BERLIN (REUTERS, XINHUA) - A broad lifting of anti-pandemic measures in Germany early next year is unlikely, Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff Helge Braun said on Monday (Dec 14).
Germany goes into full lockdown on Wednesday to tackle high infection rates, closing non-essential shops and limiting the size of private gatherings.
The tighter restrictive measures, which will be effective until Jan 10, were in response to an "exponential growth" in the number of Covid-19 cases.
Mr Braun told broadcaster n-tv that he was very optimistic that the stricter measures would help to bring new infection numbers down.
However, during winter and as long as not enough vaccines are available for everyone, "we are going to have some difficult days ahead", he said. "A comprehensive easing is very, very unlikely."
On Monday, Germany reported 16,362 new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours, bringing the national tally to 1.3 million, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).
The country's new Covid-19 deaths in the same period reached 188, taking nationwide death toll to 21,975, the data showed.