By Sylvia Cunningham and Caleb Larson
According to new federal projections, Germany’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to plummet by 6.3% this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
An estimated 370,000 people are expected to lose their jobs.
In a statement, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier acknowledged the challenges ahead, and the need to avoid a second wave of infections.
Provided the restrictions on businesses and public life continue to loosen, the government projects a 5.2% growth of the country’s GDP in 2021.
Germany’s federal cabinet agreed to new measures on Wednesday to increase COVID-19 testing, especially in nursing homes.
Health Minister Jens Spahn says boosting testing will help identify and track outbreaks.
But the government is also looking ahead and ordering a stockpile of flu shots, in the hopes more people will get vaccinated this year.
Spahn told reporters it would be a big challenge to manage the flu season alongside the COVID-19 pandemic, since victims of both show similar symptoms and require similar hospital resources.
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