Germany commemorates coronavirus victims in memorial service

Berlin, Apr 18 (EFE).- Germany on Sunday held a national memorial service in Berlin to commemorate those who have died since the coronavirus pandemic broke out last year.

The commemorative event took place at Konzerthaus Berlin, where Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, along with the leaders of the upper and lower houses of parliament were present.

Steinmeier delivered a speech expressing the country’s condolences for the nearly 80,000 people who have died of the virus, followed by several recorded messages from people who have lost loved ones in the pandemic.

“Let us join forces on the way forward,” Steinmeier said. “Let us not allow the pandemic, which forces us to keep a distance as human beings, to drive us apart as a society.”

In the past 24 hours, a total of 19,185 new infections and 67 deaths have been recorded by the official disease control body Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Cases started to rise again last week, following the Easter holidays.

In a bid to stem the spread of the virus, lawmakers of the lower house of parliament are set to vote on Wednesday on changes in the Infection Protection Act, which, if approved, would see a nighttime curfew from 9pm to 5am imposed as soon as the number of new infections per 100,000 residents exceeds 100 cases.

Gatherings also would be limited to people living at the same household, with an additional adult from another home.

The vaccination rate has ramped up in the country since the start of April, as 21.4 million vaccine doses have been administered.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 3.14 million cases have been registered, with 79,914 deaths.EFE


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