German minister: Covid-19 measures insufficient to break second wave

The German government’s measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic have been insufficient amid a persistently high rate of new infections, said Economy Minister Peter Altmaier on Monday.

Altmaier said that very intensive consultations would have to be conducted in the coming days and weeks in order to determine whether additional measures – on top of the current partial lockdown and contact restrictions imposed in early November – would be necessary.

The persistently high infection rate was “far worse than our expectations,” Altmaier said, adding: “One can and must say that the previous measures are not enough to really break the second wave of infections.”

Federal and state politicians have already called for tougher restrictions in coronavirus hotspots, with the southern state of Bavaria having decided on new measures at the weekend.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert welcomed the tougher restrictions in Bavaria, saying that regions with more than 200 new infections per 100,000 residents were right to impose stricter containment measures.

READ ALSO: How Federal Government raised COVID-19 war chest

Another meeting of the federal and state governments is planned for the pre-Christmas period.

Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for disease control reported 12,332 new coronavirus cases on Monday – more than 1,000 cases more than on November 30.

The number of cases recorded is usually lower on Sundays and Mondays, partly because fewer tests are carried out at the weekend.

German health authorities also reported 147 new deaths within 24 hours, up slightly from the 125 deaths recorded a week ago.

“This is far removed from the turning point we had hoped for,” Seibert said in relation to the new figures.

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