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Germany’s Merkel, state leaders ponder tougher virus rules

Chancellor Angela Merkel is holding a virtual meeting with the governors of Germany’s 16 states to discuss the country’s pandemic measures amid concerns that new mutations of the coronavirus could trigger a fresh surge in cases

The country’s infection rate has stabilized in recent days, indicating that existing restrictions may have been effective in bringing down the numbers. On Tuesday, the country’s disease control center reported 11,369 new virus infections and 891 new deaths, for an overall death toll of 47,622.

Medical workers have been demanding an extension or toughening of the lockdown since many hospitals are still on edge, with intensive care wards overflowing in some areas.

“The current measures on limiting social contacts seem to be showing an effect,” Susanne Johna, the head of the physicians’ association Marburger Bund, told the dpa news agency, adding that the measures should continue to be upheld to further reduce new infections.

“We urgently need further relief,” Johna said.

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——Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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