Nationwide, the 7-day incidence is falling slightly, in contrast to the east: for Saxony and Thuringia, the RKI reports an increase of 40 percent on a weekly basis. A back-to-school effect – or more?
Berlin – The corona pandemic shows another clear east-west divide: While the nationwide 7-day incidence recently fell slightly, it has increased noticeably in almost all eastern federal states.
In the west of the republic, on the other hand, it either remained similarly high or decreased, according to the latest weekly report from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). The vaccination rates in eastern Germany are still mostly significantly lower than in the west.
Jump in Saxony and Thuringia
The comparison of the 7-day incidence of the RKI relates to the first and second week of September. After that, the values rose from the 35th to the 36th calendar week for Saxony and Thuringia by 40 percent each, followed by Brandenburg (plus 19 percent) and Saxony-Anhalt (plus 17 percent). Only in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania was the increase rather moderate at seven percent.
Overall, the registered 7-day incidences in the east are mostly still at a significantly lower level than in the west – the rapid upward jumps alone are noticeable.
In contrast, the incidences fell most clearly in Saarland (minus 26 percent), Schleswig-Holstein (minus 15 percent) and in North Rhine-Westphalia (minus 14). Nationwide, the 7-day incidences even fell slightly by five percent.
Effect of returning travelers?
According to the weekly report, this development could be due to a decline in summer travel, a decrease in diagnosed infections at the start of school and the widespread introduction of the 2G or 3G rules.
In Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, the summer holidays did not end until the beginning of September. Saxony, Brandenburg, Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt are also at the bottom of the range in vaccination nationwide.
The 7-day incidence is considered an early warning indicator for the further course of the pandemic. Sharply rising values can, with a time delay, lead to more hospital admissions and also to more deaths, especially in unvaccinated risk groups, especially in old age.
Test frequency and Covid patients
The test frequency has continued to increase nationwide. In the 35th calendar week there were 945,676 PCR tests, in the 36th week 991,366, transmitted by around 200 laboratories each time. The positive portion of the samples was around eight percent with a slightly downward trend.
According to the latest RKI analysis, the incidence is currently increasing, particularly in children and adolescents, but also in most other age groups. Slight increases can also be seen among the very elderly over 90 years of age.
The more dominant, more contagious Delta virus variant has also led to more outbreaks in daycare centers and schools. According to the report, by the end of August the reporting data reached a level that was only observed a year ago in mid-October.
Most Covid patients who recently came to clinics were between 35 and 59 years old. The vast majority of them were not vaccinated. Vaccination breakthroughs remain rare over the whole year; they have so far occurred much more frequently in older people than in younger people.
The number of severe respiratory infections among 35 to 59-year-olds in clinics is well above the level of previous years at this time of year and can be attributed to Covid, according to the report. The number of patients in intensive care units increased by 10 percent to more than 1,500 compared to the previous week.
Snail’s pace with vaccination quota
The vaccination quota in Germany is still advancing at a snail’s pace. By mid-September, 62 percent of German citizens were fully immunized. A week earlier, this value was 61.6 percent.
According to the current state of knowledge of the RKI, all vaccines that are currently available in Germany provide effective protection against serious illness when fully immunized.
According to the latest data, the protection against a hospital stay is around 96 percent between the ages of 18 and 59, and 95 percent from the age of 60.
The protection against treatment in the intensive care unit is therefore 97 percent for younger people, and 95 percent for those aged 60 and over.
According to the RKI, protection against death is 100 percent for younger people, and 92 percent for those aged 60 and over. dpa