Angela Merkel’s chief of staff has warned if the country can’t get the pandemic under control this summer it could have serious repercussions in the autumn. As the national lockdown is eased, the German Chancellor’s team are concerned people are ignoring social distancing guidelines. There are also fears holidaymakers risk bringing coronavirus back into the country after visiting high-risk countries.

According to the European Centre for Disease Control, Germany has reported eight cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the last two weeks.

The Robert Koch Institute said last week there had been a sharp daily increase in new infections to more than 800 a day.

A spokesman for the institute, which oversees the fight against coronavirus, said: “A more marked exacerbation needs to be avoided.”

Michael Kretschmer, minister-president of the Saxony, said Germany is already in the midst of a second wave of the disease.

He said: “We have new clusters of infections each day.”

The Robert Koch Institute reported a worrying finding that most of the new infections were reported in North Rhine-Westphalia, across the border from Belgium, and Baden-Wurtemburg, on the frontier with France and Switzerland.

The European Centre for Disease Control has issued a “code orange” alert for Belgium after the infection rate dramatically increased.

On Saturday, the ECDC issued the Flanders region with the warning, which means there are 20 or more cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

But the alert was altered to cover the whole country after its infection rate leapt to 21.2.

The Federal Public Health Service today said an average of 278.9 people had tested positive for coronavirus each day.

The trend of new infections rose by 71 percent over a seven-day period between July 17 and 23.

Since the first confirmed case in Belgium, 66,026 people have tested positive for the disease.

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The Belgian warned people to stay away from Antwerp, where new infections are rapidly increasing.

Spain has also seen a worrying spike, prompting countries, including the UK, to introduce new quarantine measures for travellers.

The UK has said all people returning for Spain must self-isolate for 14 days. France and Norway have introduced similar warnings.

source: express.co.uk

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