Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged the German parliament to pass a bill giving her government new powers to force cornvirus lockdowns and curfews due to higher infection rates.
Addressing lawmakers at a lower house on Friday, Merkel warned that Germany was “strongly” in the wake of the “third wave.”
“The situation is serious, very serious and we need to take it seriously,” he said, noting that most citizens were in favor of tough action.
Merkel’s speech came as 25,831 new patients with COVID-19 and 247 more died in Germany overnight, according to the Robert Koch Institute for Disease Control.
Intensive care workers were “sending one distress call after another,” he said, under intense supervision.
“Who are we to ignore their pleas?” Dr. Merkel “We cannot allow doctors and nurses to leave alone.”
Patchwork epidemic response
Merkel wants to amend the infection protection law so that federal authorities can tighten restrictions despite regional leaders opposing them.
The move seeks to end the patchwork system that has so far identified the epidemic response in one of Germany’s states.
Lockdown measures have now been decided at the state level, and in recent months governors have expressed frustration and confusion over the way the federal government has interpreted the rules to agree with governors differently, despite having similar infection rates.
If it works, the spread of the coronavirus will accelerate, and changes that are recording more than 100 new weekly cases per 100,000 villages will force the federal government to put an “emergency break” in the regions.
Currently, the infection rate across Germany stands at over 160 per 100,000 inhabitants per week.
The “emergency break” will create a set of regulations that include store closures, cultural and sports facilities, restrictions on personal communication and night curfews.
Merkel faces a final battle to pass the bill
Passing the bill could be a fierce battle for Merkel, with state governments reluctant to hand over healthcare authority to the federal administration.
His speech in parliament was interrupted by hacking of members of Germany’s far-right Alternative Party (AFD), which has been cowardly and incessantly opposing the COVD-19 lockdown.
Merkel has also faced criticism from within her own conservative bloc, whose opinion polls suggest they will suffer the worst consequences in the upcoming September national elections.
The proposed amendment to the Infection Protection Act must be approved by the lower house of parliament and the state-run upper house.
The lower house is expected to vote on the bill next week following the upper house.
The AFD has opposed
Merkel acknowledges that the new powers are not a bulletproof solution to the epidemic, which she said can only be defeated by vaccination.
He called for coordination at all levels of government to limit the spread of the more transmissible coronavirus strain across Germany to Kent or the United Kingdom.
“There is no way out. We need to stop the third wave of the epidemic,” he said.
“And to achieve that, we need to better integrate the power of federal, state, and local governments.”
The AFD, like many right-wing groups across Europe, argues that the epidemic has failed to stop the epidemic and cause further damage to the economy and human mental health, claiming the distance system is an unprecedented attack on fundamental democratic freedoms.
AFD Parliamentary Leader Alice Waddell said Friday, “The proposed amendments to the Infection Protection Act are a worrying document of an authoritarian state,” “This recovery of the authoritarian demon has come from the Chancellor and you, Madam Chancellor.”