(MENAFN- The Peninsula)
Berlin: Germany reported another 45,753 new coronavirus cases and 388 deaths on Tuesday, but the seven-day incidence of cases per 100,000 people fell slightly for the first time in three weeks as officials considered imposing tougher measures.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and her designated successor Olaf Scholz are facing growing calls to impose a new lockdown to prevent further exponential spread of the virus as the fourth wave swamps hospitals across Germany.
In a win for the government, Germany's powerful Constitutional Court ruled on Tuesday that earlier lockdown measures did not violate childrens' rights to schooling or other constitutional freedoms, giving the government a freer hand in deciding future measures.
The Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases reported that 452.2 people per 100,000 were infected in the last week, down from 452.4 on Monday and the first fall since early November.
The number of new cases was still 427 more than a week ago, but the pace of weekly increase has been flattening in the last few days.
Germany has introduced restrictions on unvaccinated people and sought to ramp up the roll-out of booster shots.
Merkel, Scholz and regional leaders are due to meet on Tuesday to discuss how to respond to the crisis, especially after cases of the new Omicron variant were detected in the country.
About 68% of the population of about 83 million is fully vaccinated, far behind the rates in southern European countries such as Portugal and Spain. Some 10% of the population has received a booster shot.
Many politicians have been calling for tighter restrictions as intensive care units, especially in eastern and southern Germany, reach their limits.
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