Germany’s climbing number of Covid-19 cases passes critical benchmark

Germany’s seven-day incidence of new coronavirus infections has passed a critical benchmark that is a factor in the government determining whether tougher lockdown measures are to be reimposed.

The number of new infections per 100,000 residents for the whole of Germany over the past week has risen to 103.9, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases said on Sunday.

Exceeding the 100 figure often means that coronavirus rules that had been eased up at a local level are tightened once again.

For example, on Friday, authorities in Hamburg reversed the loosening of coronavirus containment measures after its seven-day incidence rate soared above 100. It is now in a much tougher lockdown.

The nationwide incidence of more than 100 is primarily of symbolic significance at the moment – it does not automatically trigger new measures for all of Germany.

But the figure is sure to play a role in talks on coronavirus restrictions scheduled for Monday between Chancellor Angela Merkel and state premiers, as the country grapples with an accelerating third wave, a slow vaccine rollout and growing lockdown fatigue.

Within one day, 13,733 new infections were reported as of Sunday – up from the 10,790 reported one week ago.

In addition, 99 new virus-related deaths were reported within 24 hours – up from the 70 reported one week ago.

According to the RKI, 2,659,516 people have been infected in Germany since the start of the pandemic. The actual total number is likely to be much higher, as many infections go undetected.

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