German COVID-19 cases hit daily record as health ministers meet – Reuters

A doctor vaccinates a woman with a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, in his doctor’s office in Berlin, Germany, November 2, 2021. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Germany reported 33,949 new COVID-19 infections, the highest daily increase since the start of the pandemic last year, ahead of a two-day meeting of state health ministers starting on Thursday.

Countries across Europe have been reporting rises in coronavirus infections, prompting debate over whether to reintroduce restrictions and how to persuade more people to get vaccinated.

The daily number of cases was likely inflated by a public holiday in parts of Germany on Monday that led to a delay in data-gathering. The previous record was on Dec. 18, with 33,777 cases.

Helge Braun, chief of staff to acting Chancellor Angela Merkel, said that German states needed to make faster progress in giving older people booster shots.

“That should have happened long ago,” he told broadcaster ZDF on Thursday.

As of Wednesday, only 6.7% of people over 60 in Germany had received a booster shot, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.

Older people were also more likely to be hospitalised with COVID-19. The number of infected people in hospital stood at 3.62 per 100,000 on Wednesday – up from 1.65 in early October – but at 8.27 per 100,000 for those over 60.

Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Nick Macfie

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