Covid infection rate in Germany goes up – but vaccines having impact on hospitalisations

Covid infection rate in Germany goes up - but vaccines having impact on hospitalisations
People queuing at a vaccination bus in Mainz, Rhineland-Palatinate, on August 2nd. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Frank Rumpenhorst
The number of Covid infections per 100,000 people continues to rise across Germany - but with more than half the country fully vaccinated, fewer people are being admitted to hospitals.

According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the so-called 7-day incidence of Covid-19 in Germany stands at 17.8 cases per 100,000 people. This is an increase on Sunday’s incidence of 17.5, and is in line with the rising trend we’ve seen in recent weeks. 

This brings the overall number of cases of Covid-19 recorded in the last seven days to a total of 14,767. 

On Monday Germany logged 847 cases within the last 24 hours and one death. 

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What’s the picture across the country?

The highest incidence rate is in Hamburg, where it stands at 32.7 infections per 100,000 people in seven days, followed by Berlin at 27.2 and Bremen at 24.8.

Germany’s record lowest 7-day incidence, recorded at the start of July, stood at just 4.9 cases per 100,00, but it has been increasing steadily since then.

The 7-day incidence, which refers to the number of people per 100,000 infected over the course of a week, is currently regarded as the most efficient way of measuring a country’s infection rates.

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However, increasing vaccination rates mean that fewer people need to be hospitalised when infected with the virus, and deaths are rarer.

Due to to risk groups having more protection because of vaccinations, Germany is looking at other factors such as hospital data in more detail.

The latest available data for August 1st shows 361 Covid-19 patients are in intensive care units in Germany, with 184 receiving ventilation treatment.

The RKI said in a recent report that the trend in the decline in the number of patients in hospitals and intensive care units is not continuing – and hospitalisations are going up. However, the numbers are still at a low level. 

The number of Covid-related deaths in Germany stands currently at 91,666, while the number of infections with Sars-CoV-2 recorded by the RKI since the start of the pandemic is around 3.78 million. The actual total is likely to be significantly higher, as many infections go undetected by health authorities. 

READ ALSO: Germany at ‘start of fourth wave’ – but Covid infections are slowing

Most of these cases and subsequent deaths have been in Germany’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which has been hit hardest by the virus.

How does Germany compare to other European countries?

However, Germany is seeing comparatively low rates of the virus compared to some of its European neighbours. France’s 7-day incidence has been hovering around 220 cases per 100,000 people, while Spain’s is around 353 as of Monday.

A comparison of the number of daily confirmed Covid cases is shown in the Our World in Data chart below for an idea of the situation. 

This comes as the federal government scrambles to protect the population as far as possible through vaccination. Currently around 43,215,000 people in Germany have been fully vaccinated, which is equivalent to 52.1 percent of the population.

Around 61.7 percent of the population have received at least one vaccine dose.

It is also thought that Germany could start distributing Covid-19 ‘booster shots’ to the elderly and vulnerable from September 1st to offer further protection against the contagious Delta variant of the virus.

A continued increase in vaccinations may bring with it a reduction in the ‘R’ rate – the number of people on average infected by one person with Covid-19 – which would likely also lead to a reduction in the 7-day incidence of the virus. 

However, not everyone is happy with attempts to contain the spread of the virus, as thousands protested in Berlin on Sunday against the government’s anti-coronavirus measures, leading to around 600 arrests. 

READ ALSO: ‘Milestone’: More than half of German population fully vaccinated

With reporting by Antonia Harrison


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