The number of cases is higher than ever before and it continues to rise, said RKI President Lothar Wieler in Berlin on Tuesday.
He said there was a danger that the situation would continue to worsen and that it would become increasingly difficult to deal with the pandemic and its consequences.
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With between 12,000 and 30,000 new infections reported per day, the number of cases in December was significantly higher than in November, Wieler explained.
Last week saw a record high of nearly 30,000 new infections in one day, with the number of deaths also rising steadily.
Currently, 325,000 people in Germany are infected with Sars-CoV-2, compared to a few thousand in the summer months. The group of 80-year-olds is increasingly affected, with a particularly high risk of severe and fatal courses of the disease.
The fact that far too many people are currently infected is “the result of carelessness on the part of some people”, said Wieler. The number of new infections must now drop significantly. He called on people to limit contacts to the bare minimum.
Personally, he would not take advantage of the decided maximum number at meetings over Christmas, but deliberately stay below it.
At the same press conference, Health Minister Jens Spahn of the Christian Democrats (CDU) said he was optimistic that a vaccine could be approved on December 23rd.
The goal is to achieve European vaccine approval before Christmas, he said, and then to be able to start vaccinating in Germany before the turn of the year.
Spahn said on Monday that he was hopeful that 60 percent of Germans could be vaccinated by the autumn.
rise/increase/climb – ansteigen
to get worse – verschlimmern
carelessness – (die) Sorglosigkeit
to limit – einzuschränken
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