Covid-19 wave in Germany could reach 'sad peak' by Christmas

by IANS |

Berlin, Dec 4 (IANS) The fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic could reach a "sad peak" in intensive care units (ICUs) across Germany around Christmas even if the measures just agreed were implemented immediately, acting Health Minister Jens Spahn said here on Friday.

According to the German Intensive Care Availability Register (DIVI), the number of Covid-19 patients requiring treatment in ICUs is nearing record levels and stood at 4,797 on Friday.

The country's seven-day incidence rate per 100,000 inhabitants rose to 442.1, while daily infections continue to hit record highs with 74,352 Covid-19 cases reported within one day, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases said.

"We have no time to lose, not a single day," RKI President Lothar Wieler said. The new Omicron variant is present in Germany, and could be even more contagious than the Delta variant.

On Thursday, the federal and state governments decided to implement stricter rules for unvaccinated people, extending the so-called 2G rules to the retail sector, the catering industry and cultural events. 2G stands for "geimpft" (vaccinated) or "genesen" (recovered), Xinhua new agency reported.

Meanwhile, the German Bundestag (lower house of Parliament) is scheduled to hold a vote on whether to make vaccines mandatory. Germany's vaccination rate stood at 68.8 per cent on Thursday.

In November, 71 per cent of Germans supported the introduction of mandatory Covid vaccination for adults, 14 per cent more than a month earlier, a recent DeutschlandTrend survey found.

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