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COVID-19 cases exceed 14 mln in Germany

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 08:32, February 25, 2022

BERLIN, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- The number of COVID-19 cases logged in Germany since the start of the pandemic has reached 14.19 million, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases said on Thursday.

After the Omicron peak has passed, the daily number of new COVID-19 infections declined to 216,322 on Thursday, around 19,300 less than a week ago. Germany's seven-day COVID-19 incidence rate also continued to fall and has reached 1,265 infections per 100,000 inhabitants.

The number of patients treated in intensive care units (ICUs) decreased by more than 100 to around 2,280, far below the peak of around 5,700 during the height of the second wave in early 2021, according to the German Intensive Care Availability Register (DIVI).

"We have only experienced the baby days of coronavirus," Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach said on Wednesday. The pandemic is not over yet and there is no certainty that future coronavirus variants might not be more dangerous.

Lauterbach stressed that mandatory vaccination is still necessary. "We have to take into account Germany's special position," he said. The share of unvaccinated people aged 60 and above in Germany -- the group particularly at risk from the virus -- is ten to 12 percent, much higher than in many other European countries.

The country's vaccination campaign is slowing down. According to official figures, only 148,000 vaccine shots were administered on Wednesday. To date, 47.1 million people have received a booster jab, and 19.7 million people are not vaccinated.

On Wednesday, the U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer said on Twitter that it had started to deliver its drug for the treatment of COVID-19 in Germany. This year, the company plans to deliver one million doses of the oral drug to the country.

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