Berlin: Merkel urges premiers to stick to tighter curbs. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has increased pressure on the premiers of the country’s 16 states to stick to an agreed tightening of coronavirus rules due to rising infection numbers.
Speaking on a talk show on Sunday evening, Merkel said some states were not following through with a so-called emergency brake, which states agreed to trigger after a certain number of infections, reports DPA news agency.
“We have to implement the right measures with great seriousness. And some states are doing it, others are not,” the Chancellor said in the interview.
Merkel urges premiers to stick to tighter curbs. She called on those states to reverse plans to open up and implement measures such as tighter limits on social contacts, curfews and requirements to work from home.
“I will not sit and watch until we have 100,000 infections,” said the Chancellor.
Germany is experiencing a severe third wave of pandemic driven mainly by the British coronavirus variant.
But the federal government and the 16 states are increasingly at odds about how to contain it, with some refusing to go along with a plan to return to a harder lockdown in areas where the infection rate remains comparatively low.
Merkel said the low numbers were not stable in those regions.
“That’s why it is not the time to consider” such easings, she said.
Markus Soeder, the premier of of Bavaria, criticised his counterparts in other states on Sunday, saying some had not “understood the seriousness of the situation”.
Speaking to the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper, Soeder said that state leaders needed to focus on “the consistent implementation of the emergency brake”.
The seven-day incidence rate per 100,000 inhabitants, a key metric in measuring the infection rate, rose to 129.7 on Sunday, significantly higher than the 100 mark that is meant to trigger the emergency brake.
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for disease control said the metric had not reached Sunday’s level since January 19.
On Saturday, the figure had stood at 124.9, after having passed the 100-mark a week ago.
Health authorities reported 17,176 new cases within one day and 90 deaths related to the virus.
As of Monday, the country’s overall caseload and death toll stood at 2,784,652 and 75,927, respectively.