German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged people to stay home as Germany faces a second wave of coronavirus outbreak. The country now faces a resurgence of the Chinese virus with a record rise in new cases since the pandemic hit Europe.

“I ask you to refrain from any trip that is not really necessary, any celebration that is not really necessary. Please stay at home — wherever you are, whenever possible,” Merkel said in an address to the nation on Saturday. Germany was in a “very serious phase” of the outbreak with “the number of new infections is increasing by leaps and bounds every day,” she warned.

“Germany has reported 7,334 new coronavirus cases in its daily update, the most it has recorded since the virus first emerged in the country,” Germany’s state-run DW News reported on Saturday. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier went into quarantine on Saturday after one of his staff members tested positive, a government spokesperson confirmed.

“We are currently seeing a widespread increase in infections, and we have experienced an extreme rise in large cities like Berlin and Bremen,” Helge Braun, the head of Merkel’s Chancellery told magazine Der Spiegel.

Germany’s DW News reported Chancellor Merkel’s alarming remarks:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday urged residents to stay at home amid a dramatic increase in the number of coronavirus infections in Germany.

“We have to do everything we can now to ensure that the virus does not spread uncontrollably — every day counts,” Merkel said in her
weekly podcast.

“I ask you to refrain from any trip that is not really necessary, any celebration that is not really necessary. Please stay at home — wherever you are, whenever possible,” she said.

Merkel said that Germany was currently in the midst of a “very serious phase” of the pandemic, adding that “the number of new infections is increasing by leaps and bounds every day.”

“The comparatively relaxed summer is over; now we are facing difficult months. How winter will be, how our Christmas will be, will be decided in the coming days and weeks. We all decide that through our actions.” (…)

On Saturday, the Robert Koch Institute for disease control said Germany recorded 7,830 new coronavirus infections in the past 24-hour period, a new record since the pandemic began.

The number of cases was nearly 500 higher than on Friday and more than 1,500 higher than the prior infection peak recorded in March.

The second wave of the Chinese contagion hit the European Union leadership as well. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, a long-time Merkel loyalist, entered quarantine on Thursday after one of her staffers tested positive for the virus. Foreign ministers from two European states, Belgium and Austria, contracted the virus during a EU summit in Luxembourg this week, local media reported on Saturday. The meeting was attended by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and by foreign ministers and top envoys from 26 European member states.

The Wuhan virus is not only resurfacing in Germany, neighboring France too reported record figures. French “health ministry reported more than 32,000 new confirmed cases of Covid-19, the highest single-day tally since the start of the pandemic,” TV channel France24 reported Saturday. Nine of the biggest French cities, including Paris, face night-time curfew amid rising numbers. Other European countries, including the United Kingdom are reporting a similar trend.

Surging numbers shatters the myth of European, particularity German, ‘exceptionalism’ in masterfully tackling the Chinese pandemic. Merkel was feted as a model for world leaders to follows, while U.S. President Donald Trump was mocked and jeered by the mainstream media at every step of the way since the pandemic broke out.

“A German Exception? Why the Country’s Coronavirus Death Rate Is Low,” The New York Times asked in July while lauding Merkel’s policies. “How Germany got coronavirus right,” London’s Financial Times wrote in July. “From extensive testing to early track and trace, Germany is a model for tackling the disease.” Such EUrophile coverage in hindsight looks biased and premature today.

With Trump at the helm, the U.S. has proven itself more resilient in face of the global outbreak, even in economic terms. The EU economies, directed by Merkel and Macron, are in worse shape in the wake of the pandemic compared to the U.S. under Trump. Amid the outbreak, the U.S. economy outperformed European economies. The euro currency zone, which includes France and Germany, reported an annualized GPD decline of over 40 percent, higher than the drop of 33 percent registered in U.S. between April-to-June quarter.

‘Restrictions tighten further in Europe amid second wave of infections’


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