BERLIN, Nov. 13 (Reuters) – Three German health ministers have urged negotiating parties to form a new government to extend state power to implement tougher pandemic measures such as school closures or school closures schools as the seven-day COVID incidence rate hit record highs.
The number of people per 100,000 infected last week rose to 277.4, data from the Robert Koch Institute showed on Saturday, and rose to more than 500 in parts of the country.
The head of Germany’s largest medical association, Marburger Bund, told German media group Funke Mediengruppe that overcrowded intensive care units may have to move patients between regions to find beds in the coming weeks.
The federal government and leaders of Germany’s 16 states are due to discuss new pandemic measures next week, but the three parties negotiating to form a new government have agreed to leave the state of emergency, in place since the start of pandemic, expire on November 25 as planned. Read more
But state health ministers in Baden-Württemberg, Hesse and Brandenburg argued that states should retain the option of implementing policies requiring the application of a state of emergency – such as blankets. – fires, school closures or school closures – if the situation worsens.
“Faced with the load weighing on hospitals, which in some regions are close to absolute overload, the epidemic status should be extended at the national level,” the three health ministers said on Saturday in a joint statement.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged unvaccinated people to reconsider their decision in a video message on Saturday morning. She also called for stricter enforcement of rules requiring a negative test, vaccination or proof of recovery before entering closed spaces, and faster deployment of booster vaccines.
“Tough weeks are ahead of us, and you can see I’m very worried,” said Merkel, speaking in her weekly video podcast. “I urge anyone who has not yet been vaccinated: please reconsider. “
The German military is preparing to mobilize 12,000 troops by Christmas to help overflow health services, the Spiegel newspaper reported, and will provide booster shots and tests in nursing homes and hospitals.
So far, 630 troops have been deployed, Spiegel reported. The military was not immediately available for comment.
Europe has once again become the epicenter of the pandemic, prompting some governments to consider reimposing unpopular lockdowns. Read more
Reporting by Victoria Waldersee; Editing by Jan Harvey and Christina Fincher
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