Germany passes 100,000 new COVID-19 infections in past 24 hours: health agency

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jan 19 2022 03:37 PM

Health workers treat a patient rtr
Health workers treat a patient as Bundeswehr General Mayor Carsten Breuer, head of the COVID-19 emergency task force of the German government (not pictured), visits a COVID-19 intensive care station in Munich, Germany, Dec. 22, 2021. Peter Kneffel/Pool/Reuters/File

BERLIN—Germany has registered more than 100,000 new COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours, according to data released by the country's public health agency on Wednesday.

Europe's biggest economy recorded 112,323 coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours and 239 fatalities, the Robert Koch Institute said.

The weekly incidence rate reached 584.4 new infections per 100,000 people over 7 days, the agency added.

Germany has further tightened curbs to cut contamination, limiting access to bars and restaurants to people who have received their booster jabs or who are tested on top of being fully vaccinated or recovered.

Contact restrictions are also in place keeping private gatherings to 10 people, or 2 households if an unvaccinated person is present.

Germany's record rise in coronavirus cases comes as omicron has become the dominant variant, accounting for more than 70 percent of new infections.

Other European countries are also battling soaring omicron rates, with neighboring France recently averaging around 300,000 cases daily.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is seeking to introduce compulsory vaccinations to ramp up the immunity of the 83-million-strong population, of which 60 million are fully vaccinated.

But resistance has been growing in the country where the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine was first developed, with the business-friendly FDP party -- junior partners in his coalition -- casting doubt on the project.

Hundreds, at times thousands, of protesters have also been taking to the streets to rail against the government's COVID strategy and planned vaccine mandate.

Despite the dissent, Scholz insisted that vaccinations are necessary. 

"I, for one, believe that it is necessary and will actively push for it," Scholz told parliament last week at his first question time as chancellor.

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