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New daily infections pass 250,000 in Germany

March 10, 2022

Coronavirus infections in Germany have passed 250,000 in a single day for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.

A person holding a cell phone showing an increase of 262,752 COVID-19 infections
Cases could be even higher as some testing facilities are working at limited capacityImage: Rüdiger Wölk/imago images

Germany recorded a record high number of coronavirus infections, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said on Thursday.

Over the previous 24 hours, 262,752 people were confirmed infected with COVID-19. That number was 210,673 a week ago.

Experts have said the number of cases could be even higher since many German testing facilities were operating with limited capacity.

The RKI, Germany's public health agency for infectious diseases, said 259 people died in Germany of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

The number of cases per 100,000 people over the last seven days also increased to 1,388.5, the RKI reported. That marks an increase from 1,319 on Wednesday.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 16.5 million people in Germany have been infected with the coronavirus and 125,023 people in the country have died because of or with the virus.

Compromise agreement

The surge in cases comes as the coalition government has agreed on a set of new COVID-19 measures. Current coronavirus restrictions are set to expire on March 19. 

The new steps are being seen as a compromise between Health Minister Karl Lauterbach of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and Justice Minister Marco Buschmann of the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP).

Lauterbach has generally favored a strict approach erring on the side of safety, while the FDP has led calls for strategies enabling a loosening of restrictions.

What does the agreement entail?

Under the new agreement, only basic measures such as the wearing of masks on public transport, and testing to protect the particularly vulnerable in nursing homes or hospitals would be kept in place.

But states would have the option to introduce "hotspot measures" under certain conditions: for example, if infections surge or if a new coronavirus variant of concern emerges.

Those measures could mean the reintroduction of restrictions on entry to venues, allowing access only to those who are vaccinated and/or tested.

For that to happen, however, state parliaments must vote in favor, and the precise extent of the hotspot must be defined.

The new provisions are expected to stay in place until September 23, with authorities expecting a new wave of infections in the fall.

The states will have a transition period until April 2 to implement the new agreement.

sms/mmc (DPA, Reuters)