German president calls for caution amid rise in COVID-19 infections


  • World
  • Tuesday, 04 Aug 2020

BERLIN, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Monday called on all citizens to "show consideration, caution and responsibility" in view of rising COVID-19 infection numbers in Germany.

"The irresponsibility of a few is a risk for us all," said Steinmeier in a video message. "If we are not particularly careful now, we are endangering the health of many. And we also endanger the recovery of our society, our economy, our cultural life."

Steinmeier addressed the country's population after protests against COVID-19 restriction measures hit the German capital Berlin on Saturday. Although organizers had initially announced up to half a million people, the rally was attended by 20,000 people, according to German police.

By keeping a minimum distance, by observing the rules of hygiene and by wearing mouth and nose protection in specified places, it had been possible to re-open restaurants and cafes and to ease travel restrictions in Germany, said Steinmeier.

"But the interim success must not make us careless," stressed Steinmeier. "The summer mood is good for us all. But it must not lead us to become inattentive in our fight against the pandemic."

"Let us be particularly careful now, in our leisure time, at work, but also at our holiday destination and after returning from a journey," said Steinmeier.

From Saturday, all travelers returning to Germany from abroad had the possibility to be tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours after their return voluntarily and free of charge, according to the Ministry of Health.

Returnees from COVID-19 risk areas would have to undergo mandatory testing upon request when entering the country, if a corresponding order comes into force this week.

"The increasing number of infections in Germany is a clear warning signal," said Minister of Health Jens Spahn, adding "The coronavirus does not take a holiday."

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