Germany has imposed new COVID-19 lockdown rules following the surge of third-wave infections.
Germany continues to struggle in suppressing the third wave of infections. Despite the restrictions across the country, the COVID-19 infection rate rose over the weekend.
Reports said that it has been “largely attributed” to the B117 variant, which first emerged in the United Kingdom last year. Things have become more complicated due to the strain being “more infectious” than the other variants.
Following the continued rise, the country has now implemented much stricter lockdown rules. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz also cautioned that this might not ease the curbs “before the end of May.”
A “nationwide emergency brake” in Germany
In the new guidelines, areas that would exceed a seven-day incidence rate of 100 new cases per 100,000 individuals in three consecutive days should immediately implement the lockdown rules. CNBC also reiterated that schools in Germany “are to close” if the new cases hit 165 per 100,000 people for three days in a row.
Robert Koch Institute has now reported that only one out of Germany’s 16 states did not rise above the threshold for the “emergency brake” to take effect. Moreover, seven of the 15 states have averaged above 165.
With the current and alarming surge of COVID-19 cases, the new guidelines call for curfews between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. in the concerned districts and cities. Stricter limits to private gatherings and shopping are also now apparent in these areas.
The curfew, however, only allows individuals to leave their homes if they are heading to and from work, seeking medical assistance, or taking a dog for a walk. These new implementations have since reportedly provoked outrage and fury among the public.
Chancellor Angela Merkel urged compliance
On Saturday, Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel urged the public to “stick to tougher rules,” according to Reuters. She emphasized that additional measures were needed to break the third-wave infections.
The leader continued that “step-by-step relaxations will be possible” in the foreseeable future. But, this is only plausible if the public now succeeds in significantly reducing the infections. She then encouraged all Germans to “do what is necessary,” adding that the public must all show “consideration and responsibility.”
Latest on COVID-19 cases
The COVID-19 pandemic has now impacted more than 148 million individuals across the globe. Although nearly 90 percent of these cases are already closed, the death rate, unfortunately, falls to 2 percent.
In Germany, more than 3.3 million cases have already been recorded. This places the country in the top ten countries with the highest record COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.