A record-high number of new coronavirus cases on Wednesday was reported as one of Germany’s top virologists warned that another lockdown would be needed if vaccinations do not quickly accelerate.

According to the Robert Koch Institute, 39,676 cases registered by the Institute surpassed the previous daily record of 37,120 new cases reported Friday. The institute said Germany’s infection rate rose to 232.1 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days.

The head of virology at Berlin’s Charite Hospital Christian Drosten said that we have a real emergency situation right now, said regarding the situation at many hospital intensive care units across the country. We have to do something right now.

Government officials have repeatedly said they do not intend to impose lockdowns and have instead appealed to residents to get vaccinated.

Germany currently has a caretaker national government following a September federal election. The parties that are expected to form the next government plan to introduce legislation this week that would allow a declaration since March 2020 of an “epidemic situation of national scope” to expire at the end of the month and provide a new legal framework for instituting coronavirus measures.

Several hospitals have said in recent days that they are again working at their limits and have ICUs so full of COVID-19 patients that they cannot admit new patients at the moment.

Berlin’s Charite said Tuesday it had to cancel planned surgeries due to the number of staff members caring for people with COVID-19. Authorities have said most of the latest patients are unvaccinated.

According to official figures about 67% of Germany’s population of 83 million is fully vaccinated. Unlike in some other European countries, the government has baulked at making vaccines mandatory for any professional group.

According to official figures, since the start of the pandemic, 96,963 people have died of COVID-19 in Germany.

Merkel calls urgent meeting on Covid-19

On the other side, Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for an urgent meeting with Germany’s state premiers after the country’s Covid-19 cases hit a new daily record on Wednesday.

Germany Chanellor Angela Merkel

The disease is “spreading dramatically,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in Berlin on Wednesday, and a “quick and unified response” was required.

He said that Merkel was in intensive discussions with ministers, the regional governments and the possible future coalition parties.  The virus takes no account of political processes or transitional periods.

Merkel has repeatedly made it clear that she is ready for a conference of state premiers. So far, however, there has been no consensus among Germany’s regional authorities.

One of the things to be discussed in a federal-state roundtable would be a joint effort to achieve a quicker roll-out of booster vaccinations.

In Merkel’s view, there should also be a nationally agreed threshold, measured by hospital bed occupancy, after which additional measures would have to be taken.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.