"Let us reopen public and economic life step by step, and closely monitor the development of the pandemic as we do so," said Chancellor Angela Merkel. Let us ensure a minimum distance to others, keep washing our hands, and respect the need to protect others. "I am absolutely convinced that if we keep rigorously to this, and thus prevent any backsliding, we will all benefit." Then, during the next phase of the pandemic, health protection can be compatible with steps to enable the economy to make up lost ground, to protect jobs, and to allow social life we can all enjoy.
During the government question time in the German Bundestag on Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel reported on the latest developments in the COVID-19 pandemic. Although some research work gives us grounds for hope, we still have no drugs and no vaccine for the novel virus. That is why it is still dangerous and will remain dangerous. There have been encouraging achievements, declared the Chancellor. She underlined the fact that the spread of the virus has been slowed as far as possible.
"We have managed this because all of us – the people, the private sector and the state – have pulled together in this difficult time, and in the face of far-reaching restrictions," said Angela Merkel. The health system can cope with the number of new infections at the level now reached. Once again infection chains can be traced to some extent, and broken with the help of testing and quarantine measures. The planned coronavirus warning app will hopefully soon further improve contact tracing.
The past few weeks have been used to strengthen the health system in many areas, partly also thanks to the efforts of the federal states and local authorities. The Chancellor expressed her great respect for these bodies. With the help of the federal government, the number of intensive care beds available in particular has been increased, said Angela Merkel.
Speaking in the German Bundestag, the Chancellor underlined the importance of international cooperation in efforts to fight COVID-19 – within the European Union, the G7 and the G20. "We can be extremely happy that we have mastered the last few weeks as we have, but in this I see a duty not to jeopardise all that we have achieved together."