Germany’s disease chief warns of ‘terrible Christmas’

Germany’s disease chief warns of ‘terrible Christmas’

Berlin The head of Germany’s disease control agency has warned that the country faces a “really terrible Christmas” unless steps are taken to counter the sharp rise in coronavirus infections.

German lawmakers are discussing measures on Thursday that would replace nationwide pandemic rules, which will expire at the end of the month.

On Thursday, the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s disease control agency, said 65,371 new confirmed cases were reported in one day, continuing the upward trend that experts have warned against for weeks.

“We are now heading toward a serious emergency,” said the agency’s director, Lothar Wheeler. “We’re going to have a really terrible Christmas if we don’t take countermeasures now.”

Wieler said Germany needs to significantly increase its vaccination rates to above 75%, from 67.7% at present. Some regions in Germany have vaccination rates as low as 57.6%.

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He also called for the closure of clubs and bars, an end to large-scale events and access to many parts of public life limited to those with a vaccine or certificates of recovery.

Weller warned that hospitals across Germany are struggling to find beds for Covid-19 patients and those with other illnesses.

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