Public/Global Health

German health minister says more than 1 percent infected with COVID-19

More than 1 percent of the German population is infected with the coronavirus, Germany's health minister announced on Friday.

Health Minister Jens Spahn said that group includes nearly 1 million Germans.

He also noted that unvaccinated people have contracted the virus and become seriously ill at rates far exceeding their share of the country's population, according to The Associated Press.

"If all German adults were vaccinated, we wouldn't be in this difficult situation," Spahn reportedly told reporters.

Spahn's announcement comes amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the country. Germany's federal disease control agency recorded nearly 74,352 new daily COVID-19 cases and 390 new deaths, per the AP. About 925,800 people are currently infected, the wire service noted, citing calculations from the Robert Koch Institute.

On Thursday, German officials implemented new COVID-19 restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of the virus in the country. Many of the new rules are targeted toward unvaccinated people, limiting their access to sporting events, restaurants and nonessential businesses, the AP reported.

Despite Spahn's advocacy for Germans to get the COVID-19 vaccine, he has said he is against compulsory vaccination and stated on Friday that he would vote against a vaccine mandate lawmakers plan to submit to Parliament, according to the AP.

The German government has set a goal to get at least 75 percent of its total population vaccinated against the virus. Currently, about 68.8 percent of Germans have been fully vaccinated, according to the AP.