Germany’s Merkel Extends COVID-19 Lockdown, Citing Threat Of ‘Third Wave’ : Coronavirus Updates : NPR

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with Bavaria’s State Premier Markus Soeder (proper) and Berlin’s Mayor Michael Mueller, take part in a information convention following talks through videoconference with Germany’s state premiers on the extension of the present COVID-19 lockdown in Germany.

Michael Kappeler/Pool/AFP through Getty Images

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Michael Kappeler/Pool/AFP through Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with Bavaria’s State Premier Markus Soeder (proper) and Berlin’s Mayor Michael Mueller, take part in a information convention following talks through videoconference with Germany’s state premiers on the extension of the present COVID-19 lockdown in Germany.

Michael Kappeler/Pool/AFP through Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday introduced an intensified coronavirus lockdown going into Easter, warning that new mutations raised the specter of a probably lethal “third wave” of COVID-19 as Europe struggles in its vaccination marketing campaign.

Speaking early Tuesday, Merkel mentioned restrictions could be prolonged till April 18. She referred to as on residents to remain house and for outlets to shut for 5 days over the Easter vacation.

“We are now basically in a new pandemic. The British mutation has become dominant,” Merkel mentioned after late-night videoconference periods with leaders of Germany’s 16 states.

“Fundamentally, we face a new virus of the same kind but with very different characteristics,” she mentioned. “More deadly, more infectious, and infectious for longer.”

The transfer marks an about-face for Germany, the place leaders earlier this month had set in movement a gradual easing of restrictions.

However, final week, German Health Minister Jens Spahn warned that vaccines will not arrive shortly sufficient to stop a 3rd wave of the pandemic. He mentioned new infections in Germany had been rising at an “exponential rate” and that there wasn’t sufficient vaccine to cease it.

A latest uptick in infections in Germany has as soon as once more threatened to overwhelm hospitals, with 107 circumstances per 100,000 individuals reported for the week till Monday, in accordance with Reuters. More than 3,000 individuals with COVID-19 are in intensive care, the information company mentioned.

The intensified lockdown implies that Germany’s church buildings will likely be asked to carry Easter companies on-line, that not more than 5 adults from two households will likely be allowed to satisfy over the vacation, and that almost all outlets will likely be closed, in accordance with Deutsche Welle.

About 9% of Germans have obtained no less than one dose of vaccine up to now, Reuters says.

The lockdown extension comes because the European Union squares off with the U.Ok. over a restricted provide of a vaccine produced by pharmaceutical maker AstraZeneca. The EU and Britain have been at loggerheads over who will get precedence for vaccine deliveries.

Meanwhile, after AstraZeneca introduced preliminary outcomes for trials of the vaccine that confirmed a 79% efficacy in stopping COVID-19 signs, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on Tuesday added a dose of warning to the findings, saying its Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) had “expressed concern that AstraZeneca may have included outdated information from that trial, which may have provided an incomplete view of the efficacy data.”

In response, the pharmaceutical maker mentioned in a press release on Tuesday that its interim evaluation had been based mostly on information collected solely till Feb. 17, and that it had “reviewed the preliminary assessment of the primary analysis and the results were consistent with the interim analysis.”

The drugmaker mentioned it anticipated to launch outcomes of its main evaluation inside 48 hours.



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