BERLIN (Reuters) – The rate at which Germans are becoming infected with the coronavirus has risen above the level at which authorities say healthcare systems will be overloaded, increasing pressure on political leaders to tighten blockade measures.
National and regional leaders will meet by videoconference Monday to decide on the next round of measures to deal with the pandemic. At their last meeting earlier this month, they agreed on a cautious opening, over objections from Chancellor Angela Merkel, who warned that more infectious variants meant the pandemic would be harder to control. .
According to the Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases, the number of cases per 100,000 population over the course of a week stood at 103.9 on Sunday, above the 100 threshold at which intensive care units can no longer hold.
Public outcry over the blockade, now in its fourth month, is growing, but numbers suggest state prime ministers may be forced to pull the “emergency brake” they agreed on March 2, overturning the opening of several stores .
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased from 13,733 to 2,659,516, according to RKI. The reported death toll rose by 99 to 74,664, the figures showed.
(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Frances Kerry)