BERLIN 

Germany may face a second wave of coronavirus infection this summer, the country’s disease control agency warned on Thursday.

Lars Schaade, vice director of the Robert Koch Institute, told a news conference in Berlin that despite a decline in the number of new infections in recent weeks, a second wave of the disease could come as early as July.

“If and when we will have a second wave will depend on our behavior. We don’t have a vaccine or a medicine at the moment, the only thing we can use to influence this will be our own behavior,” he said.

Schaade urged the public to strictly observe hygiene and physical distancing rules, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and a second wave of the disease.

He also warned against complacency as the weather gets warmer, and underlined that sunlight and high temperatures would have a very limited impact on weakening the coronavirus.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government decided on Wednesday to ease strict lockdown measures, amid a continued decline in the number of coronavirus infections and deaths in the country.

Daily new COVID-19 infections have been slowing and remained below 1,500 for almost a week, according to the country’s disease control agency.

The Robert Koch Institute reported 139,900 recoveries as of Thursday compared to 26,191 current infections.

The official death toll rose to 7,119 on Thursday, after 123 fatalities were recorded in the last 24 hours.

After appearing in Wuhan, China late last year, the virus has spread to at least 187 countries and regions, according to figures compiled by US’ Johns Hopkins University.

Nearly 3.8 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed worldwide, with more than 264,600 deaths and over 1.25 million recoveries.

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