As Covid cases surge in Germany, questions on extension of state of emergency

 Written by Harshit Sabarwal | Edited by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi 1 hour agoLikeTurkish defence minister warns against alliances that harm NATOIS claims Uganda bomb attackPeople queue to receive a vaccine against Covid-19 at the Arena Treptow vaccination centre in Berlin (Reuters file photo)© Provided by Hindustan Times People queue to receive a vaccine against Covid-19 at the Arena Treptow vaccination centre in Berlin (Reuters file photo)

Germany is currently facing an increased spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), prompting calls to extend the nationwide state of emergency, which will end next month.

Germany recorded the highest single-day spike since mid-May on Saturday after 15,145 people were detected as Covid-19 positive.

On Sunday, 11,411 new cases were reported, pushing the caseload to 4,476,078, according to worldometers.com. The total cases include 95,794 deaths, 4,206,400 recoveries and 173,884 active cases.

According to a report by the New York Times, infections in Germany have increased by 57 per cent in the last two weeks, while deaths have increased by 11 per cent.

Will the state of emergency extend?

Amid the worsening pandemic situation in Germany, leaders of the country’s 16 states are discussing how to proceed after the state of emergency ends on November 25. According to news agency Reuters, restrictions will automatically expire after this date unless they are extended by a parliamentary vote.

In general, all 16 states have made the wearing of masks compulsory in stores and while travelling on public transport. Since August, visitors to Germany have to present proof of vaccination, recovery from Covid-19 or a recent negative test for entry to indoor public spaces such as restaurants, salons and gyms, the New York Times report also said. The same rules are applicable to all citizens.

German health minister Jens Spahn said on Saturday that it will be possible to lift the state of emergency while upholding the above rules till next spring. Health minister Spahn also said that Germany can deal with a higher number of Covid-19 cases because of the higher number of vaccinations.

“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,” Spahn said in an interview with Deutschlandfunk radio.

As many as 66 per cent of the German population is fully vaccinated against the viral disease. However, states such as Saxony and Thuringia have a lower vaccination rate and hospitals are being overburdened with a rising number of cases, the health minister also said.

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