A third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have peaked in Germany and a record number of inoculations should help turn the tide, although it is too soon to sound the all-clear as hospitals remain overwhelmed, health officials reported on Thursday.
“The figures must not only stagnate, they must go down,” Health Minister Jens Spahn told a news conference, noting that a sustainable fall was a prerequisite for the lockdown to ease.
“2 to 3 days is not a trend. It is a good signal but what is decisive is to make a trend out of it,” he said, adding around 1.1 million people were inoculated on Wednesday, more than 1% of the population and more than on any other day so far.
Germany’s 7-day average of COVID-19 infections per 100,000 people fell on Thursday for the third day in a row to 155 – its lowest level in 2 weeks, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases revealed.
The incidence figure – a key metric used by the German government to determine when to tighten or ease lockdowns – reached 169 on Monday, but has fallen each day since then. The last time it was under 160 was on April 14, when the incidence was 153.
RKI President Lothar Wieler warned that the pandemic would not be over until it was under control worldwide, adding that global infections had increased 24% over the last week.