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The latest COVID wave has put hospitals in parts of Germany under immense strain

DW, 20 Nov 2021
In the past two weeks, the number of new cases has jumped by more than 60%. On Friday, Germany recorded 52,970 daily new infections, a day after registering over 65,000 daily cases, a record since the start of the pandemic. Health officials are warning that the number is likely to at least double in the coming days.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn on Friday said that the pandemic situation has worsened over the past week and it's now "more serious than last week," adding that the country is facing "a national emergency."

When asked about the possibility of imposing a new lockdown for everyone, he said: "We're in a situation where we can't rule anything out."

The comments came as Germany's upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, approved new restrictions to curb COVID, a day after the lower house passed the measures.

As per the new rules, the so-called hospitalization incidence will be the new benchmark for introducing tougher COVID regulations in the country.

According to that metric, if more than three inhabitants per 100,000 in a region are hospitalized with COVID, the "2G" rule will apply for all public leisure activities in a given state — referring to the shorthand in Germany for a rule that allows freedoms like access to restaurants and hotels only to those who are either vaccinated or have recovered from COVID.

The "2G+" rule will kick in when the hospitalization incidence hits a value of six per 100,000, meaning even the vaccinated and recovered people will be required to produce an additional negative COVID test result. From a value of nine, further measures such as contact restrictions are to be implemented.

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