German Health Minister Jens Spahn warned that by the end of this winter the Germans will be “vaccinated, cured or dead”, given the current increase in infections caused by the new coronavirus in the country.

“Probably, by the end of winter, as is sometimes cynically said, all or nearly all will be vaccinated, cured or dead” due to the spread of the Delta variant of the new coronavirus, which is “very, very contagious”, declared the German minister , this Monday, appealing once again to Germans to get vaccinated “urgently”, given the explosion of covid-19 cases in recent weeks in the country.

Germany, especially the southern and eastern regions, has been hit hard by a new wave of infections, which researchers and policymakers attribute in particular to a vaccination rate (68%) of the lowest in Western Europe.

Faced with the resurgence of the virus, which has killed more than 99,000 people in the country since the start of the pandemic, outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her likely successor, Olaf Scholz, decided on Thursday to tighten restrictions on non- vaccinated, but excluded mandatory vaccination for the entire population.

“We currently have a fourth wave, we have a very, very difficult situation in many hospitals in Germany,” Spahn said at a press conference.

“We are seeing this wave gradually spread to the west,” added the minister. Hospital intensive care units are reaching a saturation point, mainly due to lack of staff.

In recent days, Germany has registered unprecedented numbers of infections, surpassing the limit of 65,000 daily infections last week. Today, the seven-day incidence rate has reached a record 386.5 infections per 100,000 inhabitants.

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Angela Merkel, who is about to step down from power, lamented this “highly dramatic” fourth wave, as German leaders intend to drastically limit the social life of the unvaccinated.

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