Germany records 11.000 new coronavirus cases, Health Minister tests positive
For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, Germany has recorded more than 11.000 new coronavirus cases within the space of 24 hours. It also emerged on Wednesday afternoon that the German Health Minister, Jens Spahn, has tested positive for the virus.
Germany sees record 11.287 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours
The Robert Koch Institute reported 11.287 new coronavirus cases on Thursday morning, far surpassing the previous daily record of 7.830 cases, which was set just last Friday. According to the RKI, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has risen to 392.049. The number of deaths in connection with the virus rose by 30 to 9.905.
The rapidly rising numbers can partly be explained by the fact that significantly more tests are currently being carried in Germany than in the spring - meaning that more infections are being detected. However, the figures also show that the rate of positive tests is gradually increasing, from 0,75 percent back in the summer, to 3,63 percent most recently. Since the beginning of September, the number of coronavirus tests per week has fluctuated between 1,1 and 1,2 million.
Health Minister Jens Spahn tests positive for COVID-19
The record spike in cases came shortly after it was confirmed that Jens Spahn, Germany’s Federal Minister of Health, had tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. According to a statement from the Health Ministry, Spahn had so-far developed only “cold-like symptoms” and has immediately gone into isolation.
All those who have been in contact with the minister have been informed, the Health Ministry said. However, no members of Angela Merkel’s cabinet will be self-isolating, despite having met with Spahn on Wednesday morning. A government spokesperson said that quarantining was not necessary, as hygiene and distance rules had been observed throughout the meeting.
“Accelerated increase” in coronavirus transmissions in Germany
RKI President Lothar Wieler recently emphasised the seriousness of the current situation: “Currently, an accelerated increase in the number of transmissions can be observed in Germany,” the RKI wrote in its status report on Wednesday. “Therefore, it is urgently appealed that the entire population is committed to infection protection” - including distance and hygiene rules, the ventilation of indoor spaces and mouth and nose coverings.
As of October 22, almost 40 percent of all districts and cities in Germany are considered coronavirus hotspots in the RKI’s assessment - that is, above the crucial threshold of 50 new infections per 100.000 inhabitants, at which point tighter restrictions kick in.
In view of the increasing numbers, the head of the Federal Association of Doctors in the Public Health Service, no longer considers Angela Merkel’s scenario of 19.000 daily coronavirus infections in Germany to be exaggerated. “I initially considered such a development to be unlikely,” said Ute Teichert. “But the way things are currently going, I now think that’s a realistic assessment.”