Germany's nationwide Covid rate sinks to 5 cases per 100,000
Although the proportion of Covid-19 cases linked to the more transmissible Delta strain is going up, the incidence rate is still falling in Germany. Here's a look at the latest figures.
There's good news so far: the downward trend in Germany's Covid numbers is continuing despite the rise of the Delta variant.
The nationwide 7-day incidence stood 5.0 Covid infections per 100,000 people on Friday. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported 649 new infections within a day, as well as 69 deaths.
On the previous day the incidence, which indicates the number of new infections per 100,000 residents within a week, had been 5.1, and a week ago it was 6.2. For comparison, last Friday, a total of 774 new infections as well as 62 deaths were recorded.
The total number of recorded Covid-19 cases in Germany since the start of the pandemic now stands at 3,729,682, according to the RKI. There have been 91,007 reported deaths connected to Covid-19.
Of the federal states, Saxony-Anhalt reported the lowest incidence of just 1 case per 100,000 people on Friday, closely followed by the north-eastern state of Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania with 1.7, and Brandenburg with 2.6.
Hamburg recorded the highest incidence of infections - 8 per 100,000 residents.
German data journalist Olaf Gersemann posted on Twitter to say all 412 cities and districts in Germany have an incidence rate under 30.
How will Germany monitor the Covid situation in future?
According to Angela Merkel's chief of staff, Helge Braun (CDU), the German government will not rely solely on the so-called incidence rates in the future when determining measures in the fight against the pandemic. Although these will continue to play an important role, other factors will be examined, Braun told broadcaster MDR on Friday.
"If we are in the situation that a high number of citizens are vaccinated, we must of course include other factors," he said.
More focus should be placed on hospital admissions related to coronavirus, according to Braun. "The question is, what proportion of incidence actually leads to more severe courses?"
Braun also explained that the goal is to observe how effective vaccinations are against different Covid strains.
If there's a point when "even vaccinated people are increasingly going to the hospital, that would be a signal that we are either dealing with a variant or that success of the vaccinations is already waning again, so you have to revaccinate", Braun said.
The vaccination campaign has recently gained significant momentum in Germany after a sluggish start.
Around 55 percent of the population has received at least one Covid jab, and 37.3 percent are fully vaccinated.
CDU politician Braun said he did not expect another shutdown in autumn if numbers are pushed up.
"As long as the vaccinations work well, a lockdown at the expense of those who are fully vaccinated is out of the question," he stressed. Many areas of public life that had been completely closed in the past would have to "remain open for this large part of the population", Braun said.