NewsRobert Koch Institute sees the beginning of the fourth...

Robert Koch Institute sees the beginning of the fourth wave of pandemics

The delta variant has consequences: In the corona pandemic, the next wave in this country will start around five weeks earlier than last summer. Mostly young people are now affected by infections.

Berlin – According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the fourth wave of the corona pandemic has begun in Germany.

The proportion of positive samples under the PCR tests in laboratories had risen from four to six percent within a week by mid-August, according to the institute’s latest weekly report on Thursday evening.

The 7-day incidences have also almost tripled since the beginning of August and on Friday the nationwide average was again almost 50 (48.8) per 100,000 inhabitants. Some of the German citizens also got infected in holiday countries, for example in the Balkans, Turkey or Spain.

According to the RKI report, younger people in particular are now affected by infections. “This clearly shows the beginning of the fourth wave, which is picking up speed in particular due to infections among the young adult population.” Covid-19 patients from this group also come to hospitals.

The basis for the analysis of the positive samples is around half a million tests per week from almost 200 laboratories. The RKI’s weekly report appears, however, with a time delay. Most of the results still relate to data from the first week of August. So the picture could already have changed further. On August 1, the 7-day incidence nationwide was around 18; on August 8, it was 24.

Large fluctuations per federal state

Meanwhile, the fluctuations in weekly incidences are not only large depending on the federal state – from 83.4 registered cases of infection per 100,000 inhabitants on Friday in North Rhine-Westphalia and 12.6 in Thuringia. The quotas in the age groups also differ widely. For example, the 7-day incidence among 15 to 34-year-olds in the weekly trend report on Thursday was around 86. In people aged 60 and over, who have often already been vaccinated twice, this value is only 10.

The RKI therefore continues to rate the risk to the health of German citizens who have not yet been vaccinated or who have only been vaccinated as high overall. For fully vaccinated people, the researchers rate it as moderate.

In daycare centers and schools, however, corona outbreaks were still at a low level until mid-August. In some federal states, however, there are still holidays. Furthermore, late registrations are to be expected.

Similarities to summer 2020

A similar increase in infections in the younger population could already be observed in summer 2020, according to the report. However, only five weeks later, i.e. at the end of September or beginning of October. So far this summer, the more contagious Delta variant has dominated – now 99 percent.

In the summer of 2020, however, there was still no vaccination protection. On Monday, the Standing Vaccination Commission also gave the green light for Covid vaccinations for all children and adolescents between 12 and 17 years of age. This was legally possible since the end of May. According to paediatricians, the demand is currently increasing by leaps and bounds.

Overall, around 64 percent of German citizens have currently received at least one vaccination against Covid-19. More than 58 percent have already been fully immunized against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In order to slow down the pandemic, vaccination rates of 85 percent and more are desirable. Compliance with the corona rules such as wearing a mask and keeping your distance as well as testing remains important according to the RKI assessment.

The new rise in incidences is already having consequences. The recent general decline in Covid 19 patients in clinics is currently not continuing, according to the RKI report. The numbers are still at a low level, but are now increasing visibly – even among young adults. Here, too, follow-ups can be expected because Covid 19 patients often do not come to a hospital until one to two weeks after the diagnosis. dpa

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