BERLIN — The head of Germany’s disease control agency warned Friday that the drop in new coronavirus cases has levelled off even as the share of more contagious variants is rising.
Lothar Wieler, head of the Robert Koch Institute, said Germany may be heading toward another “turning point” in the pandemic after weeks of falling infections.
His agency reported 9,113 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past day, and 508 deaths. Germany has recorded almost 2.4 million cases and 67,206 deaths from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.
Earlier this week Health Minister Jens Spahn said the share of the more contagious variant virus first detected in Britain has reached about 22% in Germany, from 6% two weeks ago.
Spahn told reporters in Berlin that the government wants to double the number of vaccinations in the coming weeks, from about 140,000 per day at present.
Germany has administered almost 3 million first doses since late December. More than 1.5 million people have received their second shot.
Spahn confirmed a report by weekly Der Spiegel that the government has appointed a special adviser for vaccine production to liaise with manufacturers and speed up the delivery of additional doses to Germany.