There is a “highly dramatic epidemic situation” in Germany, and the restrictions in force are not sufficient, Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a closed meeting of the Christian Democrat leadership. Her words, quoted by sources in the CDU party, describe the Reuters and Bloomberg agencies. Germany’s neighbor Austria announced a nationwide lockdown due to alarming rates of new infections. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, unvaccinated people have very limited access to many public places since Monday.
Austria became the first country in Western Europe on Monday to lockdown during the fourth wave of the COVID-19 epidemic. This is valid from Monday and will last a maximum of 20 days. During this time, Austrians are allowed to leave their homes only when necessary.
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Merkel: What is in force now is not enough
Germany, too, may need tighter restrictions to control the record tide of infection. This is what Angela Merkel said at a closed meeting of the CDU party leadership and quoted by Reuters and Bloomberg. Agencies cite their sources among meeting participants.
The outgoing German chancellor was to judge that the restrictions in force in the country would not be enough to stop the increase in infections. – We have a highly dramatic situation. What is in force now is not enough, she said, Reuters sources said. Merkel was to call on all 16 federal states to make tough decisions by Wednesday to fight the COVID-19 epidemic.
According to a Bloomberg source, Merkel noted that hospitals in Germany may soon become paralyzed, so it is necessary to stop the wave of infections. In the title of the report from the CDU meeting, the agency indicates that the head of the government in Berlin was to describe the current increase in infections as “the worst that we have seen so far”.
In Germany, on November 20 (according to Our World in Data), 67.4 percent were vaccinated. citizens, but the vaccination rate has fallen sharply since the end of the summer holidays. On August 30, already 60.1 percent were vaccinated. German society.
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European countries are fighting the epidemic
Apart from Austria, another neighbor of Germany also introduced restrictions. Since Monday, in the Czech Republic, access to restaurants, hotels, service establishments or mass events has been restricted for unvaccinated people. The admission requirement is a vaccination certificate or a confirmed COVID-19 certificate. Students and employees will be tested once a week in schools and companies.
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On Thursday, the government of Slovakia adjacent to the Czech Republic and Poland decided to tighten restrictions, mainly for unvaccinated people. The changes will come into force on Monday and will be valid for three weeks. Among other things, the limit on the number of participants in mass events will be reduced, and only vaccinated and convalescents are allowed to enter shopping centers.
Unvaccinated people can only shop in stores with the necessary assortment – in grocery stores, drugstores, pharmacies. To get to shopping malls, you need a certificate confirming vaccination or a past disease. The same requirement applies to viewers of sports events and people wishing to enter the aquapark or the swimming pool.
In German Saxony, new anti-epidemic restrictions began to apply on Monday.
In turn, in the Netherlands, bordering Germany in the west, 23,680 infections were recorded on Friday. This country has not experienced such a large daily increase in the number of infections since the outbreak began.
In Poland, the government has not yet decided to introduce a lockdown or restrictions on unvaccinated people. The current strategy is to constantly expand the bed base for COVID-19 patients. Health Minister Adam Niedzielski this week admitted that the anti-vaccine movement “is relatively strong”. “Our goal is not to get people out on the streets right now,” he said.
The World Health Organization has warned that we could see 500,000 more deaths by March, unless urgent action is taken to contain the epidemic.
>> “COVID-19 has again become the leading cause of death.” WHO concerned about the situation in Europe
Reuters, Bloomberg, tvn24.pl, Our World in Data, PAP
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / PHILIPP GUELLAND