The German government and the 16 federal states have agreed to extend the lockdown until Jan. 31 to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Bild reported on Monday without giving a source.
Germany was more successful than many European countries in keeping the coronavirus under control in the first wave in the spring but that changed with the second wave.
It imposed a second hard lockdown on Dec. 16, closing schools, shops and restaurants after a partial lockdown introduced early November did not bring the hoped-for reduction in new infections.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased by 9,847 to 1,775,513 in a day, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Monday.
The reported death toll rose by 302 to 34,574. Germany averaged 140 new infections per 100,000 people over the past seven days.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and the state premiers are scheduled to discuss a possible extension of measures beyond Jan. 10 on Tuesday.
“All but two federal states support (a lockdown extension until) Jan. 31,” a government source told Reuters. “However, the formal decision will be made on Tuesday.”
As other European Union countries, Germany started vaccinating its population against COVID-19 on Dec. 27, but has been slow in progressing.
Only 238,809 people of its population of 83 million had been given a first shot by Sunday, according to the RKI.
Main Photo: The German parliament ‘Bundestag’ in Berlin, Germany. EPA-EFE/FILIP SINGER