Coronavirus in Germany: Omikron continues to spread

As of: 12/29/2021 1:40 p.m.

Compared to the previous day, the number of Omikron cases in Germany has increased by 26 percent – 13,129 infections are assigned to the significantly more contagious variant. The proportion is particularly high in northern Germany.

The number of reliably proven and probable Omicron cases in Germany that have been transmitted to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has again increased significantly. 13,129 cases would now be assigned to the new Corona variant, 26 percent more than the previous day, as the RKI announced. The number refers to cases in November and December, most of the evidence comes from the previous week with 7632 (previous week: 3040).

The increase indicates that Omikron is playing an ever greater role in the infection process in Germany, said the modeler Dirk Brockmann from the Humboldt University of Berlin to the dpa news agency. In northern German cities such as Hamburg and Bremen, the variant already plays a major role. In Schleswig-Holstein, more than 50 percent of corona infections since the day before Christmas Eve are suspected cases of omicron.

One should not be lulled into a false sense of security from the data on the occurrence of infections, which are currently only partially meaningful due to fewer tests and reports, the development in other countries is impressive. “It can suddenly start very quickly and then very strongly.”

RKI expects many new and late registrations

A graph from the RKI on the development over time shows a steep increase in the numbers reported weekly in connection with Omikron. For the current week, the RKI expects a “high number of new and late registrations”. According to the RKI, the information relates to evidence based on complete genetic analyzes as well as laboratory diagnostic suspicions based on variant-specific PCR tests. In Germany only a small part of the positive samples are examined for variants.

Last week, the RKI reported the first death after infection with the Omikron variant. The deceased was between 60 and 79 years old, according to the RKI’s overview of Omikron cases.

Study: Omikron will hit the catering and retail sectors hard

According to calculations by the Institut der Deutschen Wirtschaft (IW), the tightening of the corona measures to combat the Omikron variant threatens to leave deep traces, especially in the hospitality industry and in stationary retail. In stationary retail, around six billion euros in sales were lost per month, the researchers forecast. Part of the business is migrating to online trading. Significant losses can also be expected in the catering sector.

“If things get as bad as early 2021 for the catering industry, the loss in sales could add up to over ten billion euros compared to a normal year,” warned the economic experts.

According to IW, the corona virus has already severely damaged the German economy. According to the Institute’s calculations, around 335 billion euros in value added have been lost so far, 190 billion euros of which last year and 145 billion euros in 2021. According to the experts’ calculations, another 35 billion euros would have been added in the first quarter of 2022 without Omikron.

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