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Germany set to plan new coronavirus measures as numbers spike

The Robert Koch Institute registered 50,196 new cases on Thursday, up from 33,949 daily cases a week earlier.

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A Red Cross worker stands at a tent where he conducts rapid Covid-19 tests in Biberach in Germany (Stefan Puchner/dpa via AP)

A Red Cross worker stands at a tent where he conducts rapid Covid-19 tests in Biberach in Germany (Stefan Puchner/dpa via AP)

A Red Cross worker stands at a tent where he conducts rapid Covid-19 tests in Biberach in Germany (Stefan Puchner/dpa via AP)

Germany’s national disease control centre has reported a record-high number of daily Covid-19 cases as the country’s parliament was set to discuss legislation that would provide a new legal framework for coronavirus measures.

The Robert Koch Institute registered 50,196 new cases on Thursday, up from 33,949 daily cases a week earlier.

Infections have risen so quickly in recent days that hospitals in especially affected regions cancelled planned surgeries again so medical personnel could focus on Covid-19 patients.

The institute also reported 237 daily Covid-19 deaths, bringing Germany’s pandemic death toll to 97,198.

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A sign highlighting Covid-19 prevention measures at a market in Biberach in Germany (Stefan Puchner/dpa via AP)

A sign highlighting Covid-19 prevention measures at a market in Biberach in Germany (Stefan Puchner/dpa via AP)

A sign highlighting Covid-19 prevention measures at a market in Biberach in Germany (Stefan Puchner/dpa via AP)

One of the country’s top virologists, Christian Drosten, warned on Wednesday that another 100,000 people could die in coming months if the country’s vaccination rate did not accelerate quickly.

Unlike some other European countries, Germany has baulked at making vaccinations mandatory for certain categories of workers.

Yet the country has struggled to find ways to persuade more people to get shots voluntarily.

At least 67% of the population of 83 million is fully vaccinated, according to official figures.

“In Germany, I must say, unfortunately, that our vaccination rate isn’t high enough to prevent the fast spread of the virus,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday night.

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Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who is likely to take over as chancellor, echoed Mrs Merkel, telling politicians that everything must be done to get more people vaccinated.

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Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz said vaccinations should be conducted ‘at high speed’ (Markus Schreiber/AP)

Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz said vaccinations should be conducted ‘at high speed’ (Markus Schreiber/AP)

Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz said vaccinations should be conducted ‘at high speed’ (Markus Schreiber/AP)

“The virus is still among us and threatening our health,” Mr Scholz said. “We must make sure that vaccinations are conducted and that they are conducted at high speed.”

Germany has a caretaker national government following a September parliamentary election.

The parties that are expected to form the next government plan to introduce legislation that would allow an “epidemic situation of national scope” declaration, in place since March 2020, to expire at the end of the month.

They want to replace it with a new legal framework for instituting coronavirus measures.

As during other periods of the pandemic, Germany has a patchwork of regional rules.

Most places restrict access to many indoor facilities and events to people who have been vaccinated, have recovered from Covid-19 or tested negative for the virus, although the latter option is being excluded in some areas.


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