Angela Merkel will meet with regional leaders to assess the extension of some restrictive measures until Christmas week.
Germany registered a new maximum number of fatalities due to Covid-19 this Wednesday, with 410 deaths in 24 hours, while waiting for the extension until shortly before Christmas of the current restrictions on public and economic life.
The number of new infections in 24 hours was 18.633, according to the figures of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), competent in the matter in the country. This is more than a thousand more than those registered on Wednesday of the previous week, although it is below the absolute maximum of daily infections, with 23,648 cases, last Friday.
More alarming is the rise in fatalities, up to 410, clearly above the previous daily mark of 315, registered in mid-April.
The total number of infections verified by the RKI since the beginning of the pandemic thus rises to 961,320 – of which it is estimated that 656,400 are recovered patients-, while the death rate rises to 14,771.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold a new meeting with regional leaders on Wednesday, which follows the one that took place the previous week; A consensus was not reached there to toughen the measures in force since November 2 – as Merkel intended – and only the evolution of infections until then was evaluated.
The regional powers have agreed, in several consultative rounds at the level of the leaders of the “Länder” – federated states – earlier this week, to extend the current measures until December 20 or even harden some of these, to give them some relief during the Christmas holidays.
From November 2, nightlife, gastronomy, culture and sports are closed in closed spaces, but school activity and commercial life are kept open, although with limited capacity. Citizens have been urged to avoid all non-essential travel or travel, both within the country and abroad.
It is expected that the federal government will agree with the “Länder” on the extension of these measures and even toughen some of them, but also that a extension of financial aid approved at the beginning of the month to compensate the sectors affected by the closure.
These compensations – of up to 75% of the losses calculated with respect to the income of a year ago – could reach a volume of between 15,000 and 20,000 million euros, according to advanced German media yesterday.
Both from the Government of the Chancellor and the regional powers have been alerted these days that the evolution of infections does not allow, today, to ease the restrictions.
Among the new measures that are expected to be specified at the Merkel meeting is the maintenance of the closures of nightlife, gastronomy and cultural life, among others, at least until December 20. It is also expected that the start of the Christmas school holidays will be advanced and that citizens will be recommended to voluntarily submit to a few days of quarantine or strict restriction of contacts, before the holidays.
Likewise, a formula of mixed school activity, between face-to-face and virtual, so that students are divided into fixed small groups that alternate school attendance with homework.
For the week of Christmas, and until the end of the year, the encounters with up to ten people – or six, according to the criteria of some more restrictive “Länder”. It will also be recommended – although not prohibited – to give up pyrotechnics in any type of private celebration and especially on New Year’s Eve.