Germany mulls new measures amid explosion in Covid cases
Germany needs further coronavirus restrictions to combat a record surge in infections and "get through this winter", the country's likely next leader Olaf Scholz said on Nov. 11, calling a national meeting to decide new curbs.
The EU's most populous country recorded 50,196 new cases in the past 24 hours, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) health agency -- the first time the figure has exceeded 50,000.
Infections and deaths have been climbing steeply since mid-October, in an outbreak blamed on Germany's relatively low vaccination rate of just over 67 percent.
After getting through the first three onslaughts of the pandemic better than many of its neighbours, the current fourth wave seemed to take the nation by surprise.
At nearly 250 infections per 100,000 people, Germany is faring much worse than France (94), Italy (73) or Spain (41), according to the Statista data agency.
Scholz's remarks came as he faced criticism for his relative silence, with detractors saying he was consumed by his Social Democrats' bid to form a ruling coalition with the Greens and liberal FDP following September's election.
Presenting proposed measures drafted by the three parties in parliament, Scholz said new restrictions were necessary to "get through this winter".
"What we need now is for the country to pull together in one direction," he said, also urging more Germans to get vaccinated.
"Even if the situation is different (from last winter) because so many people have been vaccinated, it is still not good, especially because not enough people have made use of the vaccination option so far," Scholz added.
The measures proposed by the incoming coalition parties include restricting access to certain facilities to those who...