Germany braces for seasonal Covid spike

Berlin, Oct 23 (IANS): Rising numbers of Covid-19 cases in Germany this week have led experts to predict a spike in infections this fall and winter.

For the first time since May, Germany's seven-day Covid-19 incidence exceeded 90, with 95.1 cases per 100,000 people, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced on Friday.

The seven-day incidence jumped by ten points within one day. A week ago, the average incidence rate in Germany still stood at 68.7, according to RKI, the federal government agency for disease control and prevention.

The trend of rising incidences which first emerged in September was "noticeable in almost all age groups in the last week", the RKI wrote in its weekly report published on Thursday.

Daily Covid-19 infections in Germany also picked up as 19,572 new cases were registered within a day, around 8,000 more than a week ago, according to the RKI.

"The increase in the number of cases is expected to further accelerate in the course of the fall and winter," the RKI warned in its weekly report.

Although Covid-19 infection figures are rising, a recent survey by market research institute YouGov showed that almost one in two Germans were not at all or not very concerned about getting infected, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not.

Till date, almost 55 million people in Germany have been fully vaccinated, bringing the country's vaccination rate to 66.1 per cent.

"Germany's low Covid-19 vaccination rate could be expensive for the healthcare system," the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel) warned, stressing that a higher vaccination rate would mean lower costs.

This winter, treating people hospitalised with Covid-19 in Germany could cost 180 million euros per week.



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