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Coronavirus

Merkel Backs Short Virus Lockdown

BERLIN — A spokeswoman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel is supporting calls for a “short, uniform lockdown” as the country grapples with a rise in coronavirus cases.

German state governors, who are responsible for imposing and lifting restrictions, have taken differing approaches. Some back limited reopening steps and others advocate a stricter shutdown. Armin Laschet, a governor who also leads Merkel’s party, is calling for a 2-3 week “bridge lockdown” to control infections while vaccinations are ramped up.

Merkel spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer says, “every call for a short, uniform lockdown is right.” She says numbers of new cases aren’t particularly good, and a rise in the number of occupied intensive care beds “speaks a very clear language.”

Laschet also called for the next meeting between Merkel and governors to coordinate restrictions to be moved up from next Monday but has hit resistance from his colleagues.

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