Wednesday, December 8, 2021

German COVID infection rate hits new high as vaccination slows

BERLIN (NWN) – Germany’s coronavirus infection rate climbed on Monday to its highest ever recorded level, in what officials called a “non-vaccination epidemic”.

The National Centers for Disease Control, the Robert Koch Institute, said the country had seen 201.1 new cases per 100,000 residents in the past seven days. This was up from the previous record of 197.6 since December 22 last year. While this is still a low rate compared to many other European countries, it has set off alarm bells.

The infection rate of seven days has long not been the only criterion for COVID-19 policy in Germany, but officials say hospitals are filling up in the worst-hit areas. The Centers for Disease Control said on Monday that 15,513 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours – down from a record 37,120 on Friday, but figures are usually lower after the weekend.

Germany has struggled to find ways to speed up its very slow vaccination campaign. According to official figures, at least 67% of the population of 83 million have been fully vaccinated, which officials say is not enough. Unlike some other European countries, it has avoided making vaccination mandatory for any professional group.

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As at times during a pandemic, Germany has a patchwork of regional regulations. Most places restrict access to many indoor facilities and events to people who have been vaccinated, recovered or tested – the latter is now excluded in some areas. Those rules are often enforced carelessly.

The rules on whether school children should wear masks in class vary from state to state.

Free rapid testing for all was phased out about a month ago in an effort to encourage more people to get vaccinated. Now there is a widespread call to restart them. And officials now advocate for booster vaccinations For everyone who got their initial shots six months or more ago.

Germany currently has a caretaker national government after elections in September. The parties that are expected to plan the next government to introduce legislation in parliament this week that would allow the end of the “pandemic state of national scope” since March 2020. end of the month but provide a new legal framework for coronavirus measures.

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