World, Europe

Germans back extending coronavirus lockdown

A majority of German people back extension of lockdown measures beyond April 19, according to new poll

Ayhan Simsek   | 13.04.2020
Germans back extending coronavirus lockdown


A majority of German people are in favour of extending coronavirus lockdown measures beyond April 19, a new poll has found.

Some 44% Germans said they would support an extension of lockdown measures, while 12% demanded even more stringent measures to contain the spread of the virus, according to the poll conducted by YouGov for the German press agency DPA.

Around 32% of those favoured relaxing restrictions on social and public life, which were imposed on March 22 for two weeks, but later extended until April 19.

The German government imposed strict lockdown measures amid growing numbers of cases last month, ordering all non-essential shops to close, cancelling festivals, sports events, and banning any social contact among more than two people in public.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to hold a video conference on Wednesday with the premiers of federal states to reassess the situation, and decide whether or not to extend strict lockdown measures beyond April 19.

Germany’s coronavirus cases rose by 2,537 to 123,016 on Monday morning, marking the lowest number of daily new cases since March 23, according to the official figures by the country’s disease control agency.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported 126 new deaths from coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 2,799.

So far, nearly 64,300 people have recovered from the virus, according to the institute.

Last week, Merkel expressed “cautious optimism” about slowing rate of new COVID-19 infections in the country, and ruled out discussing a lockdown exit strategy before achieving sustained decline in new infections.

Germany has the fifth-highest tally of reported COVID-19 infections in the world, ranking behind the U.S., Spain, Italy, and France. But its death toll remains far lower than other hard-hit countries.

Besides widespread coronavirus testing, Germany has also significantly raised the bed capacity of intensive care units in hospitals: from 28,000 to nearly 40,000 in a couple of weeks.

As of Monday, hospitals across the country had more than 8,300 free intensive care beds for coronavirus patients.

Since appearing in Wuhan, China, last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 185 countries and regions.

Data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University shows worldwide infections have passed 1.87 million, with the death toll above 116,000, while more than 441,300 have recovered.

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