Merkel says lockdowns, curfews vital to break Germany’s third wave

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BERLIN, April 16 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged lawmakers on Friday to approve new powers that would allow her to force coronavirus lockdowns and curfews on areas with high infection rates, saying a majority of Germans were in favour of stricter measures.

“The third wave of the pandemic has our country firmly in its grip,” said Merkel, whose speech was interrupted by heckles from lawmakers of the far-right Alternative for Germany party opposed to lockdowns.

“Intensive care workers are sending one distress call after the other. Who are we to ignore their pleas?” Merkel said. (Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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