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German Chancellor Scholz calls for solidarity during impending Covid-19 wave
Berlin, Jan 1 - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for more solidarity and social cohesion in the fight against the impending Omicron wave in his New Year's Eve speech.
"Let us do everything together... so that we can finally defeat the coronavirus in the new year," Scholz said on Friday.
Because of the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, he added, it was important to make use of all vaccination offers, Xinhua news agency reported.
"Now it is all about speed. We have to be faster than the virus," he stressed.
Total Covid-19 infections in Germany within one day increased by 41,240 cases on Friday, around 5,800 more than last week, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).
The seven-day incidence rose from 207.4 on Thursday to 214.9 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
The share of the Omicron variant among Covid-19 infections in Germany jumped from 3.1 per cent in the previous week to 17.5 per cent on Thursday, RKI reported.
However, it warned that the figures were an underestimate, because less testing was carried out and reports were delayed over the Christmas holidays in Germany.
To slow the coming Omicron wave, the German government implemented stricter Covid-19 rules, including contact restrictions both for vaccinated and recovered people, as well as a nationwide ban on gatherings over New Year.
"It is clear to all of us that the pandemic is not over," said the German Chancellor.
"The next few days and weeks will still be entirely dominated by Covid-19."
Scholz also called for understanding for the significant restrictions that came into force earlier this week.
Besides the Covid-19 crisis, Scholz also called on citizens to support the transformation of the country's government and economy in order to enable increased climate protection. In less than 25 years, he said, Germany should become independent of coal, oil and gas.
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