Merkel’s push for German lockdown reportedly blocked as death toll passes 100,000

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BERLIN, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 22: German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) speaks with Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz.

Pool | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Germany’s Covid-19 crisis continues to rock the nation with the grim news on Thursday that the total number of deaths has now surpassed 100,000.

The country’s new incoming coalition government is resisting a lockdown, for now, however.

Germany reported a massive number of new Covid cases on Thursday, with over 75,000 new infections in the last 24 hours (and up from 66,884 on Wednesday), while the death toll has now reached 100,119 after 351 more people died from the virus during the previous day.

Government officials have been watching rising cases with alarm for weeks now, and the country’s outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly pushed for a two-week lockdown during a meeting on Tuesday with the country’s incoming coalition government.

According to the Bild newspaper, the new government alliance of the left-leaning Social Democrats and Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats pushed back against the idea, preferring instead to wait and see whether tighter Covid restrictions announced last week would work to help lower infections.

While Merkel had proposed a lockdown, to begin on Thursday, which would have seen shops, bars and restaurants close, the idea was rejected by the incoming government who said it would have been interpreted by the public as a “bad political trick” by the old and new government, Bild reported Wednesday

Compulsory vaccination

Vaccine hesitancy, the incoming winter season and the spread of the highly infectious delta Covid variant, which is far more virulent than previous strains, make the virus far harder to contain this time around for Germany, a country widely praised for its initial handling of the pandemic.



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