In a swift response to the third wave of coronavirus infections, Germany has on Tuesday extended its lockdown for three weeks, imposing an almost complete halt over the Easter holiday.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel made the announcement of the new lockdown measure which will last until April 18, after talks with regional leaders.
Speaking at a news conference, the chancellor said “case numbers are rising exponentially and intensive care beds are filling up again,” and the country was now in a “very serious” situation.
Merkel and Germany’s 16 state premiers agreed that for the Easter holidays between April 1 and 5 restrictions will be even tougher, when most shops will be shut and gatherings will be limited.
In Germany, the infection rate has risen above 100 per 100,000 inhabitants as a further 7,485 infections have been reported in the past 24 hours as well as 250 deaths.
Merkel added that “essentially, we have a new virus,” she added “It is much deadlier, much more infectious and infectious for much longer.”
She said Germany was in a race against time to roll out vaccinations against the coronavirus.
Germany’s national disease control centre has warned new infections are growing exponentially as the more contagious COVID-19 variant first detected in the United Kingdom has also become dominant within its own borders.
Coronavirus infections have been surging across Europe in recent weeks as countries scramble to vaccinate their populations despite delays in rolling out jabs.
Disruption In Oxygen Supply Kills Many COVID Patients In India
Twenty-two COVID-19 patients on ventilators have on Wednesday died in a hospital in western India after a disruption in the supply of medical oxygen caused by a leak.
According to Reuters news agency quoting the Nashik district’s collector, Suraj Mandhar said an oxygen tanker leaked outside a hospital in the city, halting its supply for about half an hour before it later resumed for nearly 150 other patients in the hospital.
Media reports said all the victims were on ventilators and in need of constant oxygen supply in the hospital dedicated for COVID-19 patients.
Fire officer Sanjay Bairagi said the leak was halted by the fire service within 15 minutes, but there was supply disruption in the Zakir Hussain Hospital in Nashik, a city in Maharashtra state that is the worst hit by the latest surge in coronavirus cases in the country.
Television images showed white fumes spreading in the hospital area, causing panic.
Surinder Sonone, a police officer, said the leak occurred in a pipe connecting the oxygen supply to the main tank in the hospital complex.
India with the second highest confirmed cases of COVID-19 behind the United States has reported more than 15.6 million infections as the total number of fatalities stood at 182,553.
State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the state government has ordered an investigation into what caused the leak.
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Biden On George Floyd Verdict: ‘A Giant Step Forward
United States (US) President Joe Biden ut he warned “we can’t stop here”.
After a three-week trial, the jury in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin has on Tuesday found the former Minneapolis police officer guilty in the killing of George Floyd, a Black man on May 25 last year
45-year-old Chauvin was filmed with his knee on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds, sparking mass protests against racism.
Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, a decision Biden said he hoped would become a “moment of significant change”.
After the verdict, Biden speaking on Tuesday from the White House alongside Vice President Kamala Harris, with the pair saying the country’s work is far from finished with the verdict.
Biden further said “we can’t leave this moment or look away thinking our work is done. We have to look at it as we did for those nine minutes and 29 seconds.”
Vice-President Kamala Harris urged lawmakers to pass the George Floyd bill aimed at reforming policing in the US saying “this bill is part of George Floyd’s legacy. This work is long overdue.”
The Reuters news agency quoting the Floyd family’s lawyer Benjamin Crump said “Justice for Black America is justice for all of America,” adding that “this case is a turning point in American history for accountability of law enforcement and sends a clear message we hope is heard clearly in every city and every state.”
People gathered outside the courtroom and on the intersection in Minneapolis where Mr Floyd was killed to celebrate the verdict while some also gathered in other cities to celebrate.
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