UPDATED: Germany’s Scholz urges compulsory COVID-19 jabs for all adults as cases hit daily record

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BERLIN, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Germany should make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for all adults, Chancellor Olaf Scholz told parliament on Wednesday.

The leader of Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD) in the legislature had said on Tuesday that he expected a bill on making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory to be voted on by parliament in March.

Lawmakers from the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) heckled Scholz on Wednesday over his government’s plans, saying they say were splitting German society, and held up signs reading “freedom instead of division.”

Germany reported 80,430 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, the highest recorded in a single day since the pandemic began, as the contagious Omicron variant rips through a population with lower vaccination rates than some other parts of Europe.

The previous daily record, on Nov. 26, was more than 76,000.

Germany’s tally of infections now stands at 7,661,811. The death toll also rose by 384 on Wednesday to reach 114,735.

Just under 75% of the population has had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the latest figures from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious disease show.

The seven-day incidence rate, a key yardstick in deciding coronavirus policy, has ticked up steadily since the start of the year, to stand at 407.5 cases per 100,000 people on Wednesday, versus 387.9 the day before.

Photo – Visitors wear protective face masks as they walk in front of the Brandenburg Gate at Pariser Platz in Berlin, Germany. EPA-EFE/OMER MESSINGER

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