Berlin [Germany], July 2 (ANI/Xinhua): COVID-19 infections have been steadily growing in Germany mainly due to the spread of Omicron variant BA.5, which now accounts for almost 66 per cent of all infections, according to data released on Friday by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.
Within a week, the country's seven-day COVID-19 incidence rate has climbed from 618 to around 683 infections per 100,000 inhabitants, the RKI said in its latest weekly report. The number of daily infections rose to just over 113,000 cases, it said.
The number of severe COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have been growing in line with the growth in infections, the RKI reported.
Although Germany was one of the last countries in the European Union (EU) to drop restrictions for travellers entering from within the EU, most restrictions on public life have now been lifted.
The German government is currently working on new COVID-19 regulations to prepare for possible spikes in infection rates later in the year. "As important regulations for pandemic control are about to expire, it is important to prepare a new legal framework in time," the government said in a statement on Friday, following the presentation of an expert report on current COVID-19 protection measures in Germany.
"When only a few people are infected, lockdown measures have a much stronger effect," the report said. However, the longer a lockdown lasts, and the fewer people are willing to support the restrictive measures, the smaller the effect is, said the report.
Wearing a face mask could be an "effective tool." However, a loosely worn or unfitting mask would have a "diminished to no effect," according to the expert report.
"We are on the eve of very, very difficult challenges," Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said during a press conference on Friday. "We must assume that this summer wave will accompany us for a long time, and we will probably have to deal with a heavy wave in the fall as well." (ANI/Xinhua)