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Germany: COVID numbers "too high", says govt spokesperson as new daily record registered

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German government spokesperson Steffen Seibert said the recent COVID restrictions were only able to prevent a "steep exponential rise" in the number of infections. Seibert spoke at a news conference in Berlin on Friday, as the Robert Koch Institute reported a new daily record of 23,648 cases.

"The number of grave progression of ICU patients continues to rise. The number of fatal casualties - this is not being mentioned often enough - continues to be very high. Two hundred, 250 people every day lose their lives due to this disease,'' said Seibert.

Meanwhile, Health Ministry spokesperson Oliver Ewald said that Germany will receive around 40 million vaccines from BioNTech with further deliveries already agreed upon.

Chancellor Angela Merkel was set to meet the heads of Germany's federal states next Wednesday to discuss the possible extension of COVID restrictions which expire at the end of November.

*SOUNDBITES*

SOT, Steffen Seibert, German government spokesperson (German): "This morning, the Robert Koch Institute announced a new record with 23,648 new infections.''

SOT, Steffen Seibert, German government spokesperson (German): "So far, we have not reached a decrease of the numbers to a lower level. By now, we have only managed the first step - to stop the strong, steep exponential increase and to achieve a certain stabilisation, but by far, with too high numbers.''

SOT Steffen Seibert, German government spokesperson (German): "The number of grave progression of ICU patients continues to rise. The number of fatal casualties - this is not being mentioned often enough - continues to be very high. Two hundred, 250 people every day lose their lives due to this disease.''

SOT Steffen Seibert, German government spokesperson (German): "​Time is such an important factor in this pandemic. If we react too late, then we risk, that the hospitals and the intensive care units will be packed with patients. The numbers of ICU [patients] as well as patients in need of ventilation are already much higher than in spring.''

SOT Steffen Seibert, German government spokesperson, (German): "But I've also said, that the federal chancellor and the head of the federal chancellery have expressed after the consultation with the minister presidents, that they indeed could have imagined more [measures]. Since the days of the last meeting, we have not achieved, what we have to achieve. Namely, a very clear downwards trend. By now, we have a stable situation but on a very high level, which is too high in our opinion.''

SOT Steffen Seibert, German government spokesperson (German): "It is correct, that we are surrounded by countries that have imposed substantially tougher restrictions for public as well as private life. That is correct. One might have to remind oneself about this sometimes. But it is also true, that these countries did so after reaching incidences, that are far over our situation. I don't know today's number, but we maybe have about 138, 140 - somewhere around this were the numbers of the last days. That is far too high, but in other countries there were 300, 400, and over 500.''

SOT Oliver Ewald, German Health Ministry spokesperson (German): "It is known, we've communicated this several times at other occasions, that Germany will receive around 40 million vaccine doses from BioNTech via the procurement process, which runs within the EU. Further deliveries for Germany have already been agreed upon.''

SOT Oliver Ewald, German Health ministry spokesperson (German): "​The vaccine from BioNTech is being examined with large phase three studies in Europe, the USA and South America. These are 'double-blind-studies' with more than 10,000 participants. The provisional results have shown very good results regarding effectiveness and safety of the vaccine.''

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