Merkel calls for final appeal to Germans to get vaccinated

Germany: Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel made a final appeal on Saturday for Germans to acquire COVID-19 vaccines before she leaves office next week.

Merkel delivered what is expected to be her final weekly video message two days after federal and state officials agreed on a set of steps to combat a coronavirus outbreak. Unvaccinated persons are being barred from non-essential commerce, restaurants, and sports and cultural facilities across the country. Parliament will contemplate a general vaccine mandate in the long run.

At least 68.9 percent of Germans are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, falling short of the government's goal of a vaccination rate of at least 75 percent. The proportion of residents who have not been vaccinated has been blamed for a recent spike in new viral cases. Official data suggests that the infection rate is presently stabilising, albeit at an unacceptably high level.

On Saturday, the national disease control centre reported 64,510 new cases per day, with a seven-day infection rate of 442.7 new cases per 100,000 people. In just 24 hours, another 378 people died in Germany, bringing the total number of people who died in the epidemic to 1,02,946.

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