BERLIN, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Germany's seven-day COVID-19 incidence rate on Thursday increased to 533 infections per 100,000 inhabitants amidst the summer wave, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.
The number rose from 489 on the previous day.
After hitting 100,000 new infections within 24 hours earlier this month, the number of daily COVID-19 infections stood at 119,360 on Thursday, according to the RKI.
Infections are driven by the more contagious Omicron subvariants BA.5 and BA.4, RKI said. Within a week, the share of BA.5 in Germany more than doubled to around 24 percent.
"We are facing a very difficult autumn," said Health Minister Karl Lauterbach during a press conference on Thursday. "The summer wave has already started, but it will be more difficult in the fall."
Lauterbach will present the country's COVID-19 health measures for the coming fall after examining the results of an expert report on the effectiveness of past COVID-19 measures, which is set to be completed in early July.
In order to be better prepared than the previous year, Germany is procuring a wide range of vaccines. These include vaccines adapted to the Omicron variant, the Ministry of Health said. In addition, "vaccination gaps are to be closed."
Of the 69.4 million adults in Germany aged 18 and over, around 85 percent are vaccinated against COVID-19. Almost 72 percent have received one booster vaccination, while 8 percent have already received two booster doses, according to official figures.
Although Germany was one of the last countries in the European Union to drop restrictions for travelers entering from another EU member state, most restrictions on public life have now been lifted. ■