The German government said it is "absolutely necessary to maintain all rules" regarding the restrictions on public and private life in order to see a coronavirus infection rate reduction, at Monday's press conference in Berlin.

An end date is not yet in sight for "when everything will be different again," said government spokesperson Steffen Seibert, who said German Chancellor Angela Merkel had spoken of "light hope."

Seibert revealed his optimism about the development of a smartphone app, which would share geographical data about new cases and infection risks, which could "considerably contribute" to breaking infection chains.

Concerns have cropped up over the app's compliance with strict European Union data privacy laws, but advocates maintain the importance of utilising technology to control the virus.

"10,000 ventilation beds are available," said Health Ministry spokesperson, Doris Berve-Schucht, as she also added that there is space on hospital wards.

Germany has now exceeded 100,000 new cases of coronavirus, but still has a death rate well below that of its European neighbours seeing high numbers of fatalities.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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