Germany to amend law for nationwide Covid response

Berlin, April 10 (IANS) Germany would amend its infection protection act to “regulate on a nationwide basis” what restrictions would apply when local seven-day Covid-19 incidence exceeded 100 per 100,000 citizens, deputy government spokesperson Ulrike Demmer said.

Demmer told a press conference on Friday that it was not yet clear how quickly the change in the law would be implemented, but it would be done “as quickly as possible”, reports Xinhua news agency.

In the past, Germany’s Covid-19 response has been characterised by regional differences as the ultimate legal power lay with the country’s federal states.

Although Chancellor Angela Merkel and the state governments agreed on an emergency brake in case of a seven-day incidence above 100, not all states reacted accordingly in recent weeks.

Earlier on Friday, Minister of Health Jens Spahn and the president of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) Lothar Wieler warned that the pandemic situation in Germany was serious as the number of patients in intensive care units was rising rapidly.

Despite the ongoing lockdown and the country’s vaccination campaign, new infections rose sharply again.

Germany recorded 25,464 new cases within one day on Friday, around 3,500 more than on the same day last week.

The seven-day incidence rose from around 105.7 per 100,000 citizens on Thursday to 110.4, according to the RKI.

Spahn appealed for uniform nationwide measures.

“I recommend that we all tone down the party squabbling, election year or not, and concentrate on the essentials, fighting the pandemic,” he said during the press conference.