A man wearing a face mask and gloves leaves a supermarket in Frankfurt, Germany, March 25, 2020.
A man wearing a face mask and gloves leaves a supermarket in Frankfurt, Germany, March 25, 2020.
Xinhua/Lu Yang

Berlin: Germany's association of intensive care doctors is calling for a return to stricter lockdown measures as coronavirus cases in the country continue to rise. Christian Karagiannidis, of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, or DIVI, told public broadcaster rbb on Monday that in light of the current infection figures and the spread of a more contagious variant first detected in Britain "we would ... argue very strongly for an immediate return to a lockdown to prevent a strong third wave" of cases.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Germany has risen over the past two weeks from 9.51 per 100,000 people on Feb. 28 to almost 12 per 100,000 people on March 14.

Germany's federal and state governments agreed two weeks ago to loosen restrictions, but said an emergency brake' would be pulled in regions that pass a weekly threshold of 100 newly confirmed cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Dozens of German counties and cities have already passed that mark, including the western city of Cologne, where Karagiannidis works as a lung specialist.

Meanwhile, a union representing German teachers is calling for all teaching staff to be given faster access to vaccines as students return to secondary schools this week.

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