The Covid-19 outbreak in Germany, which is largely being spread among its unvaccinated population, reached an all-time high for new cases on Thursday.
There were 33,949 new cases registered in the previous 24 hours, up from 28,037 daily cases a week ago, the Robert Koch Institute said.
It was the highest daily increase since the start of the pandemic. The previous high of 33,777 new cases was recorded on December 18, 2020.
The RKI also reported 165 deaths, up from 126 a week ago. The overall number of people who have died from coronavirus in Germany has risen to 96,192.
Health Minister Jens Spahn, who said on Wednesday that the disease was spreading among the unvaccinated one third of Germany’s population, is meeting state health leaders.
As cases begin taking up intensive care beds and infections soar among children, Mr Spahn is pushing for more restrictions on people who have chosen not to be inoculated.
Senior health officials, including Mr Spahn, have repeatedly appealed to German residents who have not yet been vaccinated to get their shots.
About two thirds of Germany’s 83 million people have completed a first vaccination. About 16.2 million people age 12 or above are unvaccinated, including 3.2 million over-60s.
Although officials agreed in August to make booster shots available to over-60s and nursing home residents and staff, only a little more than two million have been administered so far.
But for some medical professionals, the moves being talked about are not enough.
“No unvaccinated person should have contact with such a vulnerable group, either professionally or as a visitor,” said Ulrich Weigeldt, the head of the association of family doctors.
“This applies to senior citizen homes and nursing homes as well as to intensive care units.”
Germany has not made coronavirus vaccinations obligatory for any professional groups, but regional governments have limited access to some indoor events and facilities to people who have been vaccinated, have recently recovered or been tested, and some are tightening those rules.
Europe has recorded an increase in Covid case numbers for the fifth consecutive week, the only world region where Covid-19 is still increasing, according to World Health Organisation figures released on Wednesday.