17th January 2022 – (Berlin) Germany recorded a new record high in its seven-day COVID-19 incidence rate which rose to 528.2 new infections per 100,000 people, from 375.7 last week, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases said on Monday.
The RKI registered 34,145 infections in the last 24 hours, around 8,900 more than last week. Last Friday, daily COVID-19 infections in Germany exceeded 90,000 for the first time since the pandemic began.
Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach warned against the Omicron wave. “We are facing very difficult weeks in Germany,” he told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag. “A high level of endemic infection means that hundreds of thousands will become seriously ill and we will have to mourn many thousands of coronavirus deaths again.”
German virologist Christian Drosten, on the other hand, considered the Omicron variant a “chance” to get into the endemic state. “We cannot keep immunizing the entire population every few months via booster vaccination in perpetuity,” he told the newspaper Tagesspiegel on Sunday.
As of Sunday, 72.7 percent of the country’s population had been fully vaccinated, with at least 39.2 million booster shots administered, according to official figures. However, 20.7 million people in Germany are still unvaccinated.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stressed via Twitter that the “best protection against severe COVID-19 infection is and remains vaccination.” Germany had reached an “important milestone” by vaccinating 75 percent of its population at least once. “Next, we should aim for the 80 percent mark,” Scholz wrote on Sunday.