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Watch: 'Jabbed, cured or dead', Germany warns as Europe battles Covid surge
The German health minister has issued his most alarming warning yet urging more people to get jabbed as the country tries to avoid another lockdown.
“By the end of this winter pretty much everyone in Germany... will have been vaccinated, recovered or died,” he said blaming the “highly contagious Delta variant.”
Official figures showed more than 30,000 newly confirmed cases in Germany over the past 24 hours, an increase of about 50 per cent compared to last week.
Hospitals have warned that ICU capacities are nearly exhausted, with some patients having to be transferred to clinics miles away.
Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Mr Spahn said that only social distancing and political resolve can pull Europe’s largest economy away from a fourth wave.
The acting minister urged Germans to get vaccinated, including with booster shots if their first round of inoculation occurred more than six months ago, to reduce the risk of serious illness.
While acknowledging those who have interpreted his view as cynical, he insisted: “it’s true.”
He continued: “With the highly contagious Delta variant this is very, very likely and that’s why we are recommending vaccination so urgently.”
Vaccination uptake remains considerably low, with just 68 per cent of the population fully protected.
Coronavirus restrictions might be reintroduced amid the sharp rise in infections.
The country expects the European Union to approve vaccines against Covid-19 for children aged five to 11 at the end of the week.
School-age children have among the highest infection rates in the country.
The EU will begin shipping vaccines adjusted for younger children on December 20, with Germany initially getting 2.4 million doses, Mr Spahn confirmed.
Watch: Austria enters lockdown amid stark warning in Germany