Vaccination proceeding slowly in Germany as coronavirus cases rise

Almost two thirds of people resident in Germany have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, as the number of cases rises steadily, the official disease control body, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), reported on Friday.

In its weekly report, the RKI warned of a spike in COVID-19 cases over the coming months.

“It is expected that in the course of autumn and winter, the increase in the number of cases will accelerate,’’ it said.

It also pointed to a significant increase in outbreaks in medical and care facilities, as well as old people’s homes.

By Friday, just 66.1 per cent of the population had received their two jabs, while 69.1 per cent had been vaccinated at least once.

The figures are lower than in the neighbouring countries Denmark and the Netherlands but much the same as in France.

The seven-day incidence rate climbed on Friday morning to 95.1 per 100,000, going past 90 for the first time since mid-May.

It was 85.6 on Thursday and 68.7 a week ago.

The reproduction rate – or R-value – is also climbing, and was put at 1.28 on Friday.

In a survey of the economic costs of the pandemic, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) predicted that hospitalisation of COVID patients would cost 180 million euros ($210 million) per week through the winter.

Increasing the vaccination rate would help to reduce this, the IfW said.

The premiers of Germany’s 16 states, currently holding their annual conference in Koenigswinter, were on Friday considering a measure calling on the government to keep federal controls in place through the winter.

On Monday, federal Health Minister, Jens Spahn, backed allowing the current federal emergency provisions to come to an end when their parliamentary mandate expires on Nov. 25.

It would then be up to the individual states to enact their own measures.

The situation is complicated by the fact that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet is now governing in an acting capacity as coalition talks proceed. (dpa/NAN)

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