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LATEST: The charts and maps that explain the state of the pandemic in Germany

The number of new infections in Germany is falling slightly, but deaths remain at a high level. We look at what's going on.

LATEST: The charts and maps that explain the state of the pandemic in Germany
People walking in Taunus, Hesse, on Monday January 18th. Photo: DPA

On Tuesday January 19th, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the 16 state leaders were set to discuss tightening coronavirus measures and extending them to mid-February.

Although the number of new infections is falling slightly, deaths are still high and there are concerns over more contagious Covid-19 variants. Here's the current picture.

What's the latest on the situation?

On Tuesday January 19th, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for public health reported 11,369 new infections within 24 hours, bringing the total amount of Covid-19 cases in Germany to 2,052,028. The number of deaths rose by 989 within the same time period to 47,622.

One week ago, the RKI recorded 12,802 new daily infections and 891 deaths within 24 hours. The highest number of new infections registered within 24 hours – 33,777 – was reported on December 18th, but this figure included a late report of 3,500 cases from the previous day.

This chart below by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, shows the number of daily new cases in Germany on a rolling seven day average.

A record high of 1,244 daily deaths was reported on Thursday, January 14th.

When looking at the current figures, it should be noted that some data may be missing – on the previous day, some federal states transmitted their data incompletely or not at all.

The RKI wrote in its situation report on Monday evening: “No data was transmitted from Rhineland-Palatinate yesterday. Data was transmitted from Bavaria and Saarland, but the RKI did not receive the data in full.”

One thing that should be noted is the spike in numbers from Christmas that experts had been warning about doesn't look like it will happen.

Compared to other countries

When it comes to comparing Germany's current Covid-19 rates to other countries in Europe and beyond, things don't appear to be too alarming (see chart below).

Germany's rate when population is taken into account has fallen in recent days whilst infection rates in neighbouring France are rising.

For a more in depth comparison between Germany and other countries in Europe, see the link below.

COMPARE: How are European countries faring in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic?


The below chart shows the daily Covid-19 deaths on a rolling seven day average.

READ ALSO: The charts and maps that explain the state of the pandemic in Germany in October 2020

What about free ICU beds and vaccination numbers?

Just over 5,000 Covid-19 patients are currently in intensive care units in Germany.

Overall, 26,978 intensive care beds are registered with the RKI, of which 22,113 (82 percent) are occupied, and 4,865 (18 percent) are available.

Around 1.3 million people in the country have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Around 6,000 people have also received the second injection.

After the second jab, it usually takes a further week before the patient has protection from the virus.

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania remains the leader in vaccinations with a vaccination rate of 2.34 percent, ahead of Schleswig-Holstein with 1.92 percent. Bringing up the rear is Baden-Württemberg with a rate of 0.90 percent, behind Thuringia with 1.03 percent.

READ ALSO: Will the rest of Germany follow Bavaria's lead in tightening measures?

What are the other trends?

According to the RKI, the number of new infections reported within seven days per 100,000 inhabitants (seven-day incidence) was 131.5 on Tuesday morning, having reached its previous high of 197.6 on December 22nd.

The number fluctuated thereafter, but has been falling for several days. However, the differences between the federal states are currently enormous: the highest incidences are in Thuringia with 256.3 and Saxony with 225.7.

The lowest value is in Bremen with 83.2.

The RKI map below shows the districts with the highest incidence rates across Germany as of January 18th. The highest numbers remain in eastern states.

Source: Robert Koch Institute

Authorities have repeatedly said they are aiming to get down to 50 new infections per 100,000 residents in seven days.

The tweet below shows that the seven day incidence for Germany on Tuesday was 131.5, and this number has fallen for the eighth day in a row.

It also says the incidence has only increased in four of 16 federal states, but with an incidence of 225.4, the state of Brandenburg, which surrounds Berlin, has now reached Saxony's level (225.7).

The nationwide seven-day reproductive number (R number) on Monday evening was 0.89 (previous day: 0.93), according to the RKI situation report on Monday evening.

This means that 100 infected people in theory go on to infect 89 more people. The value represents the number of infections eight to 16 days ago. If it is below 1 for a longer period of time, the incidence of infection is decreasing.

The below RKI chart shows a representation of the Covid-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over seven days in Germany by federal state and respective reporting date.

Source: Robert Koch Institute

What's happening on Tuesday?

German leaders do not thing the case numbers are decreasing quickly enough, plus they are worried about more contagious coronavirus mutations spreading in Germany.

The federal and state governments are therefore discuss an extension and possible tightening of the current Covid protection measures. They are due to expire on January 31st.

While a continuation of the lockdown into February is considered certain, additional measures are to be discussed.

The map below shows how the governmental response has changed over time and the Government Stringency Index – a composite measure of the strictness of policy responses.

In this map we compare the German government response with France, the UK, Austria, Switzerland and Sweden.

The topics being considered are how to get more people working from home and how to ensure public transport is less busy. Curfews and tighter mask restrictions will also be discussed.

In the run-up to the meeting, several scientists and politicians spoke out in favour of tighter measures.

To view more charts, maps and graphs on Germany's Covid-19 situation you can visit Our World in Data.

Member comments

  1. People should have a look at lockdown sceptics. Medical experts contribute to it. We never hear/read opposing views. We must all follow like sheep that salvation comes from getting an untested vaccine from the pharma industry who have legal indemnity against being sued. According to that “medical” expert Gates good health comes from vaccines. Nothing to do with the fact that the pharma industry and he and his cronies will make billions out of it.

  2. I largely agree with the above comment. I’m not some loopy “conspiracy theorist” who believes Bill Gates is trying to microchip everyone through 5G or anything, however, the media is utterly dominated by underquestioning adheherence to the “lockdown is good, vaccines are good” dogma.

    There is much less “scientific consensus” than is being reported, with alternative voices being silenced. Lockdown cannot go on much beyond Easter, otherwise the economies of so many countries will be utterly ruined.

    Please run some articles on the escalation of numbers of people with mental health issues, missed cancer appointments, increase in suicide numbers – as well as some on the potential unemployment disaster dangerously looming.

    People deserve balance in their journalism.

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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.