Pandemic to last least for rest of year: Germany - GulfToday

Pandemic to last least for rest of year: Germany


Angela Merkel attends a cabinet meeting, as the spread of coronavirus continues, in Berlin, Germany. AFP

The coronavirus pandemic will last for at least the rest of this year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff told Deutschlandfunk radio on Thursday.

"We are not living after the pandemic now — rather we are living in the middle of a pandemic, one that will be with us for a while — at least for this year and that's being very optimistic," Helge Braun said.


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Merkel announced steps on Wednesday to ease the coronavirus lockdown in Germany but at the same time launched an "emergency brake" mechanism allowing for renewed restrictions in case infections pick up again.

A sign on the floor reminds visitors to respect safe distance at the entrance to the exhibition in Berlin. AFP

Meanwhile, Industrial production in Germany fell by 9.2 per cent month-on-month in March, official data showed on Thursday, as Europe's top economy began to feel the effects of the coronavirus crisis.

"Because of the coronavirus pandemic," the monthly barometer of manufacturing output -- a key measure of economic health — suffered "its worst fall since the beginning of the data series in 1991," statistics authority Destatis said in a statement, with the vital car industry among the most heavily impacted.


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