The employees will carry out Covid-19 tests in Sindelfingen on Wednesday, February 17. Sebastian Gollnow / Image Alliance / Getty Images

Germany is recording “an increase in worrying coronavirus mutations”, although the number of new cases has declined overall and the number of people vaccinated has increased, the German health minister said on Friday.

The coronavirus variant, first discovered in Great Britain, is now found in every fifth person who tested positive in Germany, said Minister Jens Spahn in a press conference.

“There are increasing requirements to end the lockdown, and this is possible – but we have to be careful not to jeopardize our successes,” added Spahn.

The German health authority, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), warned that the number of infections in the country seems to be stagnating at a level that is still too high, which in positive cases threatens a current downward trend.

Germany recorded on Friday 9,113 new cases, a decrease of 747 cases compared to a week ago. Coronavirus Deaths stood at 508 within the last 24 hours 48 less than last Friday. The latest data from RKI shows that the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants has fallen to 57.

Chancellor Angela Merkel previously said authorities would only lift restrictions if the seven-day incidence rate fell up to 35 cases per 100,000 infections.

By Friday, 5 million people in Germany had received the first shot of the coronavirus vaccine, while 3 million had received both doses, according to Spahn. By the end of next week, 10 million coronavirus vaccines will be distributed across Germany.

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