Germany pursues 'new normal' life 2

Germany pursues 'new normal' life 2

Prime Minister Merkel on May 6 gave a hopeful message to Germany: their experimental reopening steps are working.

Mrs. Merkel said the number of nCoV infections is not only stable, but even lower than two weeks ago.

According to her, Germany can now afford to be `a little bold` to reopen most economic and social sectors.

People wear masks and anti-droplet glasses at a clothing store in Berlin, Germany.

All stores will be allowed to resume operations.

The decision that is considered important for the people of this football-loving country is that the Bundesliga will return, although the players must play in empty stadiums.

According to NY Times commentators Katrin Bennhold and Melissa Eddy, this is considered good news not only for Germany, but also for countries that hold hope that life can continue and go hand in hand with nCoV.

However, life as before probably cannot be completely restored as long as nCoV is still present.

With her characteristic calm style, Mrs. Merkel on May 6 warned that their achievements could be quickly wasted if irresponsible behavior occurs.

`Today, we can say that the first phase of the pandemic is over. But everyone must be aware that the epidemic has just begun, we will have to deal with the virus for a long time,` she said.

One of the difficulties that Mrs. Merkel faces is maintaining political unity, the foundation that helps strengthen people’s trust in the authorities’ response to the pandemic.

Some signs emerged this week that unity in Germany appears to be faltering.

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, a northeastern coastal state that relies heavily on tourism and has one of the lowest infection levels, announced on May 5 that it would allow restaurants to reopen as soon as May 6.

Bavaria, the country’s largest state and recording a higher density of nCoV infections, also plans to resume the operations of beer bars and outdoor restaurants from May 18, while maintaining the order to close hotels until the end of the year.

Mrs. Merkel acknowledged that different regions have different levels of virus infection and that localities should adjust their own response to Covid-19.

`If something happens locally, we will not wait until it spreads throughout the country, but act on the spot,` the German Prime Minister explained.

Germany currently conducts about 142,000 nCoV tests per day, and has also started random antibody testing nationwide.

While the launch of a Europe-wide nCoV contact tracing app was delayed due to controversy, hundreds of newly trained medical staff are still monitoring and notifying anyone suspected by phone.

The basic infection coefficient of Covid-19 in Germany, an index that helps estimate the number of people infected with the virus from each new case of nCoV, fluctuates around 0.7, meaning that every 10 people infect 7 people.

Germany pursues 'new normal' life

Medical staff take samples at a mobile nCoV testing station in Munich, Germany on March 11.

According to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany’s agency in charge of disease control and prevention, the country currently records more than 166,000 cases of nCoV infection and more than 7,000 deaths, of which 4/5 of the cases have been infected.

`Together, we will win big. If we defend well, the numbers will stay low. Keeping our distance is definitely the new reality that must be implemented every day,` RKI president Lothar Wieler

Germans are gradually getting used to the 2 meter distance in public places.

The government currently has no plans to reopen crowded event spaces.

Experts warn that even Germany faces the risk of a second wave of nCoV.

`The problem with relaxing measures is that you can only see the effect within two weeks. If you relax too hastily, the virus can quickly rise,` said Thomas Hotz, a mathematician who helped calculate

`Germany’s advantage is that we have significantly reduced the number of infections, so the spare capacity of hospitals is very large. Unlike the US, we can afford to experiment with easing the blockade,` he added.

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