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इंडियन आवाज़     09 Dec 2021 04:57:00      انڈین آواز

COVID: Germany faces ‘national emergency’

A fourth wave of COVID infections has seen case numbers reach record levels in Germany. The health minister has said a lockdown “can’t be ruled out.”

Free corona tests at German airports., © dpa / Sven Simon

WEB DESK

Germany is facing a ‘national emergency’ as number of Covid cases in the country rising alrmingly.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn on Friday said that the pandemic situation has worsened over the past week and it’s now “more serious than last week,” adding that the country is facing “a national emergency.”

When asked about the possibility of imposing a new lockdown for everyone, he said: “We’re in a situation where we can’t rule anything out.”

The comments came as Germany’s upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, approved new restrictions to curb COVID, a day after the lower house passed the measures.

Spahn was talking at a press conference together with Lothar Wieler, the head of the country’s infectious disease agency the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

Wieler painted a dramatic picture of the coronavirus situation, pointing out that in over a quarter of districts nationwide, the seven-day incidence rate is above 500 new infections per 100,000 people and that many hospitals are at breaking point. “We need to turn the tide. There’s really no time to lose.”

Wieler also stressed the importance of vaccinations. “Vaccinations are working very, very well,” he said, adding: “We need to close the vaccination gaps now.”

In the past two weeks, the number of new cases has jumped by more than 60%.

On Friday, Germany recorded 52,970 daily new infections, a day after registering over 65,000 daily cases, a record since the start of the pandemic. Health officials are warning that the number is likely to at least double in the coming days.

Uwe Janssens, secretary-general of the German Society for Internal Intensive Care, told DW the numbers were “absolutely worrying.”

He pointed out that patients who suffer severe disease after getting infected with the virus end up in the intensive care unit much later, “with a delay of up to 15 days.”

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