Merkel, who is due to step down as soon as next month after 16 years in power, has been making increasingly frantic calls for Germany to step up its fight against the virus.
While deaths are at about a fifth of the levels seen last winter, the rapid spread is creating concerns of higher fatalities. Health Minister Jens Spahn said Monday that people who aren’t vaccinated against Covid are almost certain to catch it in coming months and some of those will die.
“Just about everyone in Germany will probably be either vaccinated, recovered or dead” by the end of this winter, Spahn said at a news conference in Berlin. He acknowledged that some might find the statement cynical.