Germany reports downward trend in COVID-19 cases

A decline in Germany’s coronavirus cases continues as the number of infections per 100,000 people in seven days fell to 94.4 on Friday – the lowest figure since October.

Speaking at a news conference in Berlin, Professor Lothar Wieler, head of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), said the seven-day incidence rate dropped below 100 for the first time on Thursday and the downward trend continued today.

“We are on the right path, but we must resolutely pursue this path further,” Wieler said, urging people to strictly observe safety measures.

He warned that the recently detected more contagious COVID-19 variants remain a source of great concern for authorities.

“We’re receiving reports of growing number of infections and outbreaks due to these variants. We still don’t know completely the special characteristics of these variants,” he said.

“We don’t know yet whether they are more dangerous or not, and with regards to some of the variants, we also don’t know whether vaccinated people, and patients who have recovered from COVID-19, have immunity against them.”

The RKI has already confirmed that the more contagious UK, Brazil, and South Africa mutations have been detected in several cities of Germany, but the institution is yet to release a detailed report on how many infections have been caused by the new variants.

Wieler said the Health Ministry has launched a new program to closely track the coronavirus mutations, and the RKI would probably release its first report early next month after receiving sequencing reports from laboratories across the country.

- New cases below 20,000

Germany managed to bring down its daily coronavirus case count below 20,000 this week, with its strict lockdown measures set to remain in force at least until Feb. 14.

Schools, daycares, and all non-essential shops remain closed nationwide.

Wearing “medical” masks is mandatory on public transport and companies are required to ask all employees to work from home.

Germany’s tally of over 2.19 million cases, which includes at least 55,752 deaths, is currently the fifth-highest in Western Europe, behind the UK, France, Spain, and Italy.

Source: Anadolu Agency