Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) addressed people in Germany with an unusual video podcast during the coronavirus crisis, urging them to minimize social contact. The Federal Government announced that the Chancellor wanted to underline how serious the current situation was during the pandemic.
Merkel thanks for the many positive reactions “and also for the critical votes” that were given to her message last Saturday. Then, in view of the nearly 15,000 new infections reported on Saturday, Merkel says: “Today, a week later, the pandemic situation has deteriorated even further.”
Her fundamental belief has not changed, said the Chancellor: “We are not powerless against the virus, our behavior determines how strongly and how quickly it spreads. And the order of the day for all of us is fewer contacts. Meet a lot less people. “
If everyone sticks to it, Germany will rise to the enormous challenge, Merkel said, continuing: “I know, you actually expect politicians to keep coming up with new words. But what I told you last week still applies word for word to me. ‘
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She would therefore be happy, said the Chancellor, if one or the other listened to it again or played for friends to whom it was new. “And so follows last Saturday’s podcast again,” says Merkel, before the video of October 17 plays again after 1:35 minutes.
In it, Merkel called for significant reductions in contacts outside the family and requested that he refrain from traveling and celebrations that are “not really necessary.” “Please stay at home wherever you are, whenever possible.”
Before Merkel and the state prime ministers meet again next week, calls for stricter and above all more uniform corona rules will become louder. Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier called the contagion situation dramatic and warned against an economic shutdown. “There should be no new, comprehensive lockdown, and I don’t think it’s necessary,” he told Essen Funke media group newspapers.
It depends on decisive action, the economy minister said, calling on federal and state governments to “make the necessary decisions with greater unanimity in the coming days.” Germany can no longer afford a patchwork of regulations and must prevent the virus from spreading uncontrollably. “We need urgent action – both to protect health and not to jeopardize the recovery process of the German economy.”
Decisions of one federal state can affect all other federal states. That’s why we urgently need more joint decisions, ”he said. “Either by all the states together or – where that is too cumbersome – at the federal level, where the states are certainly involved,” he added, apparently with a view to the Federal Council.
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The Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Manuela Schwesig (SPD), who is following a particularly cautious and strict course in the pandemic, said the “Bild”: “I see the increase in the number with concern. It is good that we have the corona traffic light. But we need to discuss at the prime minister’s conference next week whether further steps are needed. “
Saarland Prime Minister Tobias Hans (CDU) also needs to talk, but will wait and see if the latest federal and state resolutions take effect. His country implemented them quickly. “The next ten to fourteen days will show whether these are sufficient. We must wait for this time before taking any further steps, ”he told the newspaper.
Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU), who is more on Merkel’s line in the Corona crisis, wants to stick to his fairly strict course despite increasing criticism. “I have no reason to change course,” said the CSU head of the Augsburger Allgemeine. “We were right with all of our basic assessments.”
For SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach, there are only two options: voluntary contact restrictions for everyone or “always new forced lockdowns”. “If the virus is allowed to run, the numbers skyrocket so quickly that hospitals are overwhelmed and far too many people die from Corona,” said the epidemiologist of the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. “So we have to close our personal contacts very quickly so that we don’t wake up in a one-month emergency.”
The director of the German Hospital Association, Georg Baum, described the current situation as manageable despite the increasing number of infections. “The hospitals are very alarmed without being hectic,” Baum told the “Mannheimer Morgen”.
There are currently about 8,000 free intensive care beds, and another 10,000 beds could be made for free by delaying unnecessary treatments. “In addition, not all patients who come to hospital with a corona infection require intensive medical treatment.” According to Baum, 6,000 patients are currently being treated in hospitals for Covid-19, of which about 1,000 are in intensive care.
“The capabilities will be enough for a long time to come before it becomes questionable,” Baum said with conviction. Ensuring that the situation does not get out of hand in the coming weeks and months requires a lot of caution and willingness to act. Everyone must act preventively and do what Chancellor Merkel says and avoid unnecessary contacts.
District chairman Reinhard Sager pointed out the problems facing many health authorities in tracking down the mass of new infections. He called on the states to rapidly expand their staff, as agreed in the summer. On the basis of the pact between federal and state governments, “no new appointments have been made at this time,” Sager said in the “NOZ.” The pact must be implemented quickly. “On the part of the federal states, it must be about speed.”
Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed understanding for young people who are hungry for life. “I understand anyone who enjoys every day to the fullest, who wants to celebrate and meet friends,” said the Treasury Secretary and SPD candidate for Chancellor on the news portal Watson. But it takes patience. “The current restrictions on protection against Corona are annoying for many, depressing for others and economically unreasonable for others. Unfortunately, they are necessary to prevent worse. We must continue to do everything we can to protect those we love and whose health is important to us. ”