Germany reports ongoing rise in Covid infections

BERLIN: The number of daily cases of 19 infections in Germany increased to 58,912 on Wednesday, up from 18,870 a week ago, according to the Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases.

Germany's national seven-day rate per 100,000 residents has been steadily growing since late December, hitting 258.6 on Wednesday. According to the RKI, this was up from 239.9 the day before and 205.5 a week before.

In one day, Covid-19 infections with the Omicron variant climbed by 7,027, or 20%, to a total of 42,556, according to RKI. More than 19,000 of these cases were identified in people aged 15 to 34.

Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach told RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland on Wednesday that booster immunisation provides between 70 and 80 percent protection against the Omicron variant.  According to official estimates from the RKI and the Ministry of Health, almost 71.4 percent of German citizens have been properly vaccinated as of Tuesday (BMG). A booster immunisation has also been given to at least 33.4 million people.

However, 21.3 million Germans, including 4 million children aged 0 to 4, were remained unvaccinated. There is currently no approved vaccine available for this age range.

The German federal and state governments will meet later this week to discuss the next steps in the fight against the Omicron strain.

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