Bonn/Region Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel has again overturned the regulation on Easter rest days. The federal government expects up to 73.5 million vaccination doses in the second quarter. Here are some current developments on the Corona pandemic.
Federal government expects up to 73.5 million vaccine doses in second quarter
The Federal Ministry of Health expects between 70.5 and 73.5 million Corona vaccine doses for Germany in the second quarter. This is according to supply forecasts published by the ministry on the internet. In the first quarter, 19.8 million doses will be delivered. In the second quarter, 10.1 million doses of the vaccine of the US manufacturer Johnson & Johnson are to be delivered, of which, unlike the vaccines used so far, only one dose is necessary.
Earlier, the ministry had indicated that up to 15.3 million doses of vaccine would be delivered from 5 April to 1 May. According to them, all forecasts are still subject to uncertainties. For the entire year 2021, the department of Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) expects 323.7 million vaccine doses against Corona for Germany.
After the surprising overturning of the controversial Easter rest days rule, Chancellor Angela Merkel has apologised to the people of Germany. The whole incident had caused additional uncertainty, the CDU politician said in Berlin on Wednesday. "I deeply regret that and for that I ask all citizens for forgiveness."
Merkel took full responsibility for this. "This mistake is solely mine," she stressed. "Because in the end, I bear the ultimate responsibility for everything. By virtue of my office, that's the way it is." A mistake must be named as such and, above all, corrected - "and if possible, this must be done in good time," Merkel continued.
On Tuesday night, the federal government and the states had decided, among other things, on a tighter Easter lockdown from 1 to 5 April in order to slow public, private and economic life down more sharply. Maundy Thursday and Holy Saturday were to be declared days of rest. However, this was met with massive criticism, and there was also great confusion about the practical implementation.
No vote of confidence
Chancellor Angela Merkel has rejected opposition calls for a vote of confidence in the Bundestag. "There is no need for that. I will not do that," the CDU politician said on Tuesday evening in an ARD "Brennpunkt" programme. She said she had asked people today to forgive her for a mistake. "That is, I believe, the right thing to do. I otherwise have the support of the entire federal government and to that extent also of parliament."
The FDP, AfD and Left parties had suggested to Merkel on Tuesday that she should ask for a vote of confidence after the withdrawal of the Easter recess rule and thus check whether she still has a majority in the Bundestag for her course.
Economy breathes a sigh of relief after cancellation of Easter shutdown
Leading business representatives have expressed relief following Chancellor Angela Merkel's withdrawal of the planned Easter shutdown. "The Chancellor's courageous decision demonstrates leadership," said Employers' President Rainer Dulger. Representatives of industry and commerce expressed similar sentiments.
The federal and state governments had surprisingly decided to largely shut down economic life for five days over Easter in order to slow down the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic. The surprising move had met with almost unanimous incomprehension, partly because of legal problems with implementation. Grocers who would have been allowed to open on Holy Saturday feared a rush of customers for that day as well as for the Wednesday before Easter.
Original text: ga/dpa
Translation: Mareike Graepel