Lockdown looms for Germany as Covid cases rise

Berlin, Dec 11 (efe-epa).- Germany registered record breaking numbers of infections and deaths from coronavirus on Friday, as health officials and regional leaders demand a national lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The country’s disease control center, the Robert Koch Institute, said that 29,875 new cases and 598 deaths were registered in the past 24 hours, both records for Germany. The number of cases spiked by almost 6,200 in just one day.

“Today’s numbers are higher than ever. We need a fundamental lockdown as soon as possible,” Bavarian prime minister Markus Söder said on Twitter.

“Every day counts. Why hesitate when we know it is necessary? Therefore: do everything now and act decisively. We have to go down before Christmas.”

The German Interdisciplinary Association of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI) also issued a statement on Friday calling for an immediate halt to public life across the country, warning that otherwise hospitals could collapse.

“What are we waiting for? Another 14 days with an attitude of ‘close your eyes and see what happens’ are not justifiable given the current figures,” said the president of DIVI, Uwe Janssens.

Janssens said that if the average of 30,000 new daily infections was maintained for the next two weeks, then around 420,000 people would be infected by Christmas.

“The resulting numbers of hospital patients and seriously ill patients who require intensive medical treatment will then no longer be adequately treated,” he said, adding that hospitals were already starting to give priority to more urgent patients.

He pointed out that the burden on nurses and doctors working in ICUs has reached a crucial tipping point.

He said he fears the “physical and psychological collapse” of ICU workers who have already been dealing with this situation for weeks.

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