Germany reports over 200,000 coronavirus cases since start of pandemic

The number of registered coronavirus infections in Germany since the start of the epidemic has exceeded the 200,000 mark, reported the Robert Koch Institute on Thursday.

Germany reports over 200,000 coronavirus cases since start of pandemic
A sign in Norderney, Lower Saxony on Wednesday advises passersby to wear a face mask. Photo: DPA

Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis in Germany – when the first cases were reported in Bavaria – at least 200,260 people in Germany have been infected with the Sars-CoV-2 virus, reported the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on Thursday morning. 

According to the RKI, health authorities in Germany have also reported 534 new coronavirus infections within the last day.

A total of 186,400 people have also recovered from the virus, according to RKI estimates.

There have also been 9,078 deaths from the virus in Germany so far – seven of them in the last 24 hours.

Debate on how to stop spread

The newest numbers come amid a debate about how and when Germany should introduce new restrictions to better stem the spread of the virus. 

There will be no curfews imposed on entire districts with a high case count, as was discussed earlier in the week between Germany’s 16 states.

READ ALSO: Germany mulls curfews in areas with coronavirus outbreaks

Rather, the country aims to speed up on-site testing in areas where there’s an outbreak, possibly with the help of the Bundeswehr, or German army, Head of the Chancellor’s Office Helge Braun told ZDF television. 

In a video conference on Thursday, Braun and state representatives will discuss how to prevent holiday returnees from spreading the virus.

It comes as Germany looks to impose heavier restrictions on holidaymakers in Mallorca after “reckless behaviour” was reported in the popular tourist destination. 

The goal is to make any restrictions “faster, smaller and more precise”, Braun told ZDF.

New R-value

To measure the severity of the virus, Germany relies largely on the reproductive value, or R-value for short. Authorities have hammered home the importance of keeping the figure below 1.

On Thursday morning, the R-value stood at 1.02, down from 1.06 the previous day. 

This means that, on average, one person with the virus infects approximately one other person. The R-value reflects the course of infection from about 1.5 weeks before.

Since the middle of May, the RKI has also indicated a so-called seven-day R. It refers to a longer period and is therefore less subject to daily fluctuations. According to RKI estimates, this value was 0.95, up from the previous day’s 0.91.

READ ALSO: How worried should we be when Germany reports a higher coronavirus infection rate?


Exceeded – überschritten

Representative – (der) Vertreter

Infect – anstecken 

On site – vor Ort

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Pandemic in Germany unlikely to end this year, says top virologist

High profile German virologist Christian Drosten believes Germany will see a severe spike in Covid infections after summer, and that the pandemic will not become endemic this year.

Pandemic in Germany unlikely to end this year, says top virologist

Drosten previously said that Germany would probably be able to declare the end of the pandemic this year.

But in an interview with Spiegel, Drosten said he had reevaluated his opinion. 

“When the Alpha variant came, it was very surprising for me. When Delta appeared I was sceptical at first, then with Omicron we had to reorient ourselves again. And since January there have already been new Omicron subtypes.

“So I would actually like to correct myself: I no longer believe that by the end of the year we will have the impression that the pandemic is over.”

READ ALSO: End is in sight for pandemic in Germany, says virologist 

Drosten also said that Germany will not see a largely Covid-free summer, which has been the case in previous years, and a further increase in infections in autumn. 

“We are actually already seeing an exponential increase in case numbers again,” Drosten said.

“The BA.5 variant (of Omicron) is simply very transmissible, and people are losing their transmission protection from the last vaccination at the same time.”

In other countries, he said, when the number of cases become high, hospitalisation and death rates also rise again. “Unfortunately, that will also be the case here,” said Drosten, but added: “Overall, however, far fewer people will become seriously ill and die than in 2021.”

Drosten said he expected many more infections from September.

“I hope that the school holidays will dampen the increase in cases somewhat. But from September, I fear we will have very high case numbers,” the head of the virology department at Berlin’s Charité hospital told Spiegel.

READ ALSO: German Health Minister lays out autumn Covid plan

Virologist Christian Drosten at a Covid press conference in 2021.

Virologist Christian Drosten at a Covid press conference in 2021. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Kay Nietfeld

If the government does not take any action, he predicted there would be a lot of sick leave across all industries. “That will become a real problem,” he said.

Drosten said he did not expect overcrowded intensive care units in Germany.

But the new BA.5 sub-variant, which is becoming dominant in Germany, may affect people more strongly. 

“The wheel is turning more towards disease again,” said Drosten. It is not true that a virus automatically becomes more and more harmless in the course of evolution. “That makes me even more worried about the autumn,” he said.

Drosten recommends wearing masks indoors during the colder months, saying it is “the least painful” measure.

If, in addition, “up to 40 million people could be immunised or given a booster vaccination” before winter, for example by urgently calling for company vaccinations, that would “really make a difference”, Drosten said.

In the long term, he said it’s inevitable that people will become infected with coronavirus.

He said the population immunity due to vaccinations and infections will at some point be so strong that the virus will become less important. “Then we will be in an endemic state,” said Drosten. In the worst case, however, this could take “several more winters”.

However, Drosten warned against people trying to deliberately infect themselves with Covid, saying getting the infection in summer doesn’t mean people will be protected in winter. 

Drosten himself said he has not yet contracted Covid-19.

“So far, I guess I’ve just been lucky,” he said. “I rarely put myself in risky situations, but I’m not overly cautious either.”

‘Pandemic depends on behaviour’

According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI)’s latest weekly report, more outbreaks are occurring in care homes, and the number of patients in intensive care units is slightly rising as infections go up. 

The institute said there had been a 23 percent increase in the 7-day incidence compared to the previous week. On Friday the 7-day incidence stood at 618.2 infections per 100,000 people. There were 108,190 infections within the latest 24 hour period and 90 deaths. 

“The further course of the pandemic depends not only on the occurrence of new virus variants and the uptake of vaccinations on offer, it also depends to a large extent on the behaviour of the population,” said the RKI.

According to the DIVI intensive care register, the number of Covid-19 patients in ICUs had increased to 810 on Thursday this week, from about 600 at the beginning of the month.

However, that number is still low compared to previous Covid peaks when thousands of people were in intensive care in Germany.