German Chancellor Olaf Scholz tests positive for COVID-19


BERLIN, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has tested positive for COVID-19, government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit said on Monday.

The Chancellor, who has mild cold symptoms, "immediately went into isolation," Hebestreit said.

Scholz' public appointments this week will be canceled, but the Chancellor will still participate virtually in a meeting with the minister presidents of federal states on Wednesday.

On Sunday, Scholz returned from a two-day trip to the Gulf states of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. With gas supplies cut off from Russia, once a major energy source, Germany is actively seeking new partnerships in energy supply.

Germany is seeing a rise in COVID-19 infections, with the seven-day incidence per 100,000 residents climbing to 293.6 infections on Monday. This is around 50 higher than a week ago, according to the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.

"It is likely that an autumn wave is coming, but it is building up slowly," said Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach on Twitter on Sunday.

Germany's Standing Committee on Vaccination has recommended booster vaccinations adapted to the new Omicron variant for certain groups, such as people over 60.

Of the 69.4 million adults in Germany aged 18 or older, around 85 percent are vaccinated against COVID-19. More than 72 percent have received one booster vaccination, while around 11 percent have received two booster shots, according to official figures.

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