Covid infections fall in Germany for first time since July

Covid infections fall in Germany for first time since July
People walk through a pedestrian zone in Wuppertal, where the 7-day incidence of Covid infections per 100,000 people is currently over 200. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Caroline Seidel
The 7-day incidence of Covid infections per 100,000 people slipped to 74.8 in Germany on Tuesday, down from 75.8 the previous day.

This is first time that that the 7-day incidence has dropped since the country reached a plateau in early July. 

After sinking to its latest low of 4.9 infections per 100,000 people on July 6th, the trend began to reverse from July 7th, bringing an end to two months of decline in Covid infections.

Since then, the incidence has been rising exponentially, leading health experts to claim that the country is now in the grip of the Covid fourth wave.

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Though the 7-day incidence has seen a small decline since Monday, it is still significantly higher than it was a week ago, when the weekly incidence of Covid infections stood at 58 per 100,000 people.

Some regions, meanwhile, are seeing 7-day incidences far above the national average.

Wuppertal, in North-Rhine Westphalia, has the highest weekly incidence of 251 infections per 100,000 residents.

On the national level, daily infections increased just slightly from 5,747 on August 24th to 5,750 on August 31st. 

However, Welt reporter Olaf Gersemann pointed out on Twitter that the number of active Covid cases has fallen for the second day in a row.

Compared to a week ago, the number of daily deaths has risen by around 50 percent, from 42 on August 24th to 60 on the 31st.

Since it can take up to two weeks for symptoms of Covid infections to appear, the latest figures are likely to paint a picture of the situation around ten days ago.

On August 23rd, Germany formalised and expanded its ‘3G’ health pass system nationwide, meaning that people now have to present proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test when entering many public indoor spaces.

READ ALSO: Germany’s 16 states bring in uniform ‘Covid health pass’ system

Since some states brought in their own health pass systems ahead of the August 23rd deadline, the downward movement in the infections could be reflecting the impact of these measures.

However, it is still too early to say whether the decline is a blip or part of a longer-term trend.

More than 1,000 in intensive care

With more than 60 percent of the German population now fully vaccinated, politicians and health experts are now looking beyond pure infection rates to decide on Covid measures. 

In addition to the 7-day incidence – which was previously the main driver for new restrictions – lawmakers have said they will consider factors such as vaccination coverage, hospitalisations and deaths before tightening or relaxing rules in autumn. 

On Monday, the number of patients in intensive care exceeded the 1,000 mark for the first time since June 18th, according to figures released by the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI) and the Robert Koch Institute.

Of the 1,008 people currently in intensive care, the vast majority (around 75 percent) are between the ages of 30 and 69, with around 25 percent of patients in the 50-59 age bracket.

The majority of patients suffering severe courses of Covid are unvaccinated, according to the DIVI report. 

READ ALSO: German Health Minister says focus must be on Covid hospital admissions when deciding measures

According to Gersemann, Covid trends from this time last year suggest that intensive care patient numbers will continue to rise over the next fortnight. 


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