Germany urges swift action against virus
The French president anticipated in his New Year’s speech that “difficult weeks” are coming in the fight against the omicron variant in France, although he showed his hope that 2022 will be the year of the end of the covid-19 pandemic. “The coming weeks will be difficult, we all know it: the virus circulates and will circulate more and more,” Macron said. The president warned that due to the contagiousness of the omicron variant, the French will see many of the activities of daily life “disorganized”. And he assured that the Government will ensure “the continuity of public services and the nation.”
In the fight against the virus, Macron reiterated the importance of vaccination. And he urged the five million French unvaccinated to get the injection against covid-19. Currently, 53 million are fully vaccinated and 24 million have received the booster dose. However, he sent a message of optimism about 2022 and the next few years. The French president is confident that 2022 will be “the year the epidemic came out.”
The president recalled the 123,000 deaths in France from covid-19 since the pandemic began two years ago and thanked doctors and nurses for their tireless fight against the virus. In addition, he confirmed that, despite the pandemic, the presidential elections in April and the legislative elections in June will take place as planned.
“Faster than the virus”
In Berlin, the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz made his debut in the traditional New Year’s message as German Chancellor. Standing and wearing a dark suit, but with a speech very similar to the one that her predecessor, Angela Merkel, would have transmitted. He called for social cohesion, respect and solidarity in the face of the pandemic. And speed, in the fight against the virus.
For the first time in 16 years it was not Merkel, with one of her jackets in one of her favorite colors and sitting at her desk, who was addressing the public. However, like everything that has involved the relay in German power, continuity dominated.
In her last message, Merkel warned that she was facing a harsh winter. At that time, Germany was in the daily maximum number of fatalities -1,129, that December 31, 2020-. Hope was placed on the first European vaccine, which also came from Germany and had been developed by the couple of scientists Ugur Sahin and Özlem Türeci, founders of BioNTech.
A year later, Germany is again with the incidence on the rise, although without those dramatic death figures. “We have to be faster than the virus,” insisted Scholz, at a time when half of Europe is exposed to fall under the dominance of omicron.
German society “is not divided,” said Scholz, arguing that “the vast majority” of citizens act responsibly against COVID. His wishes for 2022 were summed up in two words: “respect and solidarity.”
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