- Germany reported more than 50,000 new Covid cases on Thursday, prompting one expert to direly warn that the country could see an increase in fatalities.
- Germany was initially seen as a poster child for its efficient COVID strategy.
- Germany is not alone in seeing a dramatic increase in cases.
Germany was once seen as the poster child of dealing with the corona virus. Now, it is recording close to 50,000 new Covid cases a day, prompting dire warnings from an expert of an increase in fatalities.
Germany is in the midst of what has been described as a fourth wave of COVID-19, as the delta version spreads as the weather cools. Thursday marked the fourth day in a row that it posted a fresh daily high, Reuters noted, with the number of new cases coming in at 50,196.
data from the country’s public health body, Robert Koch Institute, showed that Germany’s total number of cases now stands at 4.89 million and that the number of fatalities is 97,198.
The data is worrying German officials and public health experts.
Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel has reportedly called an urgent meeting with heads of state to discuss the country’s response to the COVID crisis. His chief spokesman, Stephen Seibert, said on Wednesday that the virus was “spreading dramatically” and that a “quick and integrated response” was needed.
Prominent German virologist Christian Drosten called for immediate action on Tuesday, warning that the country could see more than 100,000 deaths from the virus if nothing is done to combat the spread of the virus.
Speaking on the NDR podcast, Drosten said 100,000 deaths were a “conservative estimate” and “we have a real emergency at the moment” with millions of Germans still unconvinced.
COVID vaccines have been clinically proven to reduce the risk of serious infection, hospitalization, and death from the virus, although vaccine immunity declines after six months and there is some “success” among vaccinations. Infections have occurred.
Earlier this week, German lawmakers, who have been focusing on coalition talks to form a new government after September’s inconclusive election, proposed a draft law for discussion in the German Bundestag, or parliament, on Thursday. This includes plans to resume free COVID-19 testing (which ended recently) and mandatory daily testing for staff and visitors to care homes, among other measures. Deutsche Welle. reported by,
Overall, lawmakers are generally against imposing a new lockdown, but some states (which are allowed to impose their own restrictions) have reimposed some COVID rules and restrictions.
Germany was praised for its early response to the COVID pandemic with an efficient test and trace programme, widespread testing and a high standard of healthcare, which helped prevent widespread cases and deaths. The country’s initial pandemic response was far more successful than that of its Western European neighbors, such as France and Italy.
However, like its neighbours, Germany’s vaccination campaign started off slow and had to deal with a stubborn section of vaccine skeptics in its population. To date, 69.8% of the population in Germany has received a shot against the virus and 67.3% of the population has been fully vaccinated.
This compares to 79.8% of the UK population over the age of 12 who are now fully vaccinated.
The recent sharp rise in COVID cases in Germany has been blamed on its low vaccination rate, prompting politicians to call for a boost to the vaccination campaign.
Last week, Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn said: “We are currently experiencing an epidemic mainly among illiterate people and this is rampant,” a sentiment echoed by Lothar Weiler, president of the Robert Koch Institute.
On Thursday, Merkel’s potential successor, Olaf Scholz, said German vaccination centers should be reopened to encourage more citizens to get vaccinated.
“The virus is still among us and threatens the health of citizens,” Scholz, the finance minister and chancellor candidate, said in a speech to parliament, Reuters reported.
Germany is Europe’s largest economy and like its neighbours, the lockdown imposed in 2020 to contain the spread of the virus hit Germany’s economy, which is now also suffering from supply chain issues.
Volker Weiland, the endowed chair of monetary economics at the Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability in Germany, told CNBC that there is a reluctance in Germany to close again.
“Given the vaccinations we have and the regulations available to keep the economy and industry working, we do not predict any rapid results this winter. So far the government has said that they are not looking for any new Don’t want to impose a lockdown on the service sector,” he told CNBC’s Annette Weisbach in Germany.
“So the major trigger of slowdown in the service sector would be that there are severe lockdown restrictions in retail, schools and other sectors, for example, hotels and restaurants,” he said.
Germany is not the only one experiencing a dramatic increase in cases, with France also seeing an increase in Covid, again largely down to the spread of the more virulent delta variant. On Wednesday, French Health Minister Olivier Veran said the country was at the beginning of a fifth wave of the pandemic.
In contrast, the UK, which had seen a rapid increase in cases since the end of the summer, is now seeing a decline in the number of cases. Still, about 40,000 new daily cases were reported on Wednesday.