D.he health authorities in Germany reported 1,489 new corona infections to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) within one day. This is evident from the numbers from Sunday morning, which reflect the status of the RKI dashboard at 4:58 a.m.
For comparison: a week ago the value was 2440 infections. The RKI gave the seven-day incidence on Sunday morning as nationwide 17.3. The day before it was 18.3, the previous week it was 24.7.
According to the information, 18 new deaths were recorded across Germany within 24 hours. A week ago there were 74 dead.
The RKI has counted 3,714,969 detected infections with Sars-CoV-2 since the beginning of the pandemic. The actual total number is likely to be significantly higher, since many infections are not recognized.
Almost 90,000 dead in Germany
The RKI stated the number of those who had recovered at 3,576,800. The number of people who died with or with the involvement of a proven infection with Sars-CoV-2 is now given as 89,834.
The nationwide seven-day R-value was 0.85 according to the RKI situation report from Saturday evening, the day before it was 0.83. This means that 100 infected people theoretically infect 85 more people. The R-value represents the occurrence of the infection 8 to 16 days ago. If it is below 1 for a longer period of time, the infection process subsides; if it is consistently higher, the number of cases increases.
Data on the pandemic also from wastewater
According to the European reference laboratory, the development of the corona pandemic can be reliably tracked in wastewater. Susanne Lackner, professor of wastewater management at TU Darmstadt, cannot understand why this option is not being used across the board: “The technology is mature, the methods are in place – the system could be established at any time. The only thing missing is political will, ”said Lackner of the German press agency.
A pilot study is currently running in Wiesbaden, and the test has already been completed in Frankfurt. Researchers around the world have proven that it is possible to use sewage treatment plants as an early warning system, said Lackner. “Basically, you can see the development in wastewater earlier than in the medical field,” said Lackner. “Depending on the technology, the lead is between four and ten days.”
Manageable effort, great benefit
According to Lackner, there are two main things that can be seen: One is the increase or decrease in the virus concentration, i.e. whether more or fewer people are infected. The other is what variants of the coronavirus are in circulation. The laboratories use samples that are routinely taken from the inflow in all sewage treatment plants. The effort is therefore manageable. Lackner does not accept the argument that the methods are not yet mature enough: “There is still a need for research, but there always is. Vaccines are still being researched, but we’re already using them. “
The TU Darmstadt is one of only two reference laboratories for the sequencing of wastewater samples in Europe. The laboratory has analyzed samples from around 50 sewage treatment plants from all over Europe and coordinates the two Hessian pilot projects in Frankfurt and Wiesbaden. The “Abwa-SARS” project at TU Darmstadt has been running since June 2020. The technology is not new, as Lackner says: “Such approaches have also been used successfully in the past to monitor polio viruses.”