Update 1-Germany’s Merkel urges tougher measures to combat the fourth wave of COVID

(Add more details, background of German vaccination)

Reuters, Berlin, November 22-Acting German Chancellor Angela Merkel tells Conservative Party leaders that measures taken to stop the spread of the coronavirus in Europe’s largest economy are not enough and need to be stronger Action.

According to two participants, she told CDU leaders at a meeting: “We are in a very dramatic situation. The current situation is not enough.”

The number of cases in Germany has been soaring, especially among the elderly who had received the first two COVID-19 vaccines and children who were not eligible for vaccination at the beginning of the year.

Approximately 79% of adults in Germany have been vaccinated against COVID-19 twice, but so far, only 7.5% of adults have received booster shots because the total number of deaths from the coronavirus in Germany is close to 100,000.

Germany has decided to limit most public life in areas crowded with COVID-19 patients in hospitals to those who have been vaccinated or recovered from the disease.

But Merkel said that neither these measures nor the increase in vaccination are enough to stop the rapid rise in infections in the short term. She called on Germany’s 16 federal states to decide to take tough measures before Wednesday.

Neighboring Austria imposed a complete lockdown on COVID-19 on Monday, and German Acting Minister of Health Jens Spahn warned on Friday that Germany may follow suit.

Germany reported 30,643 new COVID-19 cases and 62 deaths on Monday, with an incidence rate (the number of cases per 100,000 people in a week) of 386.5, a record for the 15th consecutive day. (Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Jon Boyle and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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