GERMANY: Germany’s Health Minister has warned that a rapid rise in coronavirus cases means it’s likely everyone in the country who isn’t vaccinated will have caught COVID-19 by the end of winter — and some of those will die.
The country recorded more than 30,000 new cases in the latest 24-hour reporting period, up about 50 per cent compared to last week.
This week, the country is expected to pass 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Why is Europe on the brink of disaster despite vaccines?
Hospitals say ICU capacities are nearly exhausted, with some patients having to be transferred to clinics in other parts of Germany. To reduce the risk of serious illness, minister Jens Spahn urged Germans to get vaccinated, including with booster shots if their first round of inoculation occurred more than six months ago. “By the end of this winter pretty much everyone in Germany will have been vaccinated, recovered or dead,” Mr Spahn said. Spahn acknowledged some would consider this view to be cynical.
“But it’s true. With the highly contagious Delta variant, this is very, very likely. And that’s why we are recommending vaccination so urgently,” he added.
Spahn said 50 million doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines would be made available for the rest of the year, to allow people to get first, second or third shots as necessary.
Meanwhile, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday slammed three nights of unrest over anti-Covid measures as “pure violence’ by “idiots” and vowed to prosecute those responsible. The Netherlands was taking stock after a weekend that saw dozens of violent protests across the country against the government’s anti-coronavirus measures.
At least 130 people have been arrested, four people wounded and several police officers injured since the violence first erupted on Friday, when a protest in the port city of Rotterdam turned into running battles between police and rioters.
The unrest in Rotterdam and in several cities around the country “is pure violence under the guise of protest,” Rutte told Dutch media on Monday.
“I understand that there is a lot of tension in society because we have been dealing with the scourge of corona for so long,” Rutte said.He said he would always defend the right to protest, but “I will never accept that idiots use pure violence,” he said. – NDTV