The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said on Wednesday that 446 people with Covid-19 had died in Germany within the last 24 hours – an increase of 33 percent compared to a week ago when 335 coronavirus deaths were logged.
It’s the highest number of daily deaths recorded in Germany since February 20th this year when there were 490 Covid-related deaths.
As many hospitals are struggling to cope with, experts are worried about how bad it will get.
The President of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI), Gernot Marx, said he expects Germany to see about 6,000 Covid-19 patients in intensive care by Christmas – regardless of any new measures planned by the government and states.
Germany logged the highest number of Covid patients in ICUs (5,745) on January 3rd this year.
The situation now is particularly worrying because there are about 4,000 fewer intensive care beds available than a year ago, said Marx.
“The situation is really becoming increasingly tight,” he added.
He called on the incoming government – made up of a coalition between the Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and FDP – to reintroduce the “epidemic situation of national importance” which was lifted on November 25th.
A temporary lockdown or a nationwide emergency brake could help, he said, adding: “We need to save the clinics from collapse.”
Currently there are about 4,636 people with Covid-19 – mostly unvaccinated – being treated in ICUs, with about half receiving ventilation treatment.
The number of Covid-19 patients admitted to hospitals per 100,000 residents was 5.73 on Tuesday. This number plays an important role for politicians when they are deciding on new measures.
Germany on Wednesday registered 67,186 Covid-19 infections within 24 hours. Meanwhile, the 7-day incidence fell again for the second day in a row.
The RKI said there were 442.9 infections per 100,000 people – down from 452.2 the previous day. There are hopes that it could be the sign of infections beginning to stagnate but experts have warned that the incidence is likely to increase again.
The states of Saxony, Thuringia and Bavaria are some of the worst hit in the fourth wave. Most of the 32 districts with 7-day incidences above 1,000 are in these regions. The vaccination rate is also lower than in most other federal states.
In a bid to increase the number of people inoculated in Germany, there are plans for the Bundestag to hold a vote on introducing a general vaccine mandate. Incoming Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) said he was in favour of compulsory vaccination.
German leaders are also discussing bringing in tougher measures like closures of bars and clubs to try and break the fourth wave. Decisions are expected to be made on Thursday.