Covid-19 worse than ever in Germany ‘due to carelessness’, says public health boss

Covid-19 worse than ever in Germany 'due to carelessness', says public health boss
Lothar Wieler speaking at a press conference in Berlin on Tuesday. Photo: DPA
The coronavirus situation in Germany is more serious than ever before in the pandemic, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

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. 

READ ALSO: Merkel says Germany won't get through winter with current Covid-19 rules

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. 

READ ALSO: Germany's tougher Christmas lockdown rules are the right move – but should they have come sooner?

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.

READ ALSO: Majority of Germans could receive Covid-19 vaccine by 2021, says health minister

Vocabulary

rise/increase/climb – ansteigen 

to get worse – verschlimmern

carelessness – (die) Sorglosigkeit

to limit – einzuschränken

We're aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.


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