Fourth coronavirus wave hits Germany amid slowed vaccination campaign

Berlin, Nov 9 (EFE).- Germany is struggling to curb a record-breaking fourth wave of coronavirus infections under a caretaker government amid a stalled vaccination campaign.

The 7-day incidence rate on Tuesday stood at 213.7 cases per 100,000 people, the highest since the onset of the pandemic.

The Robert Koch Institute reported 21,932 new infections and 169 deaths over the past 24 hours, over double the cases and fatalities registered a week ago.

Germany has reached its vaccination cieling with some 67 percent of the population fully vaccinated against severe Covid-19 symptoms.

Some federal states, including Berlin, either mull over or have imposed measures to limit access to certain public places, indoor restaurants and theaters to the vaccinated only.

Medical organizations demand the measures to be imposed nationwide while saying the bill presented by the Social Democratic Party, the Greens and the Liberal Party, which are negotiating a ruling coalition agreement, is too soft.

The country has also reinstated free coronavirus tests a month after being eliminated in a bid to force people to get vaccinated so that they can enter restaurants and other places but the vaccination campaign is still stagnant.

The proposal also obligates unvaccinated workers to present a negative coronavirus test daily to attend work.

However, the bill of the future government coalition does not convince many critics who consider it insufficient.

“There are many small steps in the project, we would have liked more daring,” Susanne Johna, head of a doctors union, told local media.

While considering that returning to free tests is correct, Johna believes that other measures are also needed, such as a general vaccination mandate to access indoor spaces.

However, she admits that there may be exceptions for regions with low levels of incidence and hospitalization.

The head of the German Hospital Association (DKG), Gerald Gauss, has called for the introduction of compulsory vaccination for healthcare workers. EFE


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