Merkel faces criticism before her meeting regarding Corona measures | DW News Arabia | Breaking news and perspectives from around the world | DW


One day before Merkel’s next meeting with state presidents to consult on the upcoming measures related to the imposed partial lockdown, procedures and health measures for Corona, Merkel faces sharp criticism regarding the management of the health measures crisis related to combating the virus.

The latest of these criticisms came from the head of the Social Democratic Party, a partner in the ruling coalition in Germany, who directed a harsh criticism of the German chancellor and ministers from the Christian Union, to which she belongs, in the midst of the outbreak of the new Corona virus. “We have a prime minister who lacks some matters in coordinating this crisis,” Norbert Walter-Borrance told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper in its Tuesday (2 March) edition, adding that officials within the Christian Union had not fulfilled their duties.

He referred in particular to the ministers of economics, Peter Altmire, and Health Minister Jens Young, who belong to the Christian Democratic Party, Merkel’s party, which consists of the Christian Democrats and the Christian Social Party in the state of Bavaria, and the Union with the Social Democrats forms the ruling coalition in Germany.

It is noteworthy that the issuance of such fiery statements by a party leader on the authority of his partner in the ruling coalition is unusual – but the election battle has begun and a new parliament will be elected on September 26th. Walter-Borrence added that many matters are being corrected and settled by Deputy Chancellor Olaf Schulz of the Social Democratic Party, as well as by other party ministers.

The lockdown is taking a heavy toll on retail business in Germany

Data on Tuesday showed that German retail sales fell more than expected in January, as the ongoing lockdown measures curbed individual spending in Europe’s largest economy. The Federal Statistics Office said retail sales fell 4.5 percent month-on-month in real prices, after a revised fall of 9.1 percent in December. The January reading was lower than Reuters’ forecast of a 0.3% drop. “The decrease can be explained by the ongoing general isolation measures to combat the Corona virus, which has led to the closure of many retail stores since December 16, 2020,” the statistics office said.

Germany relaxed Corona lockdown measures, starting Monday, after 75 days of tightening measures amid the spread of more forms of the most contagious mutations in the country and the authorities, as of March 1, allowed the reopening of barbershops, flower shops, and pedicure salons. And leadership training schools, after they were forced to close their doors since December 16.

The German Robert Koch Institute for the Control of Communicable and Non-communicable Diseases announced this morning, Tuesday, that the number of new infections with the new Coronavirus that were recorded during the past twenty-four hours reached 3,943, based on data from local health departments. Last Tuesday, the number of injuries reached 3 thousand 883. The institute recorded 358 new deaths from the virus within 24 hours, compared to 415 new deaths last Tuesday.

Germany recorded the highest daily number of injuries so far on December 18, with 33,777 injuries, of which 3,500 injuries were added late. It also recorded the highest daily death toll from the virus so far on January 14, with 1244 cases.

Warnings against rushing to ease the closure restrictions

It is noteworthy that the German Minister of Health, Jens Young, has warned of the rapid relaxation of Corona rules. At a seminar for the Medium Enterprises Association (PVMW), the minister said, “We will not forgive all of ourselves, and you will not forgive your government either, if we rush to ease now and suddenly come back to face completely different questions within four or six weeks.” He pointed out that the mitigations can only take place step by step.

Medical associations and unions in Germany also warned against rushing to ease closure restrictions, or to take uncoordinated easing in light of the outbreak of the new Corona virus, and called for expanding the scope of testing for HIV infections. “It would be a mistake to open some sectors easily just because people are fed up with the lockdown,” Ute Taishert, president of the Federal Association of Government Physicians, told the Reinishe Post newspaper in its Tuesday edition.

AAG / ZAB (AFP, Reuters, DPA)


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