On the first day of the new year, the German health authorities reported 12 690 new corona infections. In addition, 336 new deaths were recorded within 24 hours, as the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced on Saturday morning. Interpretation of the data is currently difficult, however, because fewer people were likely tested during the Christmas holidays and around the turn of the year, and not all offices may have submitted their data. According to the RKI, this may result in late registrations. A week ago, on Christmas Day, 14 455 new corona infections and 240 deaths were registered. The high of 1129 new deaths was reached on Wednesday (December 30th).
The number of new infections reported to the health authorities within seven days per 100,000 inhabitants (seven-day incidence) was 141.2 on Saturday morning. Its previous high was reached on December 22nd at 197.6. The differences between the federal states, however, are enormous: the highest incidences were on Friday, New Year’s Day, Saxony with 341.2 and Thuringia with 244.7. Schleswig-Holstein had the lowest value with 74.2.
The RKI has counted 1,755,351 detected infections with Sars-CoV-2 in Germany since the beginning of the pandemic (as of January 2nd, 00:00). The total number of people who died with or with the involvement of a proven infection with Sars-CoV-2 rose to 33,960. The RKI stated the number of people recovered to be around 1,368,100.
According to the RKI report on Thursday, the nationwide seven-day R-value was 0.80 (Tuesday: 0.68). This R value means that 100 infected people theoretically infect 80 more people. The value represents the occurrence of the infection 8 to 16 days ago. If it is below 1 for a long time, the infection process subsides. In its report, however, the RKI emphasizes that at the turn of the year corona cases are only displayed, recorded and transmitted with a delay, “so that the R-value may also be underestimated”.
Doctors for lockdown extension
With a view to the federal-state switch, medical representatives are urgently calling for a nationwide uniform extension of the lockdown measures on Tuesday: “The burden of caring for patients with Covid-19 has also increased on the holidays,” said the chairwoman of the medical union Marburger Bund, Susanne Johna, the newspapers of the Funke media group. The clinics have no breathing space. “The health system urgently needs relief that can only be achieved by extending the measures to restrict contact. Otherwise we will not get the situation under control.”
The situation is exacerbated by the fact that more and more patients in intensive care units and infection wards have to be cared for with fewer and fewer staff because hospital staff are also infected with the virus. This extreme workload cannot be shouldered permanently. She would like “an extension of the contact restrictions as uniformly as possible from the meeting of the prime ministers next week,” said Johna.
The chairwoman of the Marburger Bund also dampened the hope of a quick relaxation through the start of the vaccinations: “Despite all optimism, it must be clear to us that the vaccination can hardly be expected to ease the infection situation, at least in the first three months of the new year. ” In view of the new, highly infectious virus variant, the goal of an incidence of 50 cases per week per 100,000 inhabitants is particularly important: “We must not lose sight of this target.”
The doctor rejected proposals to change the corona strategy and only protect risk groups: “The more than 20 million people of old age or with previous illnesses can only be consistently protected if the transmission of the virus decreases throughout the population. “
RKI: Now more than 160,000 vaccinations
More than 160,000 people in Germany have been vaccinated against the coronavirus so far. A total of 165 575 vaccinations had been reported to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) by Friday noon. Compared to the previous day, the number of people vaccinated increased by 31,846, as can be seen from the RKI information. However, this number could also contain late registrations and does not reflect the number of those actually vaccinated on a day, emphasizes the RKI.
Among the vaccinated are 71,590 residents of nursing homes. 77 253 people received the vaccination for professional reasons. This includes medical staff with a very high risk of infection and staff in care for the elderly. A total of 39 214 people were vaccinated because of their old age over 80 years.
Most vaccinations have so far been recorded in Bavaria (37 955), followed by 24 924 in North Rhine-Westphalia and 21 373 in Hesse. At the beginning of the vaccination campaign, the RKI does not indicate the percentage of people vaccinated in the total population. According to the Ministry of Health in North Rhine-Westphalia, 55,000 people had been vaccinated against the corona virus by the turn of the year, according to the Ministry of Health. The number is thus significantly higher than reported by the RKI. “The data of the RKI vaccination rate monitoring only shows part of the previous vaccination process. The reason for this is that the reports on the vaccination process are sometimes transmitted with some delay,” explains a spokesman for the NRW Ministry of Health. Such a delay is also possible in other federal states.
Court overturns ban on gatherings on New Year’s Eve in NRW
The North Rhine-Westphalian Higher Administrative Court temporarily lifted a demonstration ban imposed by the state for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. A spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior confirmed a corresponding decision by the Münster court on Thursday. There was no confirmation from the court itself on New Year’s Eve. The WDR had previously reported.
The state government had in the Corona Protection Ordinance for December 31. and the 1.1. Demonstrations are strictly prohibited. Behind this was the concern that registered gatherings could be abused to circumvent the ban on New Year’s Eve celebrations. The judges found this regulation to be unlawful and disproportionate – the authorities could guarantee protection against infection even without the general ban on gatherings. “Theoretically, demos could still be registered with it today. New Year’s Eve celebrations in public spaces are still prohibited,” it says in a report by WDR.
The police stations in the country were therefore informed about the new legal situation shortly before the turn of the year, confirmed the ministry spokesman. Should demonstrations be registered at short notice, the police, as the supervisory authority, would monitor them accordingly.
Calls after a long lockdown increase
Less than a week before the federal-state consultations on the lockdown, more and more officials and politicians are calling for an extension of the existing lockdown. The German Hospital Association (DKG) referred to a further increase in patient numbers and warned against overloading the clinics.
“The numbers will decline from mid-January at the earliest, if the lockdown takes effect,” said DKG President Gerald Gass to the editorial network in Germany. “The hospitals’ clear demand on politicians is: The contact restrictions must remain beyond January 10,” Gass emphasized.
“Only the consistent and extended lockdown will determine the fate of the next few months and lead to lower numbers of infections,” said SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach in the Rheinische Post. With a look at the vaccinations that had started, he warned against leaning back. With the previously low amount of vaccine, there will be “no significant impact on the number of infections” by the end of March, warned Lauterbach.
The Saarland Prime Minister Tobias Hans (CDU) told the newspaper that the lockdown “is and was necessary, and it will probably have to be extended at the beginning of January”.
Michael Müller (SPD), Governing Mayor of Berlin and Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Conference, apparently also does not rule out tightening the corona restrictions. “If the number of infections remains so high, then I assume that we will at least extend these measures that we have now,” he said on RTL / ntv with a view to the upcoming meeting of the federal states with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU ) on January 5th.
The current contact restrictions, which came into force on December 16, continue to apply until January 10. The aim of the nationwide restrictions is to reduce the number of new corona infections per 100,000 inhabitants to a maximum of 50 within one week.