Germany’s eastern state of Saxony will impose a strict lockdown starting next week, in a bid to contain the rising number of positive coronavirus tests and hospitalizations related to the disease.
Starting next Monday, schools, kindergartens and retail outlets will be shuttered until January 10, the Prime Minister of Saxony Michael Kretschmer announced. Only businesses providing essential supplies and services will be allowed to operate.
According to Kretschmer, 20 to 30 percent of intensive care beds in the state are currently occupied by Covid-19 patients, and in some regions of Saxony hospitals have reached capacity.
Saxony’s Minister of Economic Affairs Martin Dulig said there would also be a ban on alcohol in public places, and that indoor sporting events would be prohibited. He described the situation in the state as “dramatic.”
Saxony has become the country’s hotspot for positive Covid-19 tests. In total, Germany reported 14,054 newly confirmed positive tests in the past 24 hours on Tuesday, bringing the nationwide total to 1.2 million. The number of coronavirus-related deaths in the country rose by 423 to 19,342.
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