Due to the surge in cases of coronavirus contamination, Germans will be “vaccinated, cured or dead” by the end of winter, the Minister of Health warned on Monday, while outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks of a “dramatic” situation.

“Presumably at the end of winter, as it is sometimes said with cynicism, almost everyone will be vaccinated, cured or dead” due to the spread of the Delta variant “very, very contagious”, judged Jens Spahn.

“More sufficient” health measures

He once again called on the Germans to “urgently” be vaccinated, the national proportion of people having received an injection remaining lower than that observed in many other European countries. Germany, especially the southern and eastern regions, is hit hard by a new wave of contaminations that experts and politicians attribute in particular to a vaccination rate (68%) among the lowest in Western Europe.

Faced with the resurgence of the virus, which has already killed more than 99,000 people in this country since its appearance, Angela Merkel and her probable successor Olaf Scholz have already decided last week to tighten the restrictions for the unvaccinated. But the outgoing chancellor warned on Monday that the measures currently in force in Germany were “no longer sufficient” in the face of the “dramatic situation” caused by the Covid-19. The health situation “will be worse than anything we have known” so far, she also warned during a closed meeting of executives of her conservative CDU party, according to a source at within the formation.

Hospital overload

“We currently have a fourth wave, we have a very, very difficult situation in many hospitals in Germany,” said Jens Spahn during a press conference. “We are seeing this wave gradually spreading west,” he added at a time when intensive care services in hospitals are reaching saturation point, in particular due to a lack of personnel.

This is already causing “acute overloading” of hospitals in some regions, making patient transfers necessary, warned Gernot Marx, president of the German Federation of Intensive Medicine. In recent days, Germany has recorded unmatched numbers of contaminations since the start of the pandemic, exceeding 65,000 last week in 24 hours. On Monday the seven-day incidence rate was 386.5, a record high.

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