Merkel ‘begs’ Germans to get vaccinated as Covid numbers rise
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
In conversation with top representatives of Germany’s three-way coalition presented on Wednesday, Angela Merkel warned of the threats the coronavirus pandemic is once again posing on the nation.
A daunting task awaits the Social Democratic party (SPD), the Greens and the Free Democratic party (FDP), which are set to govern Germany once Olaf Scholz is sworn in as Chancellor the week of December 6.
Spokesman Steffen Seibert said Ms Merkel had appealed to the heads of the three parties to take further steps to contain the pandemic as Germany was “on the way to an emergency like we have never had before”.
Mr Seibert claimed Ms Merkel stressed “the extraordinary seriousness of the situation” in a meeting with the leaders.
He said hospital occupancy and a lack of staff in intensive care units is forcing the postponement of important non-Covid-related medical interventions.
See the latest Covid vaccine stats below and visit InYourArea for all the Covid vaccine latest
Outgoing Health Minister Jens Spahn told Germany’s Deutschlandfunk radio: “We are having to move patients around as intensive care units are full, and that doesn’t just affect COVID-19 patients.”
According to German Press Agency dpa, Ms Merkel advised the parties to significantly tighten coronavirus measures in view of the imminent overload of the healthcare system.
On Wednesday, the number of coronavirus infections broke a new record with the seven-day incidence rate surpassing 400 for the first time since the pandemic began.
As per data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), there were 404.5 new infections per 100,000 people in the past week across Germany – up from the milestone of 300 recorded on November 15, and of 200 the week before that.
Official figures released on Thursday show Germany has joined a list of countries — Russia, the UK, Italy and France — that have surpassed 100,000 deaths from COVID-19.
With 351 coronavirus deaths recorded over the last 24 hours, the total is now at 100,119.
The staggering figures have opened up debate over whether Germany should follow in the footsteps of neighbouring Austria, where the Conservative-led government has made Covid vaccination compulsory from February 1, 2022 – becoming the first EU member state to do so.
Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg also imposed a two-week national lockdown that started on Monday – the fourth since March 2020.
Mr Spahn said last week: “It’s quite probable by the end of the winter that pretty much everyone in Germany will have been vaccinated, have recovered or have died.”
British Army fury as new badge compared to Nazi and Apartheid death squad symbols [ANALYSIS]
Boy, 8, placed into induced coma after rare side-effect of Covid [INSIGHT]
Why Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark will not be happy with Merkel’s replacement [REPORT]
Jens Spahn' statement on Germany's coronavirus winter status
Ms Merkel has previously made her position clear, saying: “We are in a highly dramatic situation.
“What is in place now is not sufficient.”
Many German regions have already started to impose stricter rules, including the requirement for vaccinated people to show a negative test to enter indoor spaces. The southern German state of Bavaria has imposed a lockdown for all districts that have a seven-day Covid incidence rate of over 1,000 per 100,000 people, and has cancelled its popular Christmas markets.
Now, additional measures are expected to come into force soon as the Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, has on Thursday voted in favour of new restrictions for the workplace and public transport.
The strength of the virus’s fourth wave has led to more and more politicians backing mandatory vaccinations.
The subject, divisive among lawmakers and members of the public, comes at a time of huge political change for Europe’s largest economy.
The departure of Ms Merkel after 16 years in office was never going to be easy but Mr Scholz and his cabinet will now have to look for an answer to one of the most difficult questions of the pandemic yet – whether enforcing vaccines is ethical and at all viable in a country with the history of Germany.
Source: Read Full Article