Bonn/Region At the beginning of this new week the nationwide seven-day incidence rate is 65.8. In Bonn the incidence rate has lowered over the weekend to under 60, whilst in Cologne it has increased slightly. Here are some entries on the corona pandemic from the GA live blog.
Seven-day incidence rate in NRW is 64.4
On Monday the seven-day incidence rate in North Rhine Westphalia rose slightly by 0.3 to 64.4 cases, according to data on the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) website. This refers to the number of new cases reported per 100,000 inhabitants in one week. A week ago, the figure was 61.7. This means that the gap is widening from the rate of 35, at which politicians have promised an extensive easing of the corona restrictions.
The highest incidence rate in NRW is in Solingen with 133.8, slightly higher than the Märkische district (127.5). NRW’s largest city Cologne has reported a rate of 72, the capital city Düsseldorf 51.8 and Dortmund 63.7. Rates are under the target of 35 in Münster (30.8), Coesfeld (31.3) and Bielefeld (34.4).
Around 4,700 new infections in Germany
The health authorities in Germany have reported 4,732 new corona infections to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in one day. In addition, 60 further deaths were recorded within 24 hours. This is according to figures released by the RKI on Monday. Exactly one week ago, the RKI had recorded 4,369 new infections and 62 new deaths within one day. The number of cases reported by the RKI is usually lower on Monday, partly because there is less testing over the weekend.
According to the RKI, the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants reported within seven days was 65.8 nationwide on Monday morning - higher than the previous day (63.8). Four weeks ago, on 1 February, the incidence rate was 91. The previous peak was reached on 22 December with 197.6.
The RKI reports more than 2,447,068 million infections with Sars-CoV-2 in Germany since the beginning of the pandemic. The actual total number is likely to be much higher, as many infections are undetected. The total number of people who have died from or with a proven infection with Sars-CoV-2 has risen to 70,105.
Growing backlog of vaccines in Germany
In the US, the corona vaccine produced by the American company Johnson & Johnson has been approved - in the EU and thus also in Germany, approval is expected in mid-March. In Germany, there is a growing backlog of vaccines that are already available.
Large quantities of the Astrazeneca vaccine continue to pile up in the refrigerators of the federal states. According to the RKI, only 364,000 doses had been given by Friday. According to the Federal Ministry of Health, more than 1.4 million doses have been delivered. Another 1.7 million Astrazeneca doses are planned for the coming days as of Saturday.
At the same time, there has been heated debate in recent days over who should receive the vaccines, which are still overall in short supply. The German states are proceeding differently in this regard. In Baden-Wuerttemberg, for example, teaching staff and nursery school teachers can make vaccination appointments - but not cancer patients and people over 70. In Berlin, on the other hand, people over 70 have been invited to be vaccinated.
It remains unclear why large quantities of the Astrazeneca vaccine are unused. Some believe the main reason is the federal states’ lack of organisation of the vaccinations - others put it down to the negative attitude of many people towards this vaccine. It has a lower effectiveness rate (of 70 to 80 percent) than the Moderna and Bion-tech/Pfizer vaccines.
NRW ministers and employers: do not stay in lockdown
NRW Minister for Economic Affairs Andreas Pinkwart (FDP) has spoken out in favour of a gradual re-opening of retail and gastronomy in March. By Easter, this should also be possible for holiday homes and hotels, he told the ‘Handelsblatt’ (Sunday). In the meantime, there are many tools to fight pandemics that allow “more intelligent solutions than blanket closures”, he said.
With a view to the new consultations between the federal and state governments next Wednesday, Pinkwart called for a reliable nationwide framework for opening. After months of closures in several sectors, there is the threat of “considerable imbalances in the economy and society”. A change of strategy is needed, he stated.
Incidence rate in Cologne exceeds 70
On Sunday the incidence rate in Cologne was 70.7. 1,208 people in Cologne are currently infected with coronavirus. There are now 166 people in hospital quarantine, 49 of these are in intensive care. One further death connected to coronavirus has been reported to the Cologne health authority, concerning an 83-year-old man with a pre-existing condition. This means that the total number of deaths has increased to 530.
Incidence rate lowers in Bonn and Rhine-Sieg District
The seven-day incidence rate in Bonn on Sunday has fallen slightly. According to the municipal authorities the rate is 54.6. On Saturday, the figure was 55.8. The city recorded 180 new infections in the last seven days, with 344 people considered currently infected. 9,443 people have tested positive for coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic, 186 people have died in connection with the virus.
According to the North Rhine-Westphalia State Centre for Health, the incidence rate in the Rhein-Sieg District is 48.8 (as of midnight on Sunday). Furthermore, 23 new cases were reported, bringing the total number of reported cases to 15,663.
(Original texts: GA, Translation: Caroline Kusch)