BERLIN — Germany reported 15,352 new daily cases, down slightly from record highs in the past week.
Germany’s health minister Jens Spahn, who recently recovered from the coronavirus, says the “lockdown-lite” measures that started Monday are needed to ensure hospitals aren’t overwhelmed.
“In order to get the pandemic in control we needed to pull the emergency brake,” he said. “The situation is serious.”
People must wear masks on crowded streets, restaurants are closed for in-door dining and there are limits on how many people can gather. Schools and shops remain open. Many states have stricter mask regulations for classrooms and health authorities are urging regular ventilation of classrooms.
Lars Schaade is the vice president of the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s disease control center. He’s concerned about curbing the exponential rise in cases. He says in early October, there were 1,000 to 4,000 daily cases and now it’s 15,000.
“The number of cased doubled in the last 10 days,” Schaade said. “If that were to continue, we’d have more than 400,000 infections reported daily by Christmas.”
Germany had kept the number of coronavirus cases low early in the pandemic. It’s fifth in total cases in Europe, behind France (1.4 million cases), Spain (1.2), Britain (1.0) and Italy (731,00).
Germany has 569,000 confirmed cases and more that 10,000 deaths, sixth among European countries.