Berlin, 9 April 2020 (dpa/MIA) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel sees “reason for cautious optimism” in her country’s coronavirus outbreak.
“The rise is flattening off,” Merkel said in Berlin on Thursday.
Public life has been drastically reduced across Germany since mid-March, with people urged to stay at home unless necessary, while outdoor exercise is still permitted, as is meeting one other person outdoors under social distancing rules.
Further restrictions are not necessary, Merkel said, speaking after a meeting of her coronavirus crisis cabinet.
But she urged the population to observe the protection measures in place over the coming Easter weekend and not to become careless.
Merkel declined to comment on further steps leading up to the summer period. “I’m thinking day by day at the moment,” she said.
Health Minister Jens Spahn described Easter as a fork in the road.
“If we remain steady over the weekend, a phased return to normality becomes more probable. If we become negligent now, the likelihood increases that an extension of the restrictions will be needed,” he said.
The current measures are working, with 50,000 people having recovered among almost 110,000 infected, but Germany was a long way from easing restrictions on festivals, clubs or other large gatherings.
Spahn noted that while there were some 3,000 Covid-19 patients currently in intensive care, more than 10,000 intensive care beds were still free.