Fourth coronavirus wave has begun in Germany, says RKI
With the Delta variant fuelling a rapid rise in case numbers, Germany is already standing at the beginning of a fourth wave of coronavirus, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has said.
Fourth wave of COVID is here, says RKI
According to the assessment of Germany’s disease control and prevention agency, the fourth coronavirus wave is already underway in the federal republic. In its status report on Thursday evening, the RKI pointed out that the proportion of positive samples among PCR tests had risen from 4 percent to 6 percent within a week by mid-August.
As of Friday morning, the seven-day incidence rate in Germany has risen to 48,8 - up from 44,2 the day before, and 30,1 a week ago - after health authorities in Germany recorded 9.280 new coronavirus infections within 24 hours. Earlier this week, the number of new COVID cases doubled in the space of a day, from 3.912 on Tuesday to 8.324 on Wednesday - a figure not seen since May this year.
The incidence rate may be in danger of topping the 50-mark nationwide, but it is still presenting strong regional fluctuations. For example, in the northern city of Kiel, the rate is as high as 107,4. The cities of Hamburg and Berlin are also both posting incidence rates above 50. In Thuringia and Saxony, on the other hand, the number of cases per 100.000 still remains below 10.
Decline in hospital admissions in Germany tapering off
Though politicians and health experts still consider the incidence rate to be an important benchmark for tracking the development of the pandemic, at the last coronavirus summit they agreed to also take into account a range of other factors, such as vaccination coverage and hospital admissions, when deciding how to proceed.
According to the RKI, the general decline in the number of COVID patients in German hospitals is now tapering off. Although the numbers are still at a low level, they are beginning to increase visibly.
“This clearly shows the beginning of the fourth wave, which is picking up speed, especially due to infections among the young adult population,” the RKI wrote. They continue to rate the risk to the health of unvaccinated people or those who have only received one jab as high overall. For fully vaccinated people, researchers say the risk is moderate.
Overall, around 64 percent of people in Germany have received at least one vaccination dose, while more than 58 percent are fully vaccinated against the virus. The government is aiming for a total rate of at least 85 percent, and Jens Spahn is reportedly considering offering everyone in Germany a booster shot this autumn.
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