September 3, 2020, 06.11 PM

BERLIN, KOMPAS.com – The German Health Minister expressed that the EU country will not require coronavirus lockdowns over the winter despite rising infections.

Minister Jens Spahn on Wednesday asserted that undertaking another lockdown will not be necessary to keep the coronavirus under control.

In recent weeks, the number of coronavirus cases in Germany has risen sharply raising fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections in the Western European state.

The EU member-state had kept infections and deaths relatively low compared to its European neighbors.

Read also: Returning Holidaymakers Pushing Coronavirus Cases Up in Germany and France

Spahn said experts and politicians were learning more about the virus every day.

While a blanket lockdown in March had been the right thing to do at the time to protect the weakest in society, it would not be needed again, he said.

"We will certainly not need to do this nationwide," Spahn said, adding that regional authorities could handle outbreaks.

"We can go into autumn and winter with confidence," he told a news conference.

Read also: England May Face Extensive Coronavirus Lockdowns This Winter

Spahn said there would be no need to reintroduce bans on visits to care homes. "And we can see that in shops we have things under control with social distancing and masks." 

Stressing that people should continue to exercise caution, for example by washing hands and wearing masks, measures could now be better targeted.

"We are learning where the dangers are greatest, sadly when we socialize and celebrate together," he said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel last week warned that the situation was likely to worsen over the winter.

Read also: Germany Advises Citizens to Avoid Travel to High Risk Countries as Coronavirus Cases Accelerate

Keen to keep the economy going and schools open, she has agreed with regional leaders to ban major events until at least the end of the year and tighten rules for travelers returning from high-risk countries.

Virologist Christian Drosten, who advises the government, has said shortening the quarantine period to five days from two weeks might be realistic.

(Writer: Madeline Chambers | Editors: Douglas Busvine, Angus MacSwan)

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-germany-minister/german-minister-rules-out-new-nationwide-coronavirus-lockdown-idUSKBN25T1KI 

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