Germany looks to new key COVID metric

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German Health Minister Jens Spahn has called for the removal of a key threshold from Germany's Protection Against Infection Act, saying that the country's vaccination program has rendered the 50 incidence indicator obsolete.

"The 50 incidence in the law, it has had its day," Spahn told German public broadcaster ZDF on Monday.

The value - which means that no more than 50 new coronavirus infections per 100,000 inhabitants have been recorded within the past seven days - was devised for an unvaccinated population, he explained.

Germany's Protection Against Infection Act mandates certain public health protocols must come into force when specific incidence rates are reached.

However, some German states have already moved away from focusing solely on incidence. "That is why my proposal is now to quickly remove this benchmark, this 50 incidence, from the law," said the minister.

"The new parameter should be hospitalisation," Spahn said, referring to the number of people who are hospitalised as a result of a coronavirus infection.

The proposed change in metric is due to the strong uptake of the various coronavirus vaccines in Germany, where to date 58.9 per cent of the population are fully vaccinated.

The measure could be put to a vote in the Bundestag before the Germans elections on September 26.

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