According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the downward trend in reported new corona infections in Germany could be related to the autumn holidays and only be temporary. Last week, the seven-day incidences fell in all federal states and age groups, according to the RKI weekly report on Thursday evening. "The factor of the school holidays must still be considered, which influences both contact and test behavior." The decrease in incidence compared to the week before was a total of 33 percent.
This week, the number of reported infections has fallen further. In most of the federal states, Monday or Tuesday was a public holiday.
According to the RKI report, it was not just the incidence that declined last week: less severe Covid 19 courses were also recorded. The estimated number of doctor visits in this context was also lower in a weekly comparison, as was the number of laboratory tests for Sars-CoV-2. The viral load in the wastewater showed a falling trend at the majority of the locations examined - this type of monitoring is independent of the use of tests.
Overall, the RKI expects a high number of respiratory diseases in the coming weeks. "In particular, the positive rate and the number of illnesses caused by influenza show an increasing trend, and RSV infections also lead to increased illnesses and hospital admissions, especially in small children." RSV stands for respiratory syncytial virus. The pathogen caused an extraordinary wave in some countries last year, which is also a consequence of the pandemic.
According to the latest available data from the week before last, the omicron subline BA.5 still predominates in Germany - with 96 percent, as the report shows. New derivatives of BA.5 such as BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, which are likely to become established in the coming weeks according to models from the European disease control agency ECDC, are also increasing in Germany. The RKI writes that the level is very low at around three percent in each sample. So far, according to experts, there are no indications that the nickname of BQ.1.1 used in social media - "Hellhound" - is program.
According to another RKI report on Thursday, more than two million vaccinations were administered nationwide in October, specifically on Covid-19 immunizations. There has been progress in particular with second booster vaccinations, which are recommended for older people, for example. But: "For residents and guests of long-term care facilities, only a slow increase in vaccination rates for the 2nd booster vaccination can be observed," writes the RKI. It calls for the flu vaccination to be “absolutely” used as an opportunity to complete the Covid-19 protection of the vulnerable group.