Germany reports daily record of 294,931 new COVID-19 infections

Baku, March 17, AZERTAC

Germany on Thursday reported a record number of daily coronavirus cases with nearly 300,000 new infections, according to Anadolu Agency.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the country’s disease control agency, confirmed 294,931 new COVID-19 cases, the highest rate registered since the pandemic began in early 2020.

Health authorities reported 278 coronavirus-related fatalities on Thursday, up from 259 deaths on the same day last week. Experts are warning that upward trend in new cases could signify the country might be heading towards a new wave of the virus. The relaxation of anti-coronavirus measures last month and the spread of the highly contagious omicron sub-variant BA.2 were the main factors driving the spike in cases.

The new subtype, which is more transmissible than the initial omicron strain BA.1, now accounts for more than 48% of sequenced coronavirus cases in the country, according to the RKI. Despite the surge in infections, the majority of new cases have been mild so far, not requiring hospitalization.

On Wednesday, 2,168 coronavirus patients were admitted to hospitals, while nearly 2,300 patients with COVID-19 were receiving treatment in intensive care units, where more than 2,800 beds were free. According to experts, Germany’s high vaccination coverage among the elderly has been effective in preventing COVID-related hospitalization despite the fresh surge in infections.

Nearly 89% of people aged 60 and above are fully vaccinated, and 78% of them have also received a booster dose, according to the latest figures. But still, more than 2 million people in this age group are unvaccinated and a major concern for health authorities. Germany is among the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic in Western Europe, with one of the highest caseloads in the region, just behind France and the UK.

The country of 83 million has reported nearly 18 million infections and 126,420 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

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