Berlin (dpa) – A good year after the outbreak of the corona pandemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) complained about the lack of speed in the fight against the virus.
“The speed of our actions leaves a lot to be desired,” she said Tuesday at the World Economic Forum’s online meeting, which this time took place via video. According to a report in the newspaper “Bild”, Merkel spoke out in favor of further restrictions in a videoconference with Union political group leaders. ‘The thing has slipped from us. We have to be even stricter, otherwise we will be back where we were in 14 days ”, said the” Bild “of the participants.
The Chancellor is said to have discussed restrictions on air traffic at the conference. ‘Why can’t we ban travel?’ She allegedly asked. You have to “dilute air traffic so that you can’t get anywhere”.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) said “Bild” said the rapid spread of virus mutations requires the investigation of “drastic measures”. “This includes much tighter border controls, especially at the borders with high-risk areas, but also cutting air traffic to Germany to near zero, as Israel is currently doing.”
In Israel, the British coronavirus mutation is responsible for a large part of the new infections. To avoid the introduction of new mutations, the government has decided to close the Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv almost completely by the end of the month. Exceptions apply only in a few cases, for example in the case of freight transport or flights for medical treatment. International air traffic in Israel runs almost exclusively through Ben Gurion Airport.
In Germany, there has so far been no government intervention in air traffic. However, cross-border travel is limited by testing obligations and quarantine regulations for travelers from corona risk areas. More than 150 of the 200 countries worldwide have now been designated as risk areas in three categories.
“The people in Germany who accept strict restrictions expect us to protect them as best we can against an explosion in the number of infections,” said Seehofer, “Bild” said. However, his ministry did not want to comment on concrete plans for a new entry regulation on Tuesday. It therefore remained unclear under what conditions stricter measures could be taken.
Exactly a year ago, the first corona case was discovered in Germany on Wednesday. Merkel found a critical balance on the World Economic Forum. Strengths and weaknesses have become apparent in Germany. One could build on the common sense and commitment of the citizens. The solid finances were a good foundation. In this way businesses and citizens can be helped.
She was very critical of the speed of processes in Germany, partly because of the excessive bureaucracy. You still have to work on that, but also in the field of digitization. Merkel complained about the lack of networking between the health authorities, the administration and the education system.
At the same time, she called for close global cooperation as central to the fight against the pandemic. “It is the hour of multilateralism,” Merkel said. She warned that “foreclosure will not help us solve the problems”.
In the debate about the lockdown in Germany, Green leader Annalena Baerbock spoke out against early relaxation of the measures. “I don’t think it makes a lot of sense, since we can just lower the numbers a little bit, we are now talking about what we can unleash again,” she said in the SWR. Among other things, the AfD wants to start a debate in the Bundestag this week about easing the state’s anti-corona measures as soon as possible.
Health authorities reported 6,408 new corona infections to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) within one day. In addition, 903 new deaths were registered within 24 hours, the RKI announced Tuesday morning. Last Tuesday, the RKI registered 11,369 new infections and 989 new deaths within 24 hours. However, these values contain late registrations.