Germany surpasses 80.000 daily COVID infections for first time
For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been more than 80.000 daily coronavirus cases in Germany.
80.430 new coronavirus cases in Germany
The federal republic is starting to feel the full force of the Omicron outbreak, with infection numbers rising to new heights. In the 24 hours to Wednesday morning, health authorities in Germany reported 80.430 new COVID cases to the Robert Koch Institute - surpassing the previous record of 76.414 cases recorded on November 26.
The figure represents a major jump from the 58.912 cases reported a week ago, although that figure may have been lower due to gaps in testing and reporting over the holidays. The seven-day incidence rate rose on Wednesday to 407,5, up from 387,9 the day before, and 258,6 a week ago.
Bremen posting highest incidence and hospitalisation rates
There is still some considerable regional variation across Germany, with the state of Bremen posting the highest incidence rate of 1.296,8. Berlin has the second-highest incidence rate, although it is significantly lower at a value of 856,4. Saxony - the state that until recently had the highest incidence values in the country - currently has the lowest incidence rate of 239,5.
It is assumed that these diverging values are on the one hand related to the spread of the Omicron variant, which began to spread earlier in the north of the county, and on the other hand explained by the fact that the risk of infection is higher in Germany’s big cities.
The number of daily deaths in Germany remains high; 348 people have died in relation to a COVID infection within the last 24 hours. The number of patients admitted to hospital per 100.000 inhabitants was 3,34 on Tuesday - but much higher in regions experiencing huge outbreaks of infections. In Bremen, for example, the rate was 29,99.
Omicron now unavoidable - unvaccinated to bear the “brunt”
Experts are now saying that the rapid spread of the Omicron variant means that getting infected will soon be unavoidable. The World Health Organisation announced on Tuesday that, extrapolating from current infection rates, it expects more than half of people in Europe to contract the Omicron variant within the next two months.
The US government’s senior coronavirus advisor, Anthony Fauci, also expects everyone to catch Omicron, sooner or later. “Omicron, with its extraordinary, unprecedented degree of efficiency of transmissibility, will ultimately find just about everybody,” the immunologist said in an interview.
He warned that, while vaccinated people will likely “do reasonably well in the sense of not having hospitalisation and death," unvaccinated people are “going to get the brunt of the severe aspect of this.”