Germany is extending its lockdown until April 18 and calling on citizens to stay at home for five days over the Easter holidays to try to break a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chancellor Angela Merkel said today in a news conference that the country is now basically in a new pandemic. The British mutation has become dominant with very different characteristics, more deadly and more infectious.
Germany started cautiously easing restrictions earlier this month but the spread of more infectious variants of the virus has pushed up cases, prompting concerns that hospitals could soon be overstretched without further curbs. The number of cases per 100,000 people over a week stood at 107 yesterday, above the level at which intensive care units will be overwhelmed.