Germany reported 50,196 new cases of covid-19 on Thursday during the previous 24 hours, the highest daily case count for the country for the entire pandemic, according to Germany’s DW news outlet. Thursday’s case numbers in Germany exceeded Wednesday’s 39,676 new cases, which was also a record until today’s figure.
Roughly 67% of Germany is vaccinated against covid-19, the 34th best rate in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. And while that’s better than the U.S. vaccination rate of 59%, which currently sits at 53rd in the world, it’s still not a rate that would allow the kind of herd immunity to really stamp out infection at somewhere between 80 and 90%.
Germany, which has a population of 83 million, also recorded 235 new deaths on Thursday, though mortality is a lagging indicator as we’ve all learned during this global health crisis. The number of deaths from the disease is likely to escalate in coming weeks as hospitals in the country cancel elective surgeries to handle the influx of covid-19 patients.
Germany has struggled with an extremely vocal minority of anti-vaccine advocates, not unlike the situation in the U.S., where covid-19 vaccinations have also plateaued. The U.S. reported 98,390 new covid-19 cases on Wednesday and 1,637 deaths.
As DW points out, German virologist Christian Drosten expects another 100,000 deaths in the country if immediate action isn’t taken. But there’s very little appetite for harsh lockdowns in the country and state governments wield an enormous amount of power, leaving national leaders without a lot of options.
“In Germany, I must say, unfortunately, that our vaccination rate isn’t high enough to prevent the fast spread of the virus,” Chancellor Angela Merkel lamented on Wednesday.
Olaf Scholz, who’s expected to become the next Chancellor after a coalition government is formed, said he wants Germany to become “winter-proofed” as the country heads into the colder months.
“Many fewer vaccinated people are affected by the infection than those who haven’t been inoculated,” Scholz said Wednesday, according to Bloomberg News.
Germany has reported over 4.91 million covid-19 cases and 97,203 deaths since the pandemic began.