German health minister calls for reintroduction of face masks in enclosed spaces

Germany’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has called on the leaders of the country’s 16 states to reintroduce mandatory facemask wearing in enclosed spaces in order to deal with a growing new wave of coronavirus infections.

Speaking to broadcaster ZDF, Lauterbach has called on the state governments — responsible for health policy — to agree to pass the measure in accordance with the provisions of the legislation on coronavirus-related restrictions.

“If the states could agree now on when is the optimal time to do this, that would be great,” said Lauterbach, who is convinced that “the wave that is rising now will not end on its own,” so “we have to react.” “We don’t want to cause panic,” he added.

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The German executive will launch a new campaign on Friday to urge the population to protect itself against the most recent variants of the coronavirus with a newly licensed vaccine.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany’s public coronavirus reference institution, has raised the national seven-day cumulative incidence rate to 763.8, although this figure only takes into account those infections officially recorded with a PCR test, something many people no longer do.

German health authorities have recorded nearly 34.5 million infections since the start of the pandemic, sometimes exceeding 300,000 infections per day during the wave that hit Europe during the first quarter of 2022.

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