Barbenheimer-style events held responsible for surge in Covid cases in Germany
German epidemiologists are warning of a probable Covid-19 infection spike this summer, partially attributing the growth to big gatherings like the Barbenheimer double feature mania.
Though the numbers are still modest in comparison to the pandemic’s peak, Germany’s disease control organization, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), has noted an increase in illnesses over the past month.
Doctor visits because of Covid-19 infections have increased by 175% in the previous week, according to the government’s Pandemic Radar, and 2,400 cases have been reported to the RKI, which is double the rate from one month ago.
Over half of Germany’s monitoring stations have found a spike in viral load in wastewater this month, and hospital admissions for Covid-19 patients have increased by 50%.
Although the official test results indicate a low rate of 3 cases per 100,000 people, experts point out that due to the limited testing, this number may not accurately reflect the true rate.
A “Barbenheimer effect” has been discussed, especially in light of the rise in Covid-19 instances. This phenomenon was named as a result of sizable crowds, such as those drawn to Barbenheimer double feature events that promoted movies like Barbie and Oppenheimer in theaters.
In response to the increasing cases, Germany’s health minister, Karl Lauterbach, noted that the nation’s early warning system is operational. He also urged people to get booster shots, especially if they are members of high-risk groups.