Germany sees highest number of daily Covid cases ever

A woman wears an FFP2 mask in Straubing, Bavaria.
A woman wears an FFP2 mask in Straubing, Bavaria. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Armin Weigel
Germany has registered nearly 34,000 Covid infections in 24 hours - the highest number since the pandemic began.

The number of new daily Covid-19 infections has risen to a record level in Germany.

Health offices reported a total of 33,949 new infections to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for public health within a period of 24 hours – more than ever before. The previous daily record was 33,777 cases logged on December 18th 2020 – at the peak of the second wave. 

However, experts say the Monday holiday (All Saints’ Day) in five German states could play a role in the figures. After public holidays, there is often a delay in the reporting of cases which pushes numbers up later in the week. 

Regardless, though, Covid infections have been rising in Germany in recent weeks, raising fears about the winter months. The number of deaths has also been increasing, along with the number of people being admitted to intensive care.

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According to the latest RKI figures, the nationwide 7-day incidence – i.e. the number of new infections per 100,000 residents within one week – stands at 154.5, compared to 146.6 on Wednesday and 130.2 a week ago.

READ ALSO: Why are Covid infections in Germany rising?

The number of Covid patients admitted to hospitals per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days – the most important parameter for a possible tightening of restrictions – was 3.62 on Wednesday, up from 3.29 on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, there were 165 Covid-related deaths across Germany in the last 24 hours. 

The Our World in Data chart shows the number of confirmed Covid cases per million people in a selection of countries including Germany. Cases have been significantly rising recently in neighbouring Austria and Switzerland. 

What are German authorities doing about it?

The all-time high coincides with the start of a conference between the federal and state health ministers taking place in Lindau on Lake Constance. They want to set the Covid health strategy for winter. One of the issues to be discussed is how to get more booster shots given out. Compulsory testing in nursing homes is also on the agenda.

On Wednesday, caretaker Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) reiterated his call for a faster pace on booster vaccinations.

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He wants regions to inform all residents over the age of 60 to get a top-up Covid jab. State health ministers have proposed informing the over-70s, according to a draft proposal. 

Bavaria, which currently chairs the Conference of Health Ministers, also wants to make a new push to make booster vaccinations possible for everyone six months after their last jab.

The official recommendation at the moment from the standing committee for vaccinations (STIKO) is for the over 70s, people in care and those with pre-existing conditions to get a top-up shot, as well as those who’ve had vector vaccines (AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson).

It must be possible to “get ahead of the situation”, said Bavaria’s health minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU). “We will have to discuss very, very clearly which way to go now.”

Some states are also now beginning to tighten their Covid health pass measures (known as 3G or 2G rules), with pressure being piled on those eligible for vaccination who choose not to get it. 

READ ALSO: How German states are tightening Covid rules for winter

Will vaccination centres reopen?

Health ministers are also debating the reopening of vaccination centres.

Spahn said that booster vaccinations do not necessarily have to take place in large centres. However, offers outside doctors’ offices are important because too many people who want to be vaccinated “currently cannot find a doctor who will vaccinate them”, he said. 

Nearly 67 percent of the German population is vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the latest data.

Breaking it down into age groups, around 85.4 percent of the over 60s are fully vaccinated, while 73.3 percent of the 18-59-year-olds are inoculated. 

But experts warn that immunity wanes after a period of around six months.

Spahn said on Wednesday that in three months there had “only been two million third vaccinations (booster jabs)” which he said was “insufficient”.


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