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German Chancellor says COVID-19 situation is critical

Thursday, November 18th 2021 - 08:29 UTC
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Merkel favors an extension of the emergency situation, something the “traffic light parties” reject. Merkel favors an extension of the emergency situation, something the “traffic light parties” reject.

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel Wednesday said the COVID-19 crisis in her country was reaching “dramatic” levels.

“I have no doubt that we are in the middle of such an emergency,” that would require additional measures, she said, as the incidence of hospitalizations keeps growing.

The index measures the number of infected people out of 100,000 inhabitants who have needed to be hospitalized within a week.

Merkel also called for a “national effort” to administer booster vaccinations at the earliest time possible, because the virus does not care who is currently in power in Germany or who has to travel the furthest way from previous positions to the measures that are now necessary, Merkel added in reference to the “traffic light parties” SPD, Greens and FDP and their changes to the Infection Protection Act. Merkel favors an extension of the emergency situation, something the “traffic light parties” -known as such for measuring the epidemiological situation according to a color scale- reject.

The Chancellor said the goal has always been “to avoid overloading the health structures” and that there was an emergency due to the increase in cases.

Merkel also pointed out that due to the increase in coronavirus infections, intensive care units 8ICUs) were being filled quickly , with a “terrifying” death toll.

The “traffic light parties” are to submit a bill to the Bundestag Thursday, but Merkel finds it insufficient to cope with the current crisis and would rather prefer “a clear signal” from a conference of State and Region leaders.

“There can be no doubt for me that we are in the middle of an emergency. The fourth wave of COVID-19 hits us with full violence,” she stressed.

Germany's Federal Association of Anesthetists (BDA), together with the German Society of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, have sent an open letter to the State and Federal health ministers warning that “The German health system is headed for a catastrophe.”

In Austria, unvaccinated people are already under special restrictions, as infections exceeded 14,000 for the first time since the start of the pandemic, and full lockdowns are not ruled out in Salzburg, where the weekly incidence has reached 1,672 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

In Poland, 462 deaths and 24,239 new positive cases in 24 hours represent a 30% increase compared to the previous day.

Only 67.7% of Germany's population have taken a full vaccination scheme, while 71% first doses have been administered. In addition to that, 4 million people took the booster, 5 months after the second dose.

According to the Robert Koch Institute, in 24 hours the new record is 52,826 cases, with 294 deaths and a weekly rate of 319.5 patients per 100,000 inhabitants.

In some regions such as Saxony, Thuringia and Bavaria, health systems are already working at full capacity. Munich has already needed to send patients elsewhere for treatment.

 

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