“It simply came to our notice then. We cannot afford a repeated closure, with an economy that is constantly closed and reopened, “said Altmaier.

Germany has imposed a set of measures, considered “an easy quarantine”, to control the second wave of the pandemic that is taking place in most of Europe. Restaurants are closed, but schools and shops continue to operate.

Data released Sunday by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) show that the number of daily cases of infection with the new coronavirus has increased by 16,947 to 790,503. Weekend data tends to be lower because not all data is reported by local authorities.

Altmaier said Germany must be careful not to relax restrictions too soon.

“If we do not want days with 50,000 new infections, as happened in France a few weeks ago, we must understand this and not constantly speculate on what measures can be relaxed,” the minister said.

He added that “All countries that lifted the restrictions too early have paid a high price for lost lives.”

His comments support the claims of other German leaders. Among them, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Saturday, during an online event organized by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Conservative Party, that weeks, possibly hard months, are coming.

The German president of the World Medical Association, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, has warned of a possible shortage of beds and staff in German hospitals.

“My estimate is that we will have to talk about more restrictions, not some relaxation,” Montgomery told the Augsburger Allgemeine.

German police fired a water cannon on Saturday during an anti-restriction demonstration in Frankfurt, which they scattered because participants did not wear masks and did not respect distance.

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