RKI reports 200,000 new corona infections: new omicron subtype

DThe number of new corona infections and the incidence have again reached new highs. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) gave the number of new infections in the past 24 hours on Wednesday morning as 208,498. This exceeded the previous high of 203,136 from last Thursday. Meanwhile, the seven-day incidence stood at 1227.5 on Wednesday, up from the previous record of 1206.2 the previous day.

As the RKI further announced, 196 further deaths in connection with the corona virus were also recorded on Wednesday.

The health authorities reported 162,613 new infections on Tuesday, compared to 164,000 on Wednesday a week ago.

The incidence was 940.6 a week ago. The indicator quantifies the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants over a period of seven days.

According to the RKI, the health authorities have recorded a total of 10,186,644 cases of infection since the beginning of the pandemic. The RKI puts the number of people who have recovered from corona disease in Germany at around 7,789,600. Mathematically, around 2.4 million people in Germany are currently infected with the corona virus. The total number of registered corona deaths in Germany is now 118,170.

In November, the federal and state governments had defined the so-called hospitalization incidence as the decisive benchmark for tightening or relaxing the corona measures. This value indicates how many people per 100,000 inhabitants are hospitalized within seven days because of a corona infection. According to the current RKI report, the hospitalization incidence nationwide on Tuesday was 4.59.

Omicron subtype BA.2 is spreading rapidly

A subtype of the omicron variant of the coronavirus is spreading rapidly around the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday, subvariant BA.2 has now been detected in 57 countries. In some countries, the subvariant now accounts for more than half of all virus gene sequences collected. The WHO emphasized that there is little knowledge as to how exactly BA.2 differs from the previously dominant subtypes BA.1 and BA.1.1.

Maria Van Kerkhove, one of the WHO’s leading Covid experts, said that some initial data indicated that BA.2 had “a slightly increased growth rate compared to BA.1”. However, so far there have been “no signs of a change in the severity” of BA.2. However, she stressed that regardless of the strain, Covid remains a dangerous disease and people should avoid contagion.

The highly contagious omicron variant now accounts for 93 percent of all coronavirus samples collected. This includes the sub-variants BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2 and BA.3. According to the WHO, BA.1 and BA.1.1 – the first identified versions – still account for more than 96 percent of the omicron findings uploaded to the database of the global science initiative GISAID.