“It cannot be that now we have many contacts and this is the last Christmas with the grandparents”


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“Please stay home!” The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, began recognizing this Wednesday that the vaccines that can be given in the first three months of 2021 will not be enough to suppose a “significant change” at the epidemic level in the country.

Merkel made these statements when intervening before the plenary session of the Bundestag (lower house) to defend next year’s budgets, which foresee a new debt of 180,000 million euros to combat the crisis unleashed by the coronavirus.

However, the Chancellor stressed that if you can start vaccinate vulnerable groups and the health personnel from the beginning of the year “will have gained a lot.”

He spoke after a mixture of feelings, for everything achieved in just ten months of pandemic -for example in the scientific field-, but warning of the great difficulties that still lie ahead.

He assured that the “light at the end of the tunnel” can be seen with several covid vaccines already about to be authorized in the European Union (EU), but also recalled that Germany is currently in the “decisive phase” of the pandemic , in a second wave “much more demanding than the first”, and that historical experience warns that the second can be “very painful.”

«The number of contacts is too high, reducing contacts is not enough“Merkel argued in reference to the restrictions approved for November, which were later tightened and extended until December.

So in an unusually emotional speech by the chancellor, he urged apply new restrictions in the coming days to reduce the number of new infections and, consequently, the number of hospitalized and deaths from Covid.

As the figures are what they are, we have to do something“Said the Chancellor, who acknowledged that the restrictions are the responsibility of the federal states, but stressed that she and the central government have a” special responsibility “in this regard.

Merkel has been advocating a tightening of restrictions for weeks, which some federal states resist. Differences between the ‘Länder’ also make it difficult to make consensual decisions.

“We need to reduce infections”

The Chancellor assured, in this sense, that she considers that the recommendations that Leopoldina, the German Academy of Sciences, released this Tuesday must be taken “seriously”, which advocated a ‘hard’ confinement, even closing schools, to reduce “to an absolute minimum” contacts.

«The closing of shops, keeping the number of meetings to the minimum possible (…), close schools -either extending the holidays until January 10 or with digital classes -, … we need to reduce the contacts, “he explained.

He added that “It really hurts in the heart” go against the Christmas food stalls, but considered that these holiday traditions “are not acceptable if the price to pay is that the daily death toll reaches 590 people”, as happened in the last 24 hours in Germany, a figure record.

«It cannot be that now before Christmas we have many contacts and then the last christmas with grandparents because we have wasted the opportunity to do something, “he argued.

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