The coronavirus crisis: How has Germany handled it?

Germany’s confirmed coronavirus caseload has grown to around 160,000 people, with around 6,000 deaths – and at that, it remains something of a success story in the global pandemic.

dpa looks back at how the country has responded to the crisis:

The beginning: Germany records its first cases of novel coronavirus infection in late January, in the southern state of Bavaria. The virus gradually spreads, until by March 10 it has reached all of the country’s 16 federal states. The first major event cancellations are announced.

First victims: March 9 becomes a sad landmark in the country’s epidemic, as two people in the western state of North Rhine Westphalia are the first to die after contracting the virus. The government agrees with state authorities to ban events with more than 1,000 participants, as theatres and concert halls cancel their programmes one by one. The Bundesliga cancels football games.

Borders close: Entry bans come into effect in mid-March at Germany’s borders with France, Austria, Luxembourg, Denmark and Switzerland. Non-EU citizens are banned from entering Germany, while schools and day-care facilities close across most of the country.

Merkel’s address: Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses citizens in a special televised speech on March 18, speaking of a “historic task.” Shortly afterwards, sweeping social-distancing rules come into effect nationwide. Bars, restaurants, hairdressers and many shops shut, while religious gatherings are banned. Lawmakers approve billions of euros in economic aid.

Inching back: The measures prove successful as the spread of the virus slows. In mid-April, Merkel and the state premiers agree to the first round of easing: small shops can reopen and pupils gradually return to school. Towards the end of the month, all states announce rules making mouth-and-nose coverings mandatory for citizens shopping and using public transport.

Source: pda

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