Merkel promises long-term support for public health authorities in Germany
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday promised to support public health authorities in Germany in the long-term by creating additional jobs and the modernization of information technology.
Health authorities played a "very significant role" in keeping the incidence of infection largely under control in Germany so far, said Merkel during her speech at a virtual conference with representatives of the country's public health service.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to an "unfathomable extra workload" for health authorities in Germany in terms of tracing infection chains, conducting tests or arranging and managing quarantines, added Merkel.
In regions with high COVID-19 infection rates, health authorities had already reached the limit of staff capacities, said Merkel who acknowledged that technical equipment, digital information and communication possibilities "still leave a lot to be desired."
The German government allocated 4 billion euros (4.7 billion U.S. dollars) to support public health authorities until 2026. Among other things, around 5,000 new jobs would be created until the end of 2022.