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The Latest: German official warns against quick reopening

A health worker takes a man’s pulse after giving him a shot of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine at the Universidad Publica de El Alto, during a vaccination drive for people over 60, in El Alto, Bolivia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

By The Associated Press, BERLIN — Germany’s health minister has welcomed a decline in new COVID-19 cases, but says Germans need to endure “weeks or a few months” of restrictions.

Germany’s seven-day rolling average of daily new cases declined over the past two weeks, from almost 25 cases per 100,000 people on April 22 to 19 cases per 100,000 people on May 6.

Health Minister Jens Spahn said Friday that efforts to reduce social contacts and travel had helped push down the number of infections in recent weeks.

He also cited the rapid increase in vaccinations in the country.

Spahn said about 26.2 million people, or about 31.5% of the German population, have received at least one dose of vaccine. Almost 9% have received two shots.

He warned against reopening some areas of public life too quickly however, warning that “this bears a risk.”

Some of Germany’s 16 states have begun allowing limited tourism and outside dining again. Germany’s disease control agency reported 18,485 newly confirmed cases Thursday, and 284 deaths. Since the start of the outbreak, Germany has recorded almost 3.5 million confirmed cases and 84,410 deaths.

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