German Covid-19 incidence rate rises above 500 amid summer wave
Berlin, June 24 (IANS) Germany's seven-day Covid-19 incidence rate has increased to 533 infections per 100,000 inhabitants amid the summer wave, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.
The number rose on Thursday from 489 on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported.
After hitting 100,000 new infections within 24 hours earlier this month, the number of daily Covid-19 infections stood at 119,360 on Thursday, according to the RKI.
Infections are driven by the more contagious Omicron subvariants BA.5 and BA.4, RKI said. Within a week, the share of BA.5 in Germany more than doubled to around 24 per cent.
"We are facing a very difficult autumn," said Health Minister Karl Lauterbach during a press conference on Thursday.
"The summer wave has already started, but it will be more difficult in the fall."
Lauterbach will present the country's Covid-19 health measures for the coming fall after examining the results of an expert report on the effectiveness of past Covid-19 measures, which is set to be completed in early July.
In order to be better prepared than last year, Germany is procuring a wide range of vaccines. These include vaccines adapted to the Omicron variant, the Ministry of Health said. In addition, "vaccination gaps are to be closed".
Of the 69.4 million adults in Germany aged 18 years and above, around 85 per cent are vaccinated against Covid-19. Nearly 72 per cent have received one booster vaccination, while 8 per cent have already received two booster doses, according to official figures.
Although Germany was one of the last countries in the European Union to drop restrictions for travellers entering from another EU member state, most restrictions on public life have now been lifted.