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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Angela Merkel urges Germans to get vaccinated as Covid-19 infections rise

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged the country to get vaccinated as Covid-19 infection rates spiral.

On Thursday, Ms Merkel said cases are expected to double within weeks, following a sharp rise in infection rates over the past fortnight.

“The infection figures are rising again and with a clear and worrying dynamic,” she told a press conference in Berlin.

“We are seeing exponential growth.”

Germany has seen low infection numbers over the summer compared to many of its European neighbours, but cases have been creeping up over the past two weeks, largely fuelled by the Delta variant.

Ms Merkel told the nation that “every vaccination… is a small step towards a return to normality”.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) health agency on Thursday recorded 1,890 new infections over the past 24 hours and an incidence rate of 12.2 new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days – up from a low of 4.9 in early July.

Ms Merkel said she expected cases to double in the next two weeks.

“With a rising incidence rate, it could be that we need to introduce additional measures,” she said.

“The more people are vaccinated, the freer we will be – not only as individuals, but also as a community.”

Germany began easing pandemic restrictions in May and has now reopened restaurants, shops, pools and museums, as well as easing limits on public and private gatherings.

As of Thursday, 60.4 per cent of Germans had received one jab, with 48 per cent fully vaccinated.

Earlier this month, France announced it was looking at compulsory vaccinations for health care workers as the Delta strain spread across the country.

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