At a time where testing facilities are operating at maximum capacity, this figure is a grim new record.
The Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s disease control and prevention authority, has reported 112,323 new Covid-19 infections within the last 24 hours. The figure, which was released on Wednesday morning, marks a new all-time high, up 20,000 from last Friday’s 92,223 cases. According to estimates, the virus has also killed 239 people over the course of the day.
Covid infection in Germany could have a higher rate than official statistics suggest. There are many laboratories and testing centers across the country that have worked at full capacity for several days. Many of these facilities are failing to meet the required 24-hour timeframe for testing results.
Speaking to the dpa news agency, Andreas Bobrowski, the chair of the German Association of Laboratory Pathologists, warned that “In northern Germany testing laboratories are stretched beyond their limits.” He added that Omicron accounted for more than 90% of new Covid cases, with laboratories in central and southern parts of the country also increasingly under strain. He suggested that the time it takes for results to be available from swabs might soon increase to 36, 48 or more hours.
Against this grim background, Germany’s health minister, Karl Lauterbach, told RTL TV channel that the nation should brace itself for double the current figures when it “Mid-February is the peak time for the wave.” and said it was only then that the “There could be a decrease in the number of cases.”
Lauterbach also supported a broad mandate to all Germans for vaccination, arguing that it would help turn the tide of the pandemic.
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