German health minister expects virus surge around New Year’s

Germany’s health minister expects a surge in coronavirus cases around the New Year period

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach told public radio network WDR 2 that Germany hasn’t yet seen a big, rapid wave of new infections from the omicron variant like some other European countries.

“That will change around New Year and in the first week of January,” Lauterbach said.

Official figures show 70.7% of the population have received a full course of vaccine, while 35% have had boosters.

Demonstrations against new pandemic restrictions and a planned vaccine mandate have flared up in Germany over the past weeks.

Police said about 5,000 protesters gathered in the center of Munich late Wednesday, with some participants attacking officers. Eleven people were detained.

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