German Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Thursday the number of coronavirus infections appeared to be on the decline after infection rates fell in the past three days.
However, he added that the decline was not enough to be sure the third wave of the pandemic in Germany was broken.
What did the minister say?
“I’ve been delighted over the last two or three days with the decrease in incidence, the decrease in numbers compared to the week before,” Spahn said.
The Minister noted that there had been an improvement in all parameters. However, he stressed that it had only been “very light” and that it was important to turn the tide in a decisive way.
“In my experience, now, after 14 months, two or three days, it’s not a trend,” Spahn said, preferring to call it “a good signal”.
“The numbers must not only stagnate, they must go down,” he said, adding that there were still too many people being treated in intensive care.
However, he said an accelerated vaccination campaign appeared to be helping, pointing to figures showing that more than a million people in Germany received a needle stick on Wednesday – more than 1% of the population in one day for the first time. time.
Spahn said nearly 30% of the population had now received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, while 7.5% had received the two doses needed for full protection. “It shows how much we have gained in speed,” said Spahn.
RKI echoes Spahn’s warning
The seven-day average of coronavirus cases in Germany fell for the third day in a row Thursday, to 155 per 100,000 people.
Data from the Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases (RKI) showed the incidence figure, which the German government uses to determine lockdown policies, was 169 on Monday. However, he has fallen every day since then.
Spahn also said at the press conference that he was confident that teens could get the shot in the coming months. This came after the announcement that BioNTech-Pfizer was to seek approval of its version of the vaccine for ages 12 to 15 immediately.
Speaking alongside Spahn, RKI chief Lothar Wieler backed the minister’s claim that it was too early to give the green light.
“Unfortunately, the pandemic is not over yet,” Lothar Wieler said, adding that COVID-19 cases remain too high and are in fact increasing among those under 60.
Germany has struggled to contain a third wave, with its efforts in recent months hampered by the more contagious British variant and a nationwide vaccination campaign that has been criticized for being too slow.