Second COVID-19 lockdown could be possible “wave-breaker”, says Merkel

Defending Germany’s health measures amid the second wave of COVID-19, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that the second lockdown could be a wave-breaker.

“If we keep this up for a month with all consistency, it can be a wave-breaker in this second wave,” Merkel told a press conference, adding that “this of course means four weeks of giving up many things that make life beautiful.”

After COVID-19 infections reached a new daily record of more than 19,000 last Saturday, Germany’s federal and state governments agreed on tightened restrictions on daily life such as closure of restaurants and bars for November.

Merkel warned that many infections could no longer be clearly retraced. In 75 percent of cases in Germany, it was no longer possible to say where a person became infected with COVID-19, according to Merkel.

On Monday, COVID-19 infections in Germany increased by 12,097 within one day to a total of 545,027, according to Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the federal government agency for disease control and prevention. The COVID-19 death toll increased by 49, totaling at 10,530.

Merkel stressed that Germany had to return from a so-called seven-day incidence of around 127.8 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants currently to a level below 50. Therefore, it was necessary to act consistently and “reduce contacts wherever possible.”

“The virus punishes half-heartedness,” stressed Merkel. “Everyone has it in their hands to make this November our joint success, a turning point back to pandemic traceability.”

If Germany succeeded in slowing down the spread of the virus in the next four weeks, this would create the conditions for a December with “more freedom,” said Merkel.

To bring life back to normal, countries, such as Germany, Britain, China, Russia and the United States, are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.