Berlin, March 26
German health officials warned Friday that the country’s latest eruption of coronavirus cases has the potential to be worse than the previous two last year, and they urged people to stay at home during the upcoming Easter break to help slow the rapidly rising numbers of new infections.
Health Minister Jens Spahn told reporters that more than 10 per cent of Germans had now received at least a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and that the rollout of shots, which has been criticised as too slow, was gathering speed.
At the same time, Spahn urged people to get tested regularly, observe hygiene and distancing recommendations and to avoid contact with large groups of people.
“The numbers are rising too quickly,” he said. “If this continues unchecked, there’s a danger that our health system will in April, during the course of April, be stretched to its limit.” Lothar Wieler, head of Germany’s disease control center, the Robert Koch Institute, said that Germany is just at the “beginning of the third wave” of the pandemic. He said the more contagious variant of the virus first detected in Britain is now the dominant one in the country.
“It’s more contagious and more dangerous, and thus more difficult to stop,” Wieler said. “There are clear signals that this wave could be even worse than the first two waves.” — AP