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Coronavirus digest: Germany's incidence rate rises sharply logo 2021-03-13
a sign on a city street: Germany still has strict measures in place in a bid to control the spread of the coronavirus © Provided by Germany still has strict measures in place in a bid to control the spread of the coronavirus

Germany's seven-day incidence rate for coronavirus infections on Saturday continued its rise of the past few days, reaching 76.1 cases per 100,000 residents. That represents a sharp increase over Friday, where the rate was 72.4, itself a marked jump from the day before.


The figure is used as a guideline by German authorities to help determine when lockdown measures should be imposed. A week ago, the incidence rate was 65.6.

Last week, Germany eased some curbs but state premiers agreed the harshest measures would be automatically reimposed if the rate went above 100.

But two states — Brandenburg and North Rhine-Westphalia — have since said they would not necessarily put strict restrictions in place if the figure is reached.

Germany's public health agency, the Robert Koch Institute, reported 12,674 new coronavirus infections in the 24-hour period to Saturday morning — 3,117 more than in the same period one week ago.

Vaccination woes

The rising numbers come as the EU and Germany's vaccination drive continues to suffer setbacks. On Friday evening, the vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca again announced a cut in the number of doses it can supply to the bloc by the middle of the year. Instead of the 220 million doses originally planned, it says it can deliver only 100 million. The company says the fall is due to export restrictions but gave no details. The announcement comes as several EU countries say they are suspending vaccination with AstraZeneca doses amid concerns about a possible link to blood clots.

In addition, German Health Minister Jens Spahn has announced that the newly authorized vaccine from Johnson & Johnson will not be supplied to Germany before the middle or end of April. EU sources said this had to do with US export policies. President Joe Biden has said vaccinations must first be secured for US residents before any surplus of doses is shared with the rest of the world.

More from Europe

Russia has reported 9,908 new COVID-19 cases, taking its total case tally to 4,380,525 since the pandemic began. on Saturday. The capital, Moscow, accounted for 1,600 of those cases. The government coronavirus task force also said that 475 people had died of causes related to a coronavirus infection in the last 24 hours, bringing the country's COVD death toll to 91,695.

More than half of Italy will be put under the highest level of coronavirus restrictions from Monday, the government announced Friday. The regions entering so-called red zone status will include Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Piedmont and Rome, with Campania and Basilicata already under the status. The whole country will be considered a red zone for Easter from April 3 to April 5. The restrictions mean bars and restaurants can give only takeout service, people are not able to travel outside their home regions and private visits are limited.


US health authorities have confirmed at least 68,698 new coronavirus infections in a 24-hour period to Friday, according to a tally by the Reuters news agency. The number of coronavirus deaths rose by at least 1,743 to 533,018. The country is by far the worst-hit in the world by the pandemic.


The Philippines has reported its first case of the highly contagious coronavirus

variant first identified in Brazil.

A Filipino returning from Brazil tested positive for the P.1 Brazil variant after 752 samples were sequenced at the genome center, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

The country has the second-highest COVID-19 cases and deaths in Southeast Asia after Indonesia.

South Korea reported 490 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, the highest number in three weeks.

The country has now registered 95,176 infections, with a death toll of 1,667.

Catch up on DW content

Experts in Germany are looking more closely at how COVID-19 spreads among children amid a growing number of outbreaks in kindergartens. Some believe the so-called British variant of the virus is to blame. Read the full story here.

Brazil is one of the countries worst-affected by the pandemic and the health care system is fast being overwhelmed. But its president, Jair Bolsonaro, continues to reject measures to contain the virus. Read more here.

After reports that people of immigrant background in Germany were more liable to contract coronavirus, reasons are being sought. And poverty seems to be more of a factor than ethnicity. Read the DW report here.

tj/mm (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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