Covid-19 ‘doesn’t just give up,’ German health minister says

By Ulrike von Leszczynski and Sascha Meyer, dpa

German Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Friday that the coronavirus infection rate was stagnating after several weeks of falling, adding that Covid-19 “doesn’t just give up.”

Not only were coronavirus variants a source of great concern, the number of new infections per day had also been stagnating, Spahn said.

Though the German public is yearning for an end to the lockdown, it is important to proceed cautiously so as not to endanger what has been achieved, he added.

Spahn said that going forward, the German government would pursue a regional, not federal, approach to the incremental lifting of coronavirus containment measures.

The number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants over the course of seven days now stands at 56.8 nationwide – thus slightly lower than the previous day (57.1), the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) disease control body announced on Friday.

There has been no clear decrease in the metric in several days.

The federal government and Germany’s 16 states are aiming for a level under 50. Steps towards easing the lockdown will be possible when it stays under 35.

Also on Friday, Spahn said that government official Christoph Krupp had been appointed to a newly-created special representative position to oversee the expansion of vaccine production on German soil.

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