Another series of demonstrations against COVID restrictions took place over the weekend, including a rally of 40,000 people in Vienna, Austria, where a lockdown is starting today and vaccinations are set to become mandatory in February. In Belgium, protesters clashed with police in Brussels as they marched toward the EU headquarters. Demonstrations also took place in Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia.
In Germany, outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel used her final video podcast as the country’s leader to urge residents to get vaccinated amid a fourth COVID wave.
Chancellor Angela Merkel: “Take the malicious virus seriously. Right now the new Omicron variant seems to be more infectious than the previous ones. Get yourself vaccinated. It doesn’t matter if it is a first shot or a booster. Every vaccine helps.”
Germany is essentially barring unvaccinated people from public life.
In Jordan, a court sentenced five senior health officials to three years in prison Sunday over the deaths of 10 COVID patients after a state hospital experienced an oxygen shortage in March. The deaths triggered anti-government protests across Jordan.