COVID-19 vaccine could arrive before Christmas: German chancellor Merkel to Parliament

WION Web Team
Berlin Published: Nov 26, 2020, 03.48 PM(IST)

German Chancellor Merkel speaks at Bundestag Photograph:( AFP )

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Merkel insisted that the government can't promise any softening of restrictions for Christmas and New Year.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Parliament today that coronavirus vaccine could arrive before Christmas with health workers to be vaccinated first.

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The German government along with the states have imposed strict COVID-19 measures with authorities said to extend the measures until December 20 even as businesses take a hit in the Christmas holiday season.

Merkel insisted that the government can't promise any softening of restrictions for Christmas and New Year.

"Just the day before yesterday saw a sad record number of people who died from or with COVID-19. This is reason for concern," the German Chancellor said.

The country had said earlier that it will push Europe to ban ski holidays to curb the virus. The German government is seeking ski slopes to be closed until January 10. 

Chancellor Angela Merkel had said that coronavirus restrictions will be extended till to early January at least with limits on private gatherings and shutting down of cultural facilities, restaurants and pubs despite a busy holiday season.

"No one should pretend that we can protect vulnerable groups by removing these people from public life, given that number is 27 million people. We will not accept that and I believe it would be unethical, let me make that very clear," Merkel said.

Amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases, Germany had announced a limit on private gatherings to five people from two households.

The country has also banned the use of fireworks for New Year celebrations in an attempt to combat the virus.

Germany has registered 961,320 COVID-19 cases and 14,771 fatalities so far.

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