German lawmakers flag private party ban as coronavirus cases rise

German lawmakers flag private party ban as coronavirus cases rise

FILE PHOTO: A man on a bicycle is wearing a protective mask in Dresden, Germany
FILE PHOTO: A man on a bicycle is wearing a protective mask in Dresden, Germany, April 20, 2020. REUTERS/Matthias Rietschel/File Photo

BERLIN/FRANKFURT: Germany should temporarily ban private parties, several lawmakers suggested on Sunday (Aug 23), after the number of coronavirus infections in Europe's largest economy reached a four-month high.

The number of confirmed cases in Germany rose by 2,034 to 232,082, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday, the highest level since late April. The reported death toll rose by seven to 9,267.

"We must not risk that day care centres and schools will close again and that children are forced to remain at home for weeks because we have accepted higher infection rates due to lax rules at family parties," Saskia Esken, co-leader of the Social Democrats, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS) newspaper.

Ralph Brinkhaus, leader of the CDU/CSU conservative parliamentary bloc, said: "Unfortunately since the start of summer a certain recklessness has spread."

The remarks come ahead of a planned meeting of Chancellor Angela Merkel with the premiers of Germany's federal states on Thursday to discuss a unified approach to the next steps.

"Private festivities are a great danger," Ursula Nonnemacher, health minister of the state of Brandenburg, told FAS, adding there was a real risk of "hard contact restrictions" should new infections continue to rise.

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Source: Reuters/aa

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