Germany surpasses 100,000 COVID cases
Germany has reported 112,323 new coronavirus cases, a fresh single-day record as the health minister says the peak has not been reached and compulsory vaccination should be introduced by May.
Germany's tally of COVID-19 infections now stands at 8,186,850, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious disease said. The death toll also rose by 239 on Wednesday to reach 116,081.
Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said he expected the wave to peak in a few weeks as the highly infectious Omicron variant brought Germany's seven-day incidence rate to 584.4 cases per 100,000 people.
"I think we will reach the peak of the wave in mid-February, and then the number of cases could fall again, but we haven't reached the peak yet," Lauterbach told RTL broadcaster late on Tuesday.
Lauterbach said he believed that the current number of unreported cases could be around two times bigger than the known figures.
He said compulsory vaccination should be introduced quickly, in April or May, to avoid another wave of infections with possible new variants in autumn.