Germany’s 7-day COVID incidence rate hits record high
GERMANY, RUSSIA: Germany’s incidence rate measuring the number of new coronavirus infections per 100,000 people over the last seven days soared to 201.1 on Monday, a record since the pandemic erupted more than a year ago.
The figure, published by Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI), surpasses the last high, which had been 197.6 reached on December 22, 2020.
While many more people in the country have had the jab than at that point last year, vaccination rates have stagnated at under 70 per cent, with officials pleading in the last days for the population to get the jab.
“For the unvaccinated, the risk is high that they will become infected in the coming months,” warned RKI chief Lothar Wieler on Wednesday.
In the eastern state of Saxony, where the incidence rate is more than twice the national average at 491.3, unvaccinated people face new restrictions from Monday.
Access to indoor dining and other indoor events will be limited to those who are fully vaccinated or can show proof of recovery.
A specialist wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) sprays disinfectant while sanitizing a building in the Russian capital Moscow.
The new rules are the toughest state-wide restrictions in Germany against non-inoculated people. Only children as well as those who cannot receive jabs for medical reasons will be exempt.
The surge in German cases comes with the country in political limbo following September’s general election.
The incoming coalition parties, aiming to form a government by early December, have so far ruled out mandatory jabs and said there will be no new lockdowns — at least not for the vaccinated.
Meanwhile, most of Russia on Monday ended a week-long paid holiday aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, despite the country seeing thousands of new cases and more than 1,000 deaths per day.
President Vladimir Putin ordered the paid holiday period from October 30 to November 7 in a bid to stem soaring infections and deaths exacerbated by a slow vaccination drive.
Individual regions had the authority to extend the period but as of Monday only five had done so, including the western region of Bryansk and the northwestern region of Novgorod.
A number of regions did however introduce or extend a requirement for proof of vaccination to visit restaurants, cafes and shopping centres. Moscow, the epicentre of the pandemic in Russia, still does not require proof of vaccination for most public activities.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was too early to say whether the week-long shutdown would help reduce infections.
“This will only become clear in a week,” he told reporters.
With more than 8.8 million cases registered since the start of the pandemic, Russia is one of the worst-hit countries in the world and a devastating wave this autumn has seen infections and deaths reach new records.
On Monday, authorities reported 39,400 new cases and 1,190 fatalities over the previous 24 hours.
The highest number for new infections — 41,335 — was recorded on Saturday, while the highest number of new deaths — 1,195 — was reported last Thursday.
Russia has rolled out several homegrown vaccines, including Sputnik V, but only about a third of the population is fully inoculated.
Authorities have been accused of playing down the pandemic and figures from statistics agency Rosstat in October showed nearly twice as many Covid deaths compared with the government tally.
Rosstat said 44,265 people died of coronavirus in September — nearly double the official government figure — bringing the agency’s total virus deaths to nearly 450,000, the highest in Europe. – NDTV