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The German government is seeking more powers to establish epidemic rules

BERLIN (AP) – Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that her government wants clear rules to include night curfews in all regions with high rates of COVID-19 infections, ending a package of measures that have described the epidemic. response in 16 German states.

“The national emergency brake on the uniform is out of date, because although it is difficult to hear it again, the situation is serious,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin.

In recent months, many Germans have expressed frustration and confusion as governors have interpreted the rules agreed with the federal government in different ways, despite similar rates of infection.

Merkel warned that Germany was still in a “third wave of infection”, citing data from the country’s disease control agency, which showed 10,210 newly confirmed cases in the last 24 hours, և 294 deaths.

Since the start of the epidemic, Germany has registered more than 3 million infections and 78,746 deaths from COVID-19.

“If we had waited until all the resuscitation beds were occupied, it would have been too late,” Merkel said, adding that governments, citizens, and doctors should help doctors and nurses deal with the vast array of cases.

The “emergency blockade” proposed in the bill to be introduced in the parliament will operate in the regions where there are more than 100 new weekly cases per 100,000 inhabitants. This includes closing shops, cultural and sports facilities, restricting personal contacts, and night curfews.

States will be free to set more flexible rules in regions with less than 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per week.

Merkel noted that she hopes that the parliament will discuss the bill soon and adopt it.

He again called on the Germans to be patient, noting that the country’s slow vaccination program has been in place since the recent introduction of vaccines in general practice. About 3.2 million shots were fired in Germany last week, up from 1.9 million last week.

Separately, the government agreed that companies should offer at least one coronavirus test per week to all employees who do not work from home. Beneficiaries will also receive paid leave to care for children who are unable to attend school due to the epidemic.

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