Covid: German cases hit record high with Merkel warning of ‘dramatic’ situation
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany’s center for disease control and control, reported 65,371 new cases in the past 24 hours – an increase of 12,545 new cases compared with the previous 24 hours.
But these numbers may not be reported, and the true scale of infections could be “double or triple”, RKI Director Lothar Wieler said in an online discussion with the state prime minister. Saxony, Michael Kretschmer on Wednesday night.
The country reported 264 Covid-19-related deaths between Wednesday and Thursday, pushing the total number of deaths since the pandemic broke out to 98,000 in Germany, according to RKI data. data of RKI.
Germany’s seven-day illness rate also hit a record 336.9 cases per 100,000 people, up from 249.1 cases reported a week ago, RKI reported.
Germany has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Western Europe, with just over 67% of the population fully vaccinated. According to the RKI, about 33% have no protection against the virus.
According to experts, this is one of the reasons why infections have risen to record levels.
“The current pandemic situation in Germany is so dramatic, I can’t say otherwise,” outgoing Chancellor Merkel told mayors across Germany on Wednesday.
She added: ”It would be a disaster to act only when the intensive care units are full, because by then it will be too late.
‘Lockdown for the unvaccinated’
This situation means that Germany is on track to become the next country to impose stricter regulations on those who are not fully immunized. The three parties forming the country’s future new coalition government will debate draft legislation on Thursday, under which stricter regulations will come into effect.
The proposed measures would require Germans to provide proof of vaccinations or test negative in order to ride a bus or board a train, which, in the process of expanding the country’s “3G” system, requires citizens to must enter certain places and contexts. Free Covid-19 tests will be reintroduced as well as allowing working from home whenever possible.
Green Party co-leader Robert Habeck told public broadcaster ARD on Sunday that the rules come into effect resulting in “lockdown on the unvaccinated.”
Merkel will also debate the implementation of stricter Covid-19 regulations with the leaders of Germany’s 16 federal states.
Berlin has imposed restrictions on unvaccinated people, whereby as of Monday proof of full vaccination or recovery from Covid-19 in the last 6 months is required to enter bars, restaurants, cinemas and other entertainment venues.
However, the current wave of infections is mainly affecting the southern and eastern regions of the country, where vaccine uptake is lower.
If the measures proposed by the union are agreed, they will bring Germany closer to its southern neighbor Austria, where an attack on the unvaccinated went into effect on Monday. . It prohibits unvaccinated people – more than a third of the country’s population – from leaving their homes except for a few specific reasons.
Austria, where vaccination rates are lower than Germany’s, is suffering from an intense wave of infections. In contrast, Spain and Portugal avoided the brunt of the winter wave after posting the highest vaccination rates in Europe.
France, which has nearly 75% of its total population vaccinated, is coping with the new wave of infections better than its neighbours.
French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said nearly 5 million French people had been vaccinated with a Covid booster vaccine on Thursday.
“It’s a lot,” Attal said. It puts us above most of our European neighbors, but it’s still too few. “We have to move on.”
CNN’s Rob Picheta, Martin Goillandeau, Xiaofei Xu, and Meredith Ruleman contributed to this piece.