The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for Infectious Diseases reported that the seven-day Covid-19 incidence rate in Germany exceeded 600 for the first time, with 638.8 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants recorded, marking a first for the country.
Because of the more contagious Omicron variant that is spreading throughout Europe, daily infections in Germany have also reached a new high, with 133,536 cases being reported within 24 hours, an increase of approximately 52,000 cases from a week ago, according to the Xinhua news agency, citing the RKI.
In a warning to the public, Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach stated that the peak of the Omicron wave in Germany had not yet been reached. “The wave will reach its zenith around the middle of February,” Lauterbach told German broadcaster ZDF on Wednesday, predicting “several hundred thousand cases per day.”
Considering that laboratory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are in short supply at the moment, Lauterbach wishes to give priority to employees in the healthcare sector, and he plans to present a proposal to that effect this weekend.
“We will receive such a large number of cases that we will be forced to distribute PCR tests and prioritise.”
Recent figures from the Association of Accredited Laboratories in Medicine show that the number of PCR tests performed in Germany within a week has reached an all-time high of nearly 2 million, with one in every four yielding a positive result, according to the latest figures (ALM).