Germany: Expert suggests lockdown as Covid cases surge

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Joachim Sauer’s rare public intervention came as Germany struggles with rising coronavirus cases and the country’s vaccination programme loses momentum. The husband of Germany’s long-serving Chancellor made the remark to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica when asked why many Germans seemed unwilling to go out and take a Covid Jab. Mr Sauer suggested the vaccine hesitancy among his fellow citizens was “partly…a certain laziness.”

Speaking to La Repubblica, Mr Sauer said: “It is striking that a third of the German people do not listen to science.”

Asked why he thought that was the case, he answered: “Partly with a certain laziness and comfort of the German people.

“The others, on the other hand, are people who follow a personal conviction, a sort of ideological reaction to what they consider a vaccine dictatorship.

“And this is transversal to any level of education, from top to bottom, and also involves academics, doctors and scientists.

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“On closer inspection, even in the United States there are similar levels of vaccination, but there it’s possible to explain because some Governors have campaigned precisely against the vaccine.”

The remarks came shortly after German Health Minister Jens Spahn issues a frank warning to the public over vaccinations.

He told a press conference: “Probably by the end of this winter pretty much everyone in Germany — as has sometimes been cynically put — will be vaccinated, cured, or dead.

“But this really is the case: With the very contagious Delta variant, it is very, very likely that anyone who is not vaccinated will over the next few months become infected and lack protection.

Jens Spahn' statement on Germany's coronavirus winter status

“In this respect, immunity is always achieved, the question is only whether it is through vaccination or infection. And we clearly recommend vaccination.”

Professor of Clinical Pharmacy, Thorsten Lehr, told DW News that Germany was likely heading towards another lockdown. 

He said: “So the numbers are increasing and our calculations say that if nothing happens, we would face the weekly incidences by the end of the month, which would be a way of above 400,000 and more in the region of 500,000.

“The situation has changed compared to last year, we’re now facing a new variant of concern.

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“So the Delta variant has a much higher reproduction rate so it has doubled [in infectability] so that means really one infected can infect six healthy People, vaccinated or unvaccinated whereas it has been only three previously.

“And that means you have a situation which is a tougher situation… I think with this highly reproductive virus and this mutation, we will have to vaccinate more.”

Only 68 percent of the German population are fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the number of COVID deaths in Germany has neared 100,000.

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