German health ministers move to extend pandemic powers, call in German Army

While the United States has experienced its fair share of COVID-19-related lockdowns and restrictions, there are several other countries still taking the issue to the extreme, including Germany.

According to a Reuters report, a group of three German state health ministers have called for an extension of the increased power provided to the state to issue and enforce pandemic-related lockdowns and restrictions, even going as far as calling up some 12,000 German military troops to assist at “overrun” hospitals. 

“In the face of the burden on hospitals, which in some regions are close to absolute overload, the epidemic status should be prolonged on a national level,” the three health ministers said.

The call for extended powers comes in the wake of a sharp uptick in COVID-19 cases being reported across the country, with the number of people infected per 100,000 residents spiking to 277.4, according to government data.

The ministers’ call also comes at a time when various political parties are currently negotiating to form a new government. Even amid the negotiations on that front, the representatives behind the negotiations are set to allow current pandemic emergency powers to expire later this month.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also stepped in to wield her influence on Germany’s unvaccinated population, urging in a video message published on Saturday that unvaccinated Germans reconsider their position.

“Difficult weeks lie ahead of us, and you can see that I am very worried,” Merkel said in her latest podcast. “I urgently ask everyone who has not yet been vaccinated: please reconsider.”

Germany is set to call up the 12,000 soldiers by Christmas to assist with health agencies and hospitals that have experienced trouble managing the new surge of COVID-19-positive patients. So far, some 630 German troops have been deployed to assist in such a capacity.

Only time will tell if Germany is able to bring its COVID-19 case count under control, but unfortunately for its citizens, it appears as if top officials are desperately wanting to extend already-strict lockdowns and restrictions.