Coronavirus live news: Germany 'a long way from where we want to be,' says minister; 22,857 new cases in Russia | World news

Germany’s health minister said on Monday that although measures to contain coronavirus had started to have an effect, more needed to be...


Germany’s health minister said on Monday that although measures to contain coronavirus had started to have an effect, more needed to be done to bring it permanently under control.

“The (infection) numbers seem to be decreasing, which is good, but we are still a long way from where we want to be,” Jens Spahn told broadcaster ARD.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany’s 16 state premiers will discuss what to do next on Tuesday, Reuters reports.

New infections have been decreasing in recent days and the occupancy of intensive care beds by Covid-19 patients has declined by 10-15%, according to Spahn.

However, the state premiers are concerned about new variants that appear to be more contagious.

The finance minister, Olaf Scholz, told the public broadcaster RBB on Monday he could imagine extending the current lockdown by two weeks until mid-February.

Stricter requirements for companies to allow staff to work from home, compulsory wearing of heavy duty FFP2 masks in certain areas, restrictions on public transport and the introduction of curfews are being debated.

The number of confirmed cases in Germany rose by 7,141 to 2,040,659, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Monday. That was more than 5,000 down from the week before. The reported death toll rose by 214 to 46,633.

The foreign minister, Heiko Maas, fuelled discussion regarding privileges for people who had been vaccinated by saying they should be allowed to go to restaurants and cinemas sooner.

Other ministers have opposed such special rights, fearing they could cause social inequalities at a time when not everyone has the opportunity to be inoculated.

Maas’s proposal was “out of the question” as long as it is not proven that a vaccination stops people from transmitting the virus too, a justice ministry spokesman said on Sunday.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Coronavirus live news: Germany 'a long way from where we want to be,' says minister; 22,857 new cases in Russia | World news
Coronavirus live news: Germany 'a long way from where we want to be,' says minister; 22,857 new cases in Russia | World news
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