New peak of incidence in Germany, where it is proposed to limit PCR tests

Berlin, Jan 18 (EFE) .- The incidence of coronavirus continues to peak in Germany, where the Minister of Health, Karl Lauterbach, and the regional ministers of the branch are considering limiting the PCR tests to people with symptoms and risk groups before the laboratory saturation. The accumulated incidence rose to 553.2 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days, compared to 528.2 yesterday, 387.9 a week ago and 306.4 a month ago, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) of updated virology at dawn. Health authorities reported 74,405 new infections in 24 hours and 193 deaths with or from covid-19, compared to 45,690 and 322 a week ago, while the number of active cases is around 908,600. Since the start of the pandemic, 8,074,527 people have tested positive for covid-19 and 115,842 have died, while 7,050,100 have recovered from the disease. The cumulative rate of admissions in seven days remains stable despite the progress of omicron and stands at 3.14 per 100,000 inhabitants, while the occupancy in ICUs of patients with covid-19 is 12.3% of the beds available for the adult population. Until Sunday, 75.1% of the population (62.4 million people) had been vaccinated, 72.7% (60.5 million) with the complete schedule, while 47.1% (39.2 million) had already received a booster dose. Given the increase in infections by the omicron variant, PCR tests are beginning to be scarce and laboratories are becoming saturated, for which the federal head of Health and the regional ministers of the branch proposed in a virtual meeting to modify the testing strategy. They consider the option of testing by PCR only symptomatic people and vulnerable groups, as well as possibly medical personnel, while it will no longer be necessary to confirm a positive antigen test. According to the draft, to shorten the quarantine or isolation, only an antigen test will have to be carried out, with the exception of staff in nursing homes and hospitals, who will probably require a PCR test. In addition, the ministers want to prolong the possibility of requesting sick leave by phone in order to reduce the burden on medical consultations due to the increase in infections, as well as continue with the offer of virtual consultations. Another topic in the virtual meeting on Monday was the reduction of cured status from six to three months after having passed the coronavirus.

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