Covid-19 case rates in Germany have hit record highs as state leaders warn that without urgent action another winter lockdown is imminent.
Today, Germany’s national disease control centre, the Robert Koch Institute, reported record levels of new coronavirus infections per 100,000 people over the last seven days.
According to Our World in Data, on 7 November, the number of daily new confirmed cases soared to 26,400 on a seven-day-rolling average – higher than the previous peak of 25,600 last December.
It’s important to note that Germany’s daily positive testing rate, at 12.2 per cent as a weekly rolling average, is notably higher than other European countries including the UK’s, which is just 4.6 per cent.
Alarm bells are ringing throughout Europe; last week, the World Health Organisation expressed “grave concern” over the rising infection rate across the continent. “We are, once again, at the epicentre,” WHO Europe director Hans Kluge told a press conference on 4 November.
One day earlier, the German health minister, Jens Spahn, described the escalating situation as a “massive” pandemic of the unvaccinated. As the New Statesman’s Ido Vock reported, vaccine uptake in Germany is lower than in other large European nations, with just 66 per cent of the population fully vaccinated against the disease.
Deaths in Germany are also climbing: today, the Robert Koch Institute recorded 116 deaths per 100,000 people across the country.
[See also: International coronavirus vaccine tracker: how many people have been vaccinated?]