We've been watching the steady rise in COVID rates in Europe for the past few weeks (see here, here, and here), and today the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) released figures showing the infection rate (per 100,000 people) over the past 7 days has been the highest on record.
Some headlines this morning include:
As the heat map above suggests, the rate of infection varies considerably across Germany, with the highest rates in the eastern part of the country. The following chart from RKI shows more than a 6-fold difference between the lowest infection rates in Schleswig-Holstein and the highest rates in Saxony.
Given the eastward creep of COVID from Eastern Europe we are seeing, this has to be raising red flags in Germany.
Some excerpts from today's COVID summary from RKI:
• Yesterday, 15,513 new laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases as well as 33 new deaths associated with COVID-19 were transmitted to the RKI in Germany. The national 7-day incidence is 201.1 cases per 100,000 population. The 7-day incidence in federal states lies between 491.3 cases per 100,000 population in Saxony and 75.5 per 100,000 population in SchleswigHolstein.
• Overall, +296 new hospitalisations with COVID-19 were reported, the 7-day incidence of hospitalised cases is 3.93 per 100,000 population.
• On 07/11/2021 (12:15 AM), 2,532 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care units (ICU), +83 cases compared to the day before. The proportion of COVID-19 occupancy in total number of operable ICU beds for adults is 11.5 %.
• Since 26/12/2020, 113,164,222 vaccine doses have been administered in Germany. Overall, 69.7 % of the population in Germany have been vaccinated at least once.4 67.1 % have received a complete course of vaccination against COVID-19.
Epidemiological Situation in Germany (as of 08/11/2021, 0:00 AM)
Since January 2020, a total of 4,782,546 (+15,513) laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported to and validated by the RKI (Table 1). The geographical distribution of cases of the last 7 days is shown in Figure 1. Please see the COVID-19 dashboard (https://corona.rki.de/) for information on the number of COVID-19 cases by county (local health authority).
Estimation of the reproduction number (R), taking into account the reporting delay (Nowcasting) Figure 3 shows the course of estimated 7-day R-value.
Starting today residents and visitors to Saxony will have to abide by new COVID restrictions, as outlined in the following report from the Anadolu Agency News Service.
As bad as things currently are in parts of Germany, the rates of infection in Slovenia, Georgia, and Croatia are more than 3 times higher (see chart below).
A vaccination certificate and recent COVID test are still required for travelers from Europe, so the door isn't wide open, but the COVID pandemic was in much better control in Europe last September when these new travel regulations were announced.