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Germany records first death from omicron variant

December 23, 2021

The person who died was between the ages of 60 and 79, according to the Robert Koch Institute health body. Germany has also registered a spike in omicron infections in recent days.

Medical staff care for a COVID patient in Bochum, Germany
German officials have warned the country could face a massive wave of new cases due to the omicron variantImage: Ina Fassbender/AFP/Getty Images

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)