German Covid-19 infections hit record high amid Omicron wave

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Germany’s seven-day Covid-19 incidence rate exceeded 600 for the first time as 638.8 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants were recorded, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases has said.

Due to the more contagious Omicron variant that is spreading across Europe, daily infections in Germany also climbed to a new record as 133,536 cases were registered within 24 hours, around 52,000 more than a week ago, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the RKI.

Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach warned that the peak of the Omicron wave in Germany was not reached yet. “The wave will roughly peak in mid-February,” Lauterbach told broadcaster ZDF on Wednesday, expecting “several 100,000 cases per day.”

As laboratory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests were in short supply, Lauterbach wants to prioritise employees in the healthcare sector and is planning to present a corresponding proposal this weekend.

“We will get such high case numbers that we will have to distribute PCR tests, prioritize.”

The number of PCR tests in Germany conducted within a week just reached an all-time high of almost 2 million, of which one in four had a positive result, according to latest figures by the Association of Accredited Laboratories in Medicine (ALM).

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