'National emergency' as German parliament passes pandemic measures

'National emergency' as German parliament passes pandemic measures
German Minister of Health Jens Spahn (R) and Lothar Wieler, President of Robert Koch Institute, attend the weekly press conference on the Coronavirus pandemic situation in Germany. Kay Nietfeld/dpa

German health officials on Friday urged residents to avoid all non-essential contact as the fourth wave of the coronavirus hit the country with full force and parliament passed a new package of public health measures. "This is a national emergency," Lothar Wieler, the head of the German disease control body, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), said in Berlin. He called for people to stay at home to the extent possible and for poorly ventilated cafes to close. Hospitals were full in many regions and increasing vaccination rates were insufficient to contain the pandemic, Wieler said, as a campaign ...


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