Covid-19 infection risk in Germany remains high despite falling cases

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Berlin, Aug 20 (IANS) The number of daily Covid-19 infections in Germany continues to fall, but the infection risk remains high, the country’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases said.

This week, 46,724 new infections were registered, around 3,000 less than one week ago, RKI said in its weekly report on Friday. However, it warned: “Despite the decline in case numbers, the infection risk for the general population remains high for all age groups.”

The associated burden on the healthcare system also remains high, “even though the operating situation has improved slightly in the past week.”

In the coming weeks, RKI expects to see continued high number of hospitalisations, both Covid-19 patients requiring intensive care and fatalities from the disease, particularly in the older age groups.

Vaccination remains important as it protects against severe forms of Covid-19 caused by the Omicron variant, RKI stressed. Unvaccinated persons of all age groups have a “significantly higher risk of a severe Covid-19 case,” it said.

The more contagious Omicron variants caused a summer wave in Germany that peaked in July. The Omicron BA.5 subvariant, which became dominant in mid-June, has almost completely displaced other variants, now accounting for 95 per cent of cases, Xinhua news agency reported.

German vaccine developer BioNTech announced earlier this August would be able to deliver its Covid-19 vaccines adapted to the Omicron BA.1 and BA.4/5 subvariants in time for fall booster campaigns if given regulatory approval.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach told German news portal t-online on Friday that enough vaccines adapted to the Omicron variants had been ordered for all citizens. However, elderly or vulnerable people should not wait for the latest vaccines before getting a booster shot, he added.

Of the 69.4 million adults in Germany aged 18 years or above, 85.3 per cent are vaccinated against Covid-19. More than 72 per cent have received one booster vaccination, while nearly 10 per cent have received two booster shots, according to official figures.



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