Cologne In his Easter address, NRW Prime Minister President Armin Laschet thanked the citizens of Germany's most populous state for their discipline and conveyed confidence that life would soon return to normal.
In a speech on Easter Sunday, Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Armin Laschet, spoke about the serious test we are all facing because of the corona pandemic. In the message broadcast on WDR television on Sunday evening, the CDU politician also emphasized that the developments of the past few days were encouraging. "The spread of the virus is slowing down from day to day." Laschet advocated for a plan to get back to everyday normal life.
Laschet thanked the citizens for adhering to the rules, "that you keep your distance and cooperate". And he thanked doctors, nursing home health care workers, nurses and rescue workers, policemen, and sales personnel "who make sure that our lives, our everyday life, can continue as much as possible”.
The prime minister admitted that everything that is being done to contain the virus also has negative consequences. "I am thinking of the hundreds of thousands who are suffering from reduced work hours, unemployment, those who are now suffering from depression, loneliness and postponed surgeries, violence or threats, especially the children among them.”
He is convinced that while people have been wiling to do without, they also need the prospect that things will become normal again. "We need a road map that shows us the way to a responsible normality,” said Laschet. It is not achieved in one big leap, but with many small, careful steps. In this difficult situation, all levels of government are trying to reach decisions together.
Twelve-member corona expert council for NRW
Next Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the prime ministers of the German states will discuss how to proceed in dealing with the corona pandemic. From North Rhine-Westphalia, the corona expert council has already proposed exit scenarios from the corona restrictions. According to the state chancellery, the 15-page document "Towards a responsible normality" has already been sent to Chancellor Merkel for deliberation.
The twelve-member committee from NRW advocates a responsible, gradual opening of social and public life. Provided that the health care system is not overburdened by the infection and that a better monitoring of the crisis is possible, one way forward could be to gradually re-admit individual areas of public life and to control containment measures in a more differentiated manner, the report says.
Educational institutions should gradually re-open as soon as possible, " in a responsible manner and with high standards of protection," was one item listed in the report. Wherever possible, universities should continue to focus on digital online courses. Concerts and theaters could, if necessary, be held with distancing rules in place and a limited number of visitors.
The experts plead for an expansion of scientific studies and for the development and increase of further test procedures. The target is up to 500,000 tests per day. Besides those who display symptoms and those who have had contact with an infected person, there should be regular testing for those who are in especially vulnerable jobs and residents of nursing homes.
However, the experts warn against premature optimism. "We will most likely face a repeated increase in infection rates.”
(Orig. text: epd / Translation: ck)