Sun, 05 Dec 2021

BERLIN, Germany: On Saturday, Germany recorded the highest number of new coronavirus cases since mid-May, rising from 95 to 100 cases per 100,000 persons on Friday.

This figure reached the seven-day threshold for imposing a strict lockdown, but Health Minister Jens Spahn said due to vaccinations, Germany could cope with the current situation.

However, restrictions, such as wearing face masks and limiting the movement of unvaccinated people, would remain in force until spring 2022.

According to the Robert Koch Institute, 15,145 new infections were reported on Saturday, 4,196 more than the previous week, while another 86 people died, bringing the death toll to 95,077.

The rise comes as the nationwide state of emergency is due to end on 25th November, meaning restrictions will automatically expire unless extended by parliament. The leaders of Germany's 16 states are now discussing how to move forward.

On Saturday, Spahn said the state of emergency could be lifted, while still requiring people to wear masks and show proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test result for entry to indoor public spaces.

In an interview with Deutschlandfunk radio, Spahn said, "We can obviously deal with higher incidences, higher numbers of infections better, much better without overburdening the health system, because so many are already vaccinated."

However, hospitals in parts of Germany with lower rates of vaccination, such as in Saxony and Thueringen, are already experiencing pressure from rising infections, he added.

Some 66 percent of German residents are fully vaccinated, compared to the EU figure of 63.3 percent.

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