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Germany, Belgium ease curbs; Nepal extends

Coronavirus restrictions are set to be eased in Germany and Belgium while authorities in Nepal say the country’s lockdown will be extended for at least another two weeks.

Several German states, including the capital city Berlin, are planning to loosen curbs in coming days after more than six months of lockdown as the number of new infections keeps dropping across the country.

Germany reported 6125 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday to bring the total to 3,533,376 but the seven-day incidence per 100,000 people dropped to 115 from 141 a week ago, the lowest in a month.

The total German death toll is 85,112.

The Berlin state government agreed on Tuesday to lift a night-time curfew and ease restrictions on shopping from May 19 and to allow outdoor dining from May 21 if the seven-day incidence remained below 100 for three consecutive days.

It was at 94 in the German capital on Tuesday.

Health Minister Jens Spahn said federal states should go ahead with openings, especially for activities outdoor, but warned of the need to tighten again if infections rise again.

The Belgian government said on Tuesday it will further relax its lockdown as of next month and hopes to fully reopen the country from September 1.

After the country’s curfew was abolished and bars and restaurants reopened their terraces last weekend, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said they will also be able to serve customers inside from June 9.

Announcing a slew of relaxation measures, the government also indicated that from mid-August large music festivals could be staged again, with fans checked if they have been vaccinated or have proof of a negative test.

The measures were announced as the key indicators on hospital admissions and intensive care needs continued to decline.

De Croo said the relaxation of the measures could be pushed through because the vaccine drive had reached cruising speed and is heading toward a level of 1 million jabs per week.

At the moment, 35 people a day still die of COVID-19 and the country of 11.5 million people has lost 24,600 people to the pandemic to make it one of the worst hit countries in the world per capita.

Nepali authorities extended a lockdown in the capital Kathmandu and surrounding districts by another 15 days as the country recorded the highest daily new cases and highest daily deaths from coronavirus on Tuesday.

The last lockdown was scheduled to end on Wednesday but now has been extended until May 27.

According to the Ministry of Heath, there were 9483 new cases on Tuesday while 225 died because of COVID-19.

Grocery stores will be allowed to open an hour earlier in the morning to spread out shoppers and lessen the crowd.

Nepal so far has recorded 413,111 confirmed cases while 4084 people have died.

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