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BERLIN: The German government does not want to impose another lockdown even as cases of COVID-19 jump again as the Omicron variant takes hold, Finance Minister Christian Lindner was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

"We want to avoid blanket and area-wide closures in the future," Lindner told the Stuttgarter Nachrichten daily and the Neue Berliner Redaktionsgesellschaft.

"Our goal remains to maintain social life as far as possible and to avoid social damage as far as possible."

Lindner has called for Germany to be in a position to vaccinate the entire population within a month in the event of future waves of the pandemic.

Germany has a relatively low rate of vaccination compared to other western European countries: 71.3% of the population is fully vaccinated and 39.3% have received a booster shot.

Germany's Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases reported 58,912 new infections on Wednesday, a rise of 47% compared to a week ago. The country recorded another 346 deaths, taking the total to 112,925.

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