MERKEL CAUTIONS CORONAVIRUS CRISIS: 'STILL JUST THE BEGINNING'


24/04/2020




İrem UZUN -TDO- Speaking to Germany’s Parliament, the Bundestag, Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday warned that the battle against the coronavirus was in its early stages. Chancellor continued the end of the coronavirus pandemic is not yet in sight and that we will have to live with the virus “for a long time.” She stated “We have won time,” according to a Reuters translation, adding that this had been used to bolster Germany’s health-care system.

"This pandemic is an imposition to democracy," Merkel said.  Last week Germany extended until May 3 most of the restrictions it had imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19, though some shops have reopened and older school children will be allowed to return to class.

Germany cautiously started to lift its lockdown restrictions at the start of the week, with smaller retailers of under 800 square meters allowed to reopen on Monday, as long as hygiene and social-distancing measures could be maintained. Larger car dealerships, bike shops and book shops have also been allowed to open their doors.

Merkel’s comments on Thursday reflected much caution in the government, however, and a desire to lift the lockdown slowly. Considering the economic constraints, Germany’s economy is expected to contract 7% in 2020, according to the International Monetary’s Fund’s April outlook, before rebounding to expand 5.2% in 2021.


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