By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

German health authorities reported a single day record of 50,196 new COVID-19 cases within the past 24 hours. This is more than 10,000 cases higher than the previous daily record of 39,676 new cases on Wednesday.

This has caused alarm with political and health leaders in Germany.

The acting Federal Minister of Health, Jens Spahn said the fourth wave of the pandemic has clearly picked up speed. The infection numbers are at a record high. “We have very difficult weeks ahead of us,” said Spahn after the health ministerial conference in Lindau.

About 67% of people in Germany are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. But experts have warned from the beginning of the rollout that the number is not high enough to keep the virus under control.

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“Our vaccination rate is still under 75% of the German population,” said Dr. Christine Falk, president of the German Society for Immunology. “Combined with the lack of contact restrictions, this is allowing the virus to spread almost exclusively among the unvaccinated.”

In addition to the unvaccinated, German officials also point to the waning immunity of the vaccines, less contact restrictions, the contagiousness of the Delta variant and the seasonality of the virus.

Over the course of the past month, Germany has reported 565,503 cases, the sixth highest in the world. This accounts for more than 10 percent of the total cases since the start of the pandemic (4.9 million).