Germany orders tough Easter shutdown as EU AstraZeneca row simmers

Berlin (AFP) – Germany said Tuesday it will impose a strict lockdown for five days over Easter as Covid-19 infections spiral “exponentially”, while a row over exports of the AstraZeneca vaccine festers in Europe. Chancellor Angela Merkel ordered the harsh nationwide measures after marathon talks with regional leaders, warning a potent strain of coronavirus was raging through the EU’s most populous country. “The situation is serious,” Merkel said. “Case numbers are rising exponentially and intensive care beds are filling up again.” A variant first identified in the United Kingdom has become the…

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