German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that Germany risks squandering the gains it has made in slowing down the spread of Covid-19 if the country opens up too quickly.
"This interim result is fragile. We are on thin ice, one could even say on thinnest ice," Merkel said while addressing the German parliament on Thursday.
The German federal and state governments recently agreed to a flurry of measures to loosen some of the physical distancing restrictions implemented to combat Covid-19, including allowing smaller shops to reopen.
"I fully support the decisions made by the federal government and the states by conviction," Merkel said, "but their implementation worries me. Partially, they appear to be very bold, maybe too bold."
After the loosening of some restrictions, many people flocked into shopping areas and pedestrian zones this week, leading top German virologists to warn against complacency. Merkel echoed those calls in her speech in parliament.
"Let us not squander what we have achieved and risk a setback," Merkel said.
Germany has reported more than 150,000 coronavirus infections, according to Johns Hopkins University. The death toll has risen to 5,094, the country’s center for disease control, the Robert Koch Institute said on Thursday.