Germany Mulls Fresh Virus Curbs Amid Growing Europe Protests
Sumaira FH 20 days ago Sun 21st March 2021 | 08:00 PM
Berlin, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 21st Mar, 2021 ) :Europe grappled with resurgent coronavirus infections Sunday, prompting Germany to consider extending restrictions into April despite street protests and EU leaders to abandon plans to attend a summit on the pandemic.
Thousands of protesters angry at Covid-19 restrictions rallied in cities across Europe over the weekend, even as several nations reimposed partial lockdowns to fight new surges in infections.
A memo from several of Germany's regions, seen by AFP, said Chancellor Angela Merkel wanted to extend the country's partial lockdown into April because of rising infection rates driven by Covid variants.
Travel needs to be cut to a minimum, with quarantines and negative tests required for those re-entering Germany, the memo warned.
Police there used water cannon, batons and pepper spray to disperse the crowds, which they estimated to number up to 20,000.
Anglo-Swedish pharma giant AstraZeneca has delivered only 30 percent of the 90 million doses it promised the EU for the first quarter, infuriating European leaders and complicating the continent's already struggling rollout.
- India fears festival infections - The coronavirus, which has killed more than 2.7 million people, has been spreading faster recently, with new infections up globally by 14 percent in the last week, according to AFP data.
But restrictions were also returning in parts of Asia.
The annual Kumbh Mela festival has already been shortened from three months to 30 days, but is still causing headaches to authorities.
Large crowds of pilgrims -- mostly maskless -- have flocked to the festival, with more than three million pilgrims taking part one day earlier this month.
But health expert Anthony Fauci stressed that people still needed to remain cautious -- or there may be more spikes in infections.
"Vaccines are coming on really well," he told NBC on Saturday. "If we can just hang on a bit longer, the more people get vaccinated, the less likelihood that there is going to be a surge."