‘Covid situation in Germany continues to deteriorate’

Berlin, Dec 22 : Daily Covid-19 infections in Germany has risen by more than 5,000 within one week as 19,528 new cases were reported on Tuesday, pushing the tally to 1.53 million, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the federal government agency for disease control and prevention.

"At present, the situation continues to deteriorate," said Lothar Wieler, president of the RKI, at a press conference on Tuesday.

Germany would "continue to record new highs" with regard to case number, incident rate as well as COVID-19 death figures, Xinhua reported.

The number of Covid-19-related deaths increased by 731 within one day on Tuesday.

So far, 27,006 people in Germany have died from the new coronavirus, RKI figures showed.

Many nursing homes in Germany, which is currently in a hard lockdown to fight the spread of the new coronavirus, recorded "severe outbreak incidents" and doctors and nurses at hospitals in Germany would start to reach their limits, warned Wieler.

The incidence rate of the last seven days, which is used as a benchmark to evaluate health measures, also reached new record on Tuesday and stood at 197 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the RKI.

"The virus lives from our contacts," said Wieler, warning that the COVID-19 situation in Germany could worsen over the Christmas holiday season.

He urged the population to reduce contacts to an absolute minimum.

"If we make the most of the lockdown time by being mindful, we bring the numbers down faster," Wieler stressed, adding "we have some tough weeks ahead of us.

We should not make them any harder."

Wieler expressed his satisfaction about the upcoming vaccination process, but "for now, the vaccination will not change the overall situation" as it would take time to vaccinate the majority of the German population, he noted.

On Monday, the European Medicines Agency and the European Commission approved the Covid-19 vaccine from the German pharmaceutical company BioNTech and US company Pfizer.

Vaccination is scheduled to start in Germany on December 27, the government said.

People over 80 years of age as well as residents and staff of old people's homes and nursing homes would be the first in Germany to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

Last Friday, Minister of Health Jens Spahn presented a corresponding COVID-19 vaccination decree, which regulates who will get a COVID-19 vaccination first.

"By the end of this year, more than 1.3 million vaccine doses will be delivered to the federal states and distributed by them to vaccination teams," Spahn wrote on Twitter after the decision of the European Union on Monday.

In January, at least another 670,000 doses would be delivered every week.



Source: IANS