Action needed to avoid lockdown: German state leaders

Action needed now to avoid lockdown, say German state leaders

Germany reported 37,120 new coronavirus cases on Friday, the second day in a row that it marked the highest daily increase since the start of the pandemic

A doctor administers a coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine to a woman holding a baby, in his doctor's office in Berlin, Germany. Credit: Reuters Photo

German state leaders said on Friday that hospitals could soon become swamped by Covid-19 patients and a new lockdown might be needed unless urgent action is taken to reverse a surge in cases.

"If we take too much time now, it will end in a lockdown like last year," the leader of the eastern state of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer, told Deutschlandfunk radio.

Also read: German Covid cases soar as WHO warns over Europe deaths

The premier of Thuringia, Bodo Ramelow, said it was a matter of days until the coronavirus situation would mean that there were not enough intensive care beds at hospitals.

As of Thursday, there were 2,503 free beds in German intensive care units, down from around 3,100 at the start of October, according to data from the DIVI association for intensive and emergency medicine.

Germany reported 37,120 new coronavirus cases on Friday, the second day in a row that it marked the highest daily increase since the start of the pandemic last year.

State health ministers will conclude a two-day meeting on Friday and issue a statement outlining their strategy for winter, including whether to expand booster shots and which restrictions could be placed on the unvaccinated.

Germany's total death toll from the pandemic is 96,346 and the total number of cases stands at 4,709,488. Current restrictions include having to prove vaccination, recovery or a negative test, and wearing masks indoors in public.

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