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16 Apr, 2021 15:19

Germany facing ‘very serious’ third wave, Merkel warns in push for wider Covid powers

Germany facing ‘very serious’ third wave, Merkel warns in push for wider Covid powers

Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on MPs to pass legislation giving the federal government power to impose Covid restrictions on Germany’s states, after officials criticized the slow response of some regions to soaring cases.

Speaking to parliamentarians on Friday, the German leader declared that “the situation is serious, very serious, and we need to take it seriously,” explaining the measures were needed to allow the government to impose an “emergency brake” to fight Covid-19.

Merkel has resisted centralizing the response to the pandemic. She has explained that with Germany facing a third wave, officials can’t ignore the pleas of healthcare professionals who are “sending one distress call after the other.” 

We cannot be permitted to leave the doctors and nurses alone.

The German parliament is weighing altering the Infection Protection Act to allow federal officials to overrule regional states and impose stricter Covid restrictions when needed. If passed, the government is expected to introduce one set of guidelines across the country. 

Throughout the pandemic, authorities in each of the 16 German states have been responsible for interpreting directives from the government, resulting in differing levels of restrictions across the country, causing confusion and failing in some parts to curb rising case numbers. 

Also on rt.com German health officials warn urgent action needed as Covid situation ‘is coming to a head’

The call for more powers comes after Merkel received her Covid vaccine at a center in a special hub set up in what used to be Tempelhof airport. The German leader, who is 66 years old, received the AstraZeneca jab, which has been limited to the over 60s in Germany over concerns about blood clots.

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