Rising corona numbers: a county with an incidence above 850
The nationwide seven-day incidence has once again increased significantly. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week on Sunday morning at 191.5. The previous day, the incidence had been 183.7, and a week ago it was 149.4. The peak incidence in the entire pandemic occurred in the second wave on Dec. 22, 2020, at 197.6.
Health departments in Germany reported 23,543 new Corona infections to the RKI within one day. This is according to figures reflecting the status of the RKI dashboard as of 04:00. On Friday, the number of new infections had reached 37,120, a record high since the beginning of the pandemic. A week ago, the figure had been 16,887 infections.
According to the new data, 37 deaths were recorded in Germany within 24 hours. A week ago, there were 33 deaths. The RKI counted 4,767,033 confirmed infections with Sars-CoV-2 since the start of the pandemic, but the actual total is likely to be significantly higher, as many infections go undetected.The number of corona patients admitted to hospitals per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days - the most important parameter for a possible tightening of corona restrictions - was last reported by the RKI on Friday at 3.91 (Thursday: 3.73). The indicator must take into account that hospital admissions are sometimes reported with a delay. A nationwide threshold value, from when the situation is to be seen as critical, is not provided for the hospitalization incidence, among other things because of large regional differences. The previous maximum value was around 15.5 around Christmas.
The RKI gave the number of those who recovered as 4,365,500. The number of people who died from or with the involvement of a proven infection with Sars-CoV-2 increased to 96,525.With an incidence of 444.0, Saxony has replaced Thuringia (419.9) as the state with the highest value. The two states are also among the laggards in terms of vaccination. Just 57.1 percent of Saxons are fully vaccinated, compared to 61 percent in Thuringia. Among the counties, Saxon Switzerland - Eastern Ore Mountains leads the pack with 865.1. In contrast, the state of Schleswig-Holstein (75.1) has the lowest incidence rate in Germany.
In view of the high rate of new infections in Germany, the Ampel parliamentary groups are currently discussing the introduction of additional measures for the epidemic emergency follow-up law. According to an advance report in the newspaper, Bild am Sonntag, citing negotiator circles, the SPD, Greens, and FDP are planning a daily testing requirement for employees and visitors in nursing homes, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or recovering. The Corona premium for hospitals is to be reactivated. Hospitals would receive state compensation if they kept some of their intensive care beds free for possible Corona patients.
To speed up booster vaccinations for seniors, physicians should be required to write to their elderly patients and inform them about the third vaccination. According to the report, however, the traffic light factions wanted to do without a lockdown for the unvaccinated or a nationwide 2-G rule for public life. The FDP, in particular, was strictly opposed to this.
The German Medical Association is calling for a rapid return to free Corona rapid tests. The end of cost coverage for so-called citizen tests has not led to motivating those willing to be vaccinated, President Klaus Reinhardt told the newspapers of the Funke Media Group. The federal and state governments should therefore have the courage to correct this wrong decision quickly and consistently.
Since October 11, Corona rapid tests have been free of charge in Germany only in exceptional cases. The federal government has stopped funding them, and many test stations have since been closed. The reason given for the decision was that everyone now has the opportunity to protect themselves through vaccination. Since then, free rapid tests have only been available for people who cannot be vaccinated, including children under the age of 12, and transitionally for 12- to 17-year-olds and pregnant women.
North Rhine-Westphalia's Minister-President Hendrik Wüst also called for free Corona tests for the vaccinated and recovered. "The high infection figures among the unvaccinated are leading to more and more breakthroughs among the vaccinated as well," the CDU politician told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag. Free rapid tests for the vaccinated and recovered would also make it easier for people with little money to protect themselves and others without suspending the incentive to vaccinate.
Doctors' president Reinhardt emphasized, however, that especially in the cold season with many indoor leisure activities, low-threshold, free testing offers are needed again to slow down the further spread of the virus. "The new regulation must now come quickly, if possible still with the amendment of the Infection Protection Act in mid-November."
Since the virus can also be spread by vaccinated people, the medical president called for "a functioning and comprehensive testing strategy for everyone, including vaccinated people." In regions with high incidence rates, for example, participants in high-risk events such as club visits should be required to have a negative rapid test in addition to the 2-G rule. This would mean that even vaccinated and recovered persons would only have access to a negative test.