Daily Covid infections in Germany near record high

Daily Covid-19 infections in Germany are nearing the previous record of almost 34,000 cases, as 29,426 new cases were registered within one day, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced on Thursday.

The seven-day incidence of reported Covid-19 cases per 100,000 citizens increased to 160.1 from around 153 the previous day, according to the federal government agency for disease control and prevention, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Every day counts, particularly in this difficult situation,” said Minister of Health Jens Spahn during a press conference on Thursday. “The infection figures are too high and they continue to rise.”

On Tuesday, the German government agreed on a “uniform nationwide emergency brake” to fight the spread of the coronavirus. If local incidence rates exceed 100 for three consecutive days, additional measures such as a nighttime curfew and the closure of non-essential shops, gastronomy as well as leisure facilities will come into effect.

Vaccination and testing are not enough to break this third wave, “it needs decisive action and as hard as that is, further restrictions,” said Spahn. He urged Germany’s federal states not to wait until the planned nationwide emergency brake was passed by the parliament, stressing that the main goal remained to avoid overburdening the healthcare system.

President of the RKI Lothar Wieler said at the same press conference that the situation in hospitals was “getting tighter, in some cases dramatically, and will hit us even harder than in the second wave.”

In Germany, around 6 out of 10 patients hospitalized for a severe, infectious respiratory disease were Covid-19 patients, according to Wieler. Among patients receiving intensive care due to their respiratory disease, the figure was just under 9 out of 10.

More than 3.07 million Covid-19 infections have been officially registered in Germany since the outbreak of the pandemic. The death toll climbed to 79,381 on Thursday, according to the RKI.