A third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has already started in Germany, warned the head of Germany’s public health agency earlier this week.
This warning came at a time when lockdown restrictions were being gradually relaxed across the country even as the government led the efforts to accelerate the Covid-19 vaccination rollout for as many adults among the population as possible.
The country could be facing a third wave of Covid-19 infections if the pandemic related restrictions are lifted too quickly, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had previously warned.
On the other hand, there were reports of Italy deciding to impose another near national lockdown over the Easter weekend with the aim of curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“We have clear signs: The third wave in Germany has already begun,” Lothar Wieler, head of the Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases (RKI-ID), told reporters during a news conference Friday. “The virus is not going to disappear, but once we have a base level of immunity in the population, we can control it,” he added.
Wieler said he was “very worried” about the public health crisis.
The vaccination drive currently undergoing in Germany was described by him as a race against a constantly evolving virus. He however was confident of the virus being ultimately brought under control in the country.
However until that is achieved, people should not forget the importance of wearing face masks while in public and maintaining a safe distance from others, Wieler said.
Germany reported the highest daily number of Covid-19 infections over a 24-hour period in the last two weeks as it increased by 14,356, according to data from the RKI. That number was 2,444 more compared to the same day of the previous week.
This surge in new infections of Covid-19 was accompanied by the spread of a highly infectious variant of the virus which was first identified by scientists in the United Kingdom which is now known B.1.1.7. This new variant has been found to be causing about 46 per cent of all the new infections across the country.
According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, more than 2.5 million people have infected with the disease while 73,127 people succumbing to it in Germany till date.
On the other hand, according to reports from Italian news agency ANSA, the Italian government is contemplating imposing tougher health measures from March 15 through to April 6. That could include placing almost the entire country in its so-called red zone from April 3 to April 5 which coincides with Easter Sunday and Easter Monday in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
The red zone is the maximum level of restrictions in Italy’s tiered coronavirus system. At this level, schools, nonessential shops, restaurants and bars will all be closed.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)