BERLIN (AP) – The German Agency for Disease Control on Thursday reported the highest number of new coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic.
The Robert Koch Institute, or RKI, reported 33,949 new cases in the last 24 hours, up from 28,037 daily cases a week ago. The previous record was 33,777 new cases on December 18, 2020.
The all-time high came when the country’s federal health minister, Jens Spahn, is set to meet with ministers of health in 16 states to discuss how to limit the spread of the virus in the winter as intensive care units in hospitals begin to fill up again. and the number of infections among children is skyrocketing.
On Thursday, the RKI reported 165 deaths, up from 126 a week earlier. The total number of people who have died from COVID-19 infection in Germany has risen to 96,192.
Senior health officials have repeatedly appealed to German residents who have not yet been vaccinated to get vaccinated, although Spahn admitted on Wednesday that many dissenting voices cannot be convinced.
Official figures show that about two-thirds of Germany’s 83 million people have completed the first round of vaccinations. An estimated 16.2 million people aged 12 and over remain unvaccinated, including 3.2 million over 60.
Although officials agreed in August to make revaccinations available to people over 60, as well as residents and nursing home staff, just over 2 million have been completed to date.
Germany has not mandated coronavirus vaccination for any professional groups, unlike some of its European counterparts. But regional governments have limited access to some closed events and facilities for people who have been vaccinated, recently recovered, or tested, and some are tightening the rules.
Pressure is mounting to conduct mandatory testing in nursing homes after several outbreaks in nursing homes have been reported in recent days, killing more than a dozen residents.
On Thursday, the head of the family doctors’ association Ulrich Weigeldt went even further, demanding mandatory coronavirus vaccinations for all employees working in nursing homes or hospitals.
“No unvaccinated person should contact such a vulnerable group, either professionally or as a visitor,” Weigeldt told the daily Bild tabloid. “This applies to nursing homes and nursing homes, as well as intensive care units.”
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