Germany’s new coronavirus cases climbed the most in five days, almost three weeks after the government implemented restrictions on public life in a bid to contain the disease.
Infections rose by 5,633 on Thursday, compared with an increase of 4,288 a day earlier, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Germany registered 333 new deaths from the virus, the highest daily toll so far and up from 206 the previous day. That brought the total number of fatalities to 2,349, while 46,300 people have recovered from the virus, up from 36,081 on Wednesday.
Germany has the third-highest number of cases in Europe, though its death rate is relatively low at 2.07%.
Governments around the world are trying to figure out when and how to emerge from weeks of lockdown. Germany is considering easing restrictions on public life and the first steps might be taken after Easter, Health Minister Jens Spahn said in interview with Handelsblatt newspaper published Wednesday.
“We see a positive trend, but it has to steady,” Spahn told the newspaper. “That is why it is important to stay consistent over Easter.”
Economy Minister Peter Altmaier echoed Spahn’s comments on DLF radio on Thursday. “We have had the first bits of positive news but it’s much too early to be over-confident or complacent,” Altmaier said. “The days over Easter will be decisive and only then will we know whether we can begin with any easing.”
Economic and social life will not be fully ramped up right from the start but it will be a step-by-step process, Altmaier said. Otherwise, there is a danger restrictions will have to be reimposed if the virus spread intensifies again, he warned.
Stephan Weil, the premier of the state of Lower Saxony, said on ZDF TV Thursday that limited visits to family or close friends are possible over Easter.
Header: Paramedics work at the University Hospital in Duesseldorf, Germany. Credit: AP:Associated Press.