German government, states agree on lockdown extension
BERLIN: The German government of Chancellor Angela Merkel and state leaders on Tuesday agreed to extend the country’s lockdown until Feb. 14 to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, sources told Reuters.
They also agreed to give medical masks to passengers of public transport, the sources added.
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Germany increased by 11,369 to 2,052,028, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday. The number of deaths rose by 989 to 47,622, the number showed.
Top German politicians on Monday also called for new measures to slow down the spread of new, more contagious variants of the coronavirus, including more health checks for cross-border commuters and tightened gene sequencing of virus samples.
In the future, health laboratories will have to examine 5% of the samples they collect in order for the coronavirus to see if it matches more virulent variants first identified in Britain and South Africa, or if new mutations are emerging in Germany .
An outbreak of a mutated variant of the coronavirus in a clinic in the southern German alpine city of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, which apparently was not one of the known variants, raised concerns.