Germany is experiencing “a rise of worrying coronavirus mutations”, despite an overall decrease in new cases and an increase in people getting vaccinated, the German health minister said Friday.
The coronavirus variant first detected in the UK is now being found in every fifth person testing positive in Germany, the minister, Jens Spahn, said in a press conference.
“There are rising demands to end the lockdown and this is possible — but we need to be careful in order not to jeopardize our achievements,” Spahn added.
Germany’s public health authority, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), warned that the country’s infection numbers appear to be stagnating at a level that is still too high, threatening a current downward trend in positive cases.
On Friday, Germany recorded 9,113 new cases, a drop of 747 cases compared to a week ago. Coronavirus deaths stood at 508 within the last 24 hours, 48 less than last Friday. The latest data from RKI indicates that the number of new infections per 100,000 residents has fallen to 57.
Chancellor Angela Merkel previously said authorities would only lift the restrictions if the seven-day incidence rate fell to 35 cases per 100,000 infections.
As of Friday, 5 million people in Germany have received the first shot of the coronavirus vaccine, while 3 million have received both doses, according to Spahn. By the end of next week 10 million coronavirus vaccines will have been distributed across Germany.