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Iran Press TV

Germany enters partial lockdown to curb 'exponential growth' of virus

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 13 December 2020 7:24 PM

Germany has announced plans to go into a partial lockdown from Wednesday, as Europe's largest economy battles a surge in coronavirus infections.

The containment measures, agreed between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and regional leaders of the country's 16 states on Sunday, are set to take effect from December 16 until January 10.

Under the restrictions, non-essential shops and schools will close, and gatherings will be banned over the New Year.

Companies have also been urged to allow employees to work from home or offer extended holidays.

The German chancellor said the measures were needed to stop an "exponential growth" in coronavirus cases.

"Today is not the day to look back or to see what could have been, rather, today is the day to do what is necessary," Merkel added, pointing to "very high numbers of deaths" and stressing the urgent need for action.

German ministers and regional leaders announced on Friday that the country would have to impose tougher coronavirus restrictions before Christmas to try to get the pandemic under control.

Germany closed leisure and cultural facilities last month and banned indoor dining in restaurants.

The measures helped to contain the rapid growth of the pandemic after the autumn school holidays, but numbers remained stable at a high rate despite Merkel's repeated push for tougher curbs to break the chain of contagion.

Germany last week recorded new daily death tolls of close to 600 people, prompting the country's disease control agency RKI to warn that the infections trend had taken a worrying turn.

According to RKI data published on Sunday, Germany has recorded another 20,200 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, bringing the overall tally to a total of 1,320,716 infections.

Another 321 patients lost their lives, bringing the total death toll to 21,787.

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