The nationwide seven-day incidence of new corona infections has again risen sharply. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the value was 1388.5 on Thursday morning, compared to 1319.0 the previous day and 1265.0 on Thursday of last week. The value quantifies the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in a seven-day period.
As the RKI with reference to data of the health offices further communicated, the number of reported new infections within 24 hours was 262,752. 215,854 new infections had been reported on the previous day, a week ago it was 216,322. The total number of registered cases of infection in Germany since the beginning of the Corona pandemic increased to 16,504,822.
Within 24 hours, 259 additional corona virus-related deaths were recorded, according to the RKI. This brought the total number of recorded Corona deaths in Germany to 125,023.
Around 448.45 million people worldwide have so far been confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus. That's according to a Reuters survey based on official data. More than 6.40 million people have died with or from the virus, which was first detected in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. The United States has the highest number of infections and deaths. India and Brazil follow in terms of infections.
Against the backdrop of a renewed rapid increase in the incidence of infections in Germany, World Medical Association Chairman Frank Ulrich Montgomery criticized the Corona rules, which come into effect on March 20, as insufficient. "The 'basic protection' is really only a 'basic protection' - and thus, of course, better than nothing," Montgomery told the Funke Media Group newspapers. "More far-reaching, sensible measures," however, have been "successfully talked out of existence" by politicians. The principle of hope reigns in the rules that Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) and Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) presented on Wednesday.
Bioinformatician Lars Kaderali of Greifswald, Germany, sees Germany in a new corona wave. "This is mainly because the omicron subtype BA.2 is even more infectious than the original variant," he told German Press Agency. Added to that, he said, are the relaxations of the Corona measures. "In combination, that's both leading to the rising case numbers." For about a week, the RKI has been reporting an increase in seven-day incidence nationwide.
Still, Kaderali, a member of the federal government's Corona Expert Council, believes the relaxations announced by the federal government are justifiable. "Nationwide, Corona numbers are rising, but the situation in hospitals is still undramatic," he said. "But it should be relaxed only cautiously, and only with the option to go back if you feel it's getting too much."
As of March 20, most Corona requirements are to be dropped following a federal-state decision, but a "basic protection" is to remain. On Wednesday, Health Minister Lauterbach and Justice Minister Buschmann presented a draft for a new legal basis that would allow mandatory masks in clinics and nursing homes and mandatory tests in schools to continue. The state parliaments are also to be allowed to pass more far-reaching requirements for regions if they determine the "concrete danger of a dynamically spreading infection situation."
Regarding the widely expected flattening of the infection curve in the summer, Kaderali said, "Probably the seasonal effect will not be enough to bring the incidence down to 0." He said Health Minister Lauterbach's assumption that there could also be a corona wave in the summer months is plausible. Already the previous openings could lead to the fact that "we'll see another very, very strong increase and then we'll also go into the summer with high incidences."
The German government's expert panel had begun its work in mid-December. The composition of the panel is broad and covers, for example, virology, pediatric and adolescent medicine, medical ethics, intensive care medicine and educational research.
Image by Gerd Altmann