Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on Thursday reported more than 11,200 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, the first time since the start of the pandemic that more than 10,000 new cases in Germany were recorded in a single day.
Germany is currently facing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, and the last daily record, numbering over 7,800 new infections, was reported just last Saturday.
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The spike in cases has prompted officials to introduce tougher measures on public life to stem the spread of the virus.
Germany is now recording more than 50 infections per 100,000 people over a one-week period. The so-called seven-day incidence rate, which is used by authorities to decide when to tighten restrictions, is currently at 51.1 for the entire country, according to RKI data.
Dr. Lothar Wieler, the president of the RKI, told DW on Wednesday that he’s confident that Germany can curb the spread of the virus — as long as people stick to the rules.
“We don’t see so many outbreaks at workplaces or in public transportation, but it’s mostly coming together in privacy, in parties and also in services and weddings,” Wieler said. “We shouldn’t have too many of these events,” he added.
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Looking to the winter, the chief of Germany’s disease control agency said that Germany’s hospitals are “well prepared” to handle a potential spike in COVID-19 patients, adding that Germany has a high number of intensive care units relative to the population.
“Of course, we have learned from the first time, the first peak that we had in April and March,” he said.
“If we can calm down the numbers, we can manage it, and that’s the most important [thing] — but we can only bring down the numbers if we stick to these rules,” Wieler emphasized.
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The record spike in cases comes shortly after German Health Minister Jens Spahn tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.
The German health ministry said that 40-year-old Spahn had immediately gone into isolation and that so far he has developed “cold-like symptoms.”
The health ministry confirmed all those in contact with Spahn had been informed, though no members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet will be self-isolating — despite having met with the health minister during a meeting earlier on Wednesday.
wmr/rc (dpa, AFP, Reuters)