Germany reports higher Covid cases, ICU occupancy

German coronavirus infections appear to be on the rise once more, but a possible lack of testing over the Easter holiday week means the exact situation is unclear.

On Wednesday, the number of new infections per 100,000 people over seven days rose to 153.2, similar to levels in January during the second wave of the pandemic, but still short of 197.6, the country’s record from December, DPA news agency reported.

Case numbers are rising less steeply than experts had feared, but this may change as fewer people were likely tested during the Easter period, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for disease control said.

School holidays also helped to ease the situation, Christian Drosten, a leading German virologist, told broadcaster NDR-Info.

Health authorities have reported 21,693 new infections during the past 24 hours and 342 deaths. Deaths are also increasing at a lower rate as the most vulnerable groups of people have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

However, only 5.2 per cent of Germans have been fully vaccinated to date, while 16.6 per cent have received their first jab.

The situation is more critical in Germany’s intensive care units, where the number of patients with Covid-19 has been on the rise since mid-March. Divi, an association of intensive care medicine, predicted that a previous record of 6,000 patients will be reached again this month.