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Government statement given by the Chancellor

“A monumental national effort which needs everyone and affects everyone”

Together, we can conquer the pandemic – that’s what Chancellor Angela Merkel underscored in a government statement delivered in the German Bundestag. The crux is still to get the numbers of new infections down. “We must show stamina and patience. I know that is a lot to ask,” said Angela Merkel.

Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks in the German Bundestag. In the German Bundestag, Chancellor Angela Merkel explained the decisions taken with the Heads of Government of the Länder to overcome the pandemic. Photo: Bundesregierung/Denzel

In a government statement to the German Bundestag, Chancellor Angela Merkel stated clearly that citizens can trust a German state and a German government “that is doing everything that is reasonable and possible to help those who need help to make it through this extremely difficult time”.

The Chancellor remembered the lives that have been lost during the pandemic. The worst, saddest figure, the number of people dying of COVID-19 every day at last appears to be going down again,” said Angela Merkel. “Their loss and the grief of their loved ones is always with us when we make decisions during this pandemic. We owe them that.”

The trend has been reversed

Angela Merkel pointed out that the pandemic has now lasted for a year – a year during which we have learned a lot about how the virus works and how we can fight it. Overcoming the pandemic is “a monumental national effort which needs everyone and affects everyone”. Angela Merkel stressed, “We cannot thank our doctors and nurses often enough for their dedication.”

Since her government statement in November 2020 a lot has been achieved together, said Angela Merkel. Having come through the first wave relatively well, and after a summer with few cases, Germany was not careful enough and did not pay enough heed to the warnings about a second wave. Now we have managed to reverse the trend, and the numbers of new cases are declining again, said the Chancellor.

Europe stands together

At record speed, scientists managed to develop vaccines. Angela Merkel admitted that a lot more had been expected and many people were disappointed about vaccination progress. The German government decided, however, to place its faith in European level negotiations. By the end of the summer everyone who wants to be vaccinated should be vaccinated, she declared. The German government is supporting the construction of new plants to manufacture vaccine. A government task force has been set up.

Keeping mutations down

Mutations of the coronavirus are a serious threat to the positive trend we are now seeing, said the Chancellor. Against this background, she agreed with the Heads of Government of the Länder to extend the COVID-19 restrictions currently in place – the main focus again is to reduce contacts.

“I think it is worthwhile to maintain all the efforts and all the sacrifices until 7 March to keep the mutations down and hopefully get the numbers back down well below a seven-day incidence of 50,” said the Chancellor. There were few promises of openings. The first priority is childcare and primary school. The Chancellor announced that she would keep consulting with the Heads of Government of the Länder, to see what other openings were possible.

Transitional assistance simplified and improved

As planned, the German government has put in place the foundations for additional support. “I know how many people are waiting for the money,” said Angela Merkel. Applications can now be submitted for Transitional Assistance III.

Feb 11, 2021