide. Among other things, the federal and state governments have decided on a nine-point plan that is intended to minimize interpersonal contacts. Schools and
Kindergartens have since been closed, as have restaurants and many public facilities. There are also contacts between more than two people
 prohibited in public spaces, with the exception of relatives
of your own household. The decision was only agreed on Sunday.

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