Political dispute over COVID measures in Germany +++ Record number of daily cases in India
DW, 06 Apr 2021
North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) State Premier Armin Laschet called for a harder lockdown on Monday as Germany struggles to contain a third wave of the coronavirus.
However, Laschet's request has been met with skepticism from fellow German lawmakers. The chairman of Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and one of her potential successor as chancellor said that Germany needed harder lockdown measures to stem a rise in cases of COVID-19. Thuringia State Premier Bodo Ramelow (The Left party) expressed doubt over his counterpart's strategy. "We can meet at any time, but there must be something on the table first that we can actually decide on together and, above all, implement it," he told Der Spiegel. "The current speeches are again patchwork and hectic." "I think a lot of what Mr Laschet says is unclear," said Berlin State Premier Michael Müller (SPD). "A bridge lockdown is temporary with what measures? I don't think Mr Laschet has thought things through." The co-chairwoman of The Left party, Janine Wissler, also criticized Laschet. "It is irresponsible that the numbers have risen so high that so many people have fallen ill and the intensive care units are full," she told Der Spiegel. "Whether his proposals are based on insight or because he has lost the power struggle against the chancellor, remains be seen. In any case, this crisis management makes one become fearful and anxious."
Germany, despite months of restrictions, has seen a rise in coronavirus infections as it lags behind Britain, Israel and the United States in its vaccination pace.
COVID-19 cases in India rose by a record daily amount on Monday — 103,558 — taking the total to 12.59 million. The news came as the country's richest state, Maharashtra, which accounts for more than half of the new cases, introduced stringent regulations. The state, which includes India's financial capital, Mumbai, is closing malls, cinemas, bars, restaurants and places of worship. There will also be a complete lockdown on weekends, Nawab Malik, a minister in the state government, told reporters. A day earlier, Bollywood star Akshay Kumar confirmed he had tested positive for COVID, becoming the latest Indian celebrity to contract the virus.
Some more of the latest developments in the pandemic:
- New Zealand has announced it will open a travel bubble with Australia on April 19. It will allow quarantine-free travel between the neighboring nations.
- Starting next month, Singapore will accept visitors who use a mobile travel pass containing digital certificates for COVID-19 tests and vaccines. It is one of the first countries to adopt the inititative.
- And new data from Israel suggests that the vaccination of adults also protects unvaccinated people living around them. So far, more than half of the Israeli population has been innoculated.
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