Germany reports 64,340 new COVID-19 cases as infections continue to surge

Daily COVID-19 infections in Germany surged by 64,340 cases, around 21,000 more than a week ago, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases reported on Thursday.

The country’s seven-day COVID-19 incidence per 100,000 inhabitants has been rising since late December and reached 285.9 on Thursday, up from 258.6 on the previous day and 207.4 a week ago, according to the RKI.

Infections with the more contagious Omicron variant increased by 8,916 within one day, or 21 percent, to a total of 51,472, the RKI said. More than 23,000 of these cases were found in the 15-34 age group.

Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach called for further contact restrictions to fight the Omicron wave. Although current measures would work, “we will probably have to step it up again,” he told public broadcaster ZDF on Wednesday.

Lauterbach also wanted to shorten COVID-19 quarantine periods for certain professions after a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test ensuring that the individuals are no longer infectious before going back to work.

According to an ongoing survey by market research institute YouGov, a majority of Germans, or 55 percent, supported shortening the quarantine periods for people who work in critical infrastructure, such as doctors, nurses and police officers. ■