Merkel worried by Germany’s ‘exponential’ Covid-19 growth

Medical staff of general practitioners walk to their coronavirus disease (Covid-19) test centre set up outside a doctor’s office in a tent at Berlin’s Reinickendorf district, Germany, March 23, 2020. — Reuters pic
Medical staff of general practitioners walk to their coronavirus disease (Covid-19) test centre set up outside a doctor’s office in a tent at Berlin’s Reinickendorf district, Germany, March 23, 2020. — Reuters pic

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BERLIN, July 22 — German Chancellor Angela Merkel said today she was concerned about Germany’s rising Covid-19 infections, urging Germans to get vaccinated.

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

“We are seeing exponential growth,” she said, adding that “every vaccination... is a small step towards a return to normality”.

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.

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.

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 today, 60.4 per cent of Germans had received one jab against Covid-19, with 48 per cent fully vaccinated. — AFP

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