Germany reports continuing surge in COVID-19 infections

Daily COVID-19 infections in Germany surged to 58,912 cases on Wednesday, around 18,870 more than a week ago, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases reports.

Since late December, Germany’s national seven-day rate per 100,000 inhabitants has been rising steadily, reaching 258.6 on Wednesday. This was up from 239.9 the previous day, and 205.5 a week ago, according to the RKI.

COVID-19 infections with the Omicron variant increased by 7,027 within one day, or 20 percent, to a total of 42,556, RKI said. More than 19,000 of these cases were found in the 15-34 age group.

“Booster vaccination is the best protection against the Omicron variant,” Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach told RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland on Wednesday, stressing that booster shots provide between 70 and 80 percent protection.

Around 71.4 percent of citizens in Germany had been fully vaccinated as of Tuesday, according to official figures from the RKI and the Ministry of Health (BMG). At least 33.4 million people had also received a booster vaccination.

However, 21.3 million people in Germany were still not vaccinated, of which 4 million were aged 0 to four years. For this age group, no licensed vaccine is available yet.

Later this week, Germany’s national and federal state governments will discuss the next steps in the fight against the Omicron variant.