Health experts say thousands of lives and hospitals could be affected to wipe out the country after Christmas, so Germany is heading for a major new nationwide lockout to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
As many as 23,000 new cases were reported in the country on Wednesday morning, with 598 deaths, more than at any other time since the onset of the epidemic.
Prominent politicians have called on the government to take immediate action to provoke what some media are calling “blitz lakda”.
“We have to act as soon as possible,” said Marcus Soder, leader of the southern state of Bavaria, where cases have risen sharply in recent days. “Every day counts,” he said. Tweeting: “Why hesitate when we know it is necessary? That is why we need to move everything forward and act decisively. We need to finish everything before Christmas. ”
He called for a nationwide approach, including curfews, closure of non-essential shops and extension of school and kindergarten holidays.
On November 2, the country a “Soft Lock”, Gatherings and bars and restaurants are closed with rules, but shops and schools are open.
The Germans have been hoping for sanctions since December 23, with private gatherings of two different families – less than 10 people – although children under the age of 14 not being counted, until January 1. Should have been allowed.
People were being discouraged from traveling unnecessarily but travel was not banned. They were asked to set aside a week before any celebrations, especially for the elderly.
But now those rules are widely expected to be rewritten this weekend.
Health Minister Jens Spann said: “It is clear that we need additional measures, and as soon as possible. We cannot allow this to become a festival of viruses. The virus doesn’t care if we buy our Christmas presents or not. ”
Urging the Germans to show solidarity with each other, he said: “‘We’ must be more important than ‘I’, and that means sacrifice.”
The federal government and leaders of 16 states are due to meet on Sunday to decide on the next set of emergency measures. But many decision-makers were urging the government to act faster.
“Waiting another day is irresponsible,” said Daniel Gunther, head of the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein. He said Germany was facing “incredibly difficult times until Easter”.
On Thursday, Berlin’s mayor, Michael Mਰller, said he wanted the capital to close its shops and coordinate with neighboring Brandenburg, but no decision was made by Tuesday.
Giving an emotional speech to the state parliament, he asked: “How much does a candle dinner cost? How many deaths does a shopper have? As he sought support for a lockout before Christmas, he said it was necessary to save lives.
Earlier, Home Secretary Horst Seehofer said it would be a mistake to wait until Christmas to tighten sanctions. “The only chance for us to get back into the situation is not a single stick that comes in immediately,” he told Der Spiegel. Otherwise, doing so would lead to an increase in cases in Germany that have been going on for months.
Seehofer said he was angry that Germany had thrown away the “benefit for which it had fought” at the beginning of the epidemic, not the lack of discipline by its citizens, but the “necessary measures”.
Wednesday, Chancellor, Angela Merkel made an unusually emotional appeal, Her voice is breaking when she appeals to people to stay home at Christmas time, or risk not seeing her grandparents.
Merkel has repeatedly called for a nationwide approach to dealing with the coronavirus, but many decisions have been made on a state-by-state basis, and appear to be too confusing.
Bavaria introduced strict rules on Wednesday, including a night curfew in hotspots and a ban on the sale of alcohol in inner cities.
The state of Baden-Wਸਟrttemberg has introduced a curfew to begin on Saturday, allowing people to go to work or make urgent visits to shops or doctors.
Schools, kindergartens and grocery stores will be closed in Saxony from Monday. Politicians urged Saxon residents not to move to neighboring Brandenburg, where shops remain open.
The German Society of Surgeon Surgeons has warned of the consequences of hospitals putting too much pressure on non-coronavirus patients. There are currently 4,000 surveillance beds in Germany in Kovid-19 cases, one-third more than the epidemic peak during the first wave.
“The situation in hospitals is becoming increasingly tense,” Professor Thomas Schmidt-Rixon, vice-president of the German Society for Surgeons, told broadcaster de De Schlenden.