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Live Covid News Updates: Vaccine Mandate, Omicron Variant Symptoms, Home Testing, CDC…

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The German wave of Omicron “well controlled”

Germany has surge of infections of fast-spreading Omicron coronavirus variant ‘well under control’ and may consider lifting some restrictions after a spike in late February, its health minister said on Friday.

Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for Infectious Diseases reported 190,148 positive tests in 24 hours on Friday49,988 more than a week earlier, and 170 virus-related deaths, bringing the toll to 117,484.

“I often read and hear that politicians have lost control of the pandemic. However, that is not the case. We were prepared for the infection numbers we have right now – in fact, these are even lower than expected,” Health Minister Karl Lauterbach told a press conference.

The number of new daily infections could reach 400,000 but would then drop again, he said, adding that protecting the elderly who have not been vaccinated is the country’s most important task at the moment.

Germany has a relatively high number of unvaccinated elderly – four times more than England and three times more than Italy,” said Lauterbach.

It would be wrong to lift restrictions on certain aspects of public life nowbut it could be possible after the peak in the second half of February or early March if the Omicron wave remains under control, with few serious cases, he said.