"Everything serves the goal of getting the pandemic under control this year"

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Chancellor Angela Merkel on the situation regarding COVID-19 "Everything serves the goal of getting the pandemic under control this year"

On the one hand, the number of new cases is decreasing, but on the other the numbers of deaths are shocking, and we face variants of the coronavirus: It is a "mixed picture", as Chancellor Angela Merkel put it in a statement on the current situation. "We are going through a very difficult phase of the pandemic." Everyone must continue to act responsibly.

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Chancellor Angela Merkel at the press conference on the latest response to the pandemic

Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Federal Press Conference: the decline in the number of new cases demonstrates that the effort has been worthwhile.

Photo: Bundesregierung/Steins

"This pandemic is the disaster of the century," said Chancellor Angela Merkel. It is, however, encouraging that the situation as a whole is beginning to improve. "That indicates that the tough sacrifices that people in Germany have had to make for weeks now are beginning to pay off, and it basically shows that the effort is worthwhile," said Angela Merkel on Thursday at the Federal Press Conference, commenting on COVID-19 case numbers.

But these efforts face a threat – a new variant of the virus. Findings thus far indicate that it is many times more contagious than the virus we have faced to date. "We must take the danger posed by this variant very, very seriously and we must slow the spread of this variant as far as possible," said the Chancellor. The measures agreed on at her meeting with the heads of government of the federal states thus prioritise precautionary action and steps to significantly speed up the drop in the numbers of new cases.

Supporting vaccine production

On vaccination, Angela Merkel said that it is not a question of how much vaccine has been ordered, but of how much vaccine is supplied in which quarter. The German government will do everything it can to support vaccine manufacture. "The goal is to be able to offer all citizens a vaccination by the end of the summer," underlined Angela Merkel.

Europe-wide action

At the meeting of the EU heads of state and government on Thursday evening, when they will discuss the pandemic, the aim is to achieve equivalent measures across the EU as far as possible. It is important to have a clear overview of the spread of the virus, its variants and the status of vaccinations, said the Chancellor.

"We are taking precautions to maintain the health of our citizens and thus also taking precautions to protect the economy, the world of work, education and culture," explained the Chancellor. "Everything serves the goal of getting the pandemic under control this year and then finally overcoming it."