Germany is losing its grip on Covid-19
German hospitals are starting to fill up again as new infections reach an all-time high
Politicians and most of the population are warming to the idea of vaccine mandates
Germany has the lowest vaccine uptake in western Europe
Highly vaccinated Portugal and Spain are not experiencing the same surge in cases as in most of the rest of Europe
More than 100 000 Covid-19 deaths have now been recorded in Germany. New daily infections are higher than at any time since the start of the pandemic. On Wednesday, the country recorded 79 051 new cases. The vaccine rollout is grinding to a halt while breakthrough infections are rising.
There could be another 700 000 Covid-19 deaths in Europe by spring, the World Health Organisation warned recently.
Other European countries are also struggling with rising infections and hospitalisations with notable exceptions such as Spain and Portugal.
Public support for a general vaccine mandate in Germany has risen sharply to 69% in recent weeks, according to a YouGov poll.
Zain Johnson interviewed Deutsche Welle correspondent Helen Seeney (scroll up to listen).
It is very dramatic here in Germany… There’s now increasing pressure on hospitals… and more politicians are calling for mandatory vaccination…Helen Seeney, correspondent - Deutsche Welle
Only 68% of people are fully vaccinated, the lowest number in western Europe… France and Italy have vaccine mandates in place… There does seem to be broad public support for a vaccine mandate…Helen Seeney, correspondent - Deutsche Welle
There are record infection rates in a vast number of [European] countries… Spain and Portugal seem to be coping well… 88% of Portuguese and 80% of Spaniards are fully vaccinated… At the beginning of this year, Portugal was the world’s worst-hit country… The German army flew medics into Portugal to help!Helen Seeney, correspondent - Deutsche Welle
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