Christian Drosten, a virologist at Berlin’s Charité hospital, told the Guardian that Germany’s coronavirus state of affairs was “not good right now”. The emergence of the B117 variant, which originated in the UK, has only worsened the situation.
The UK variant accounts for about three-quarters of new infections in the country.
Mr Dronten has also raised concerns about the suspension of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, adding that in Germany “we need this vaccine.”
The expert pointed out that, by Easter, Germany could see similar figures to the those of around Christmas.
He added: “The situation could get drastically worse.”
The warning comes after Italy brought into force a new lockdown for its worst-affected regions.
The stringent restrictions are expected to curb the spread of the virus as hospitals across the country face being overwhelmed.
Rome and Milan are among the country’s biggest cities affected by new measures, which apply to three-quarters of the population.
Italian Prime minister Mario Draghi warned the nation is facing a “new wave” of the pathogen.