Germany recorded its first death from the omicron variant of the coronavirus on Thursday, the Berlin-based Robert Koch Institute (RKI) health agency announced.
The RKI said the person was between the ages of 60 and 79.
So far, 3198 omicron cases have been detected in Germany — with an increase in cases of 25% from Wednesday to Thursday. Of these 3198 cases, 48 people were treated in the hospital.
Germany expects New Year surge of omicron infections
The announcement comes after German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said he expects a surge in cases from the variant around the New Year.
Germany will enact new restrictions starting December 28 to curb the spread of infection. These measures include limiting private gatherings to a maximum of 10 people and the closure of nightclubs and discos.
Germany has also expanded travel restrictions, forcing incoming travelers from variant-hit areas such as South Africa and the UK to quarantine.
Protests against new COVID restrictions have occurred across the country in recent days. A demonstration of 5,000 people in the southern German city of Munich, for example, turned violent late Wednesday.
The omicron variant is also having an impact on the German economy. German national airline Lufthansa said Thursday that it would slash its winter flight schedule by "around 10 percent" due to a "sharp drop off in bookings."
wd/aw (Reuters, AFP)