German officials clarified on Wednesday that they would not be able to relax the lockdown restrictions in early January as the country recorded more than 1,000 deaths in a single day for the first time.
The figure was likely to increase with the delay in the report but underscored the seriousness of the situation.
Germany, the European Union’s most populous country, has closed restaurants, bars, sports and leisure facilities on November 2. That partial shutdown halted the rapid rise in new infections for some time, but failed to bring them down, prompting authorities to impose a complete lockdown. From December 16, the closure of unprofessional shops and schools.
Those measures run on 10 January. Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Governor of 16 states of Germany will advise on Tuesday how to proceed.
“We mourn 1,129 deaths this morning, 1,129 families will be mourning this New Year,” Health Minister Jens Spann said at a news conference.
“These figures show how brutally this virus is killing. But the number of deaths and infections also suggests that the normality we want goes a long way from that. “In this situation, I don’t see how we can return to pre-lockdown mode.”
“I expect the lockdown to continue, as we should not take any further risk. Hospitals … are on their border, “said Armin Laskett, the governor of Germany’s most populous state.
The deaths in the last 24 hours at Germany’s National Center for Disease Control, the Robert Koch Institute, surpassed the previous record of 962 set a week earlier and brought the total death toll to 32,107 from Germany.
The institution’s president, Lothar Willer, said the “most admirable explanation” for the deaths was that after relatively few figures over several days, reporting of cases over the Christmas holiday was delayed.
However, this figure fits into the recent pattern of high numbers of deaths.
The first phase of the epidemic in Germany had relatively low mortality, but in recent weeks there have been hundreds of deaths per day. Among the major European countries, Italy, Britain, France and Spain still have higher deaths.
Wieler appealed to the Germans to continue reducing their contacts to the absolute best, saying: “Let’s get the air out of the sails of the virus.” He said that, as of Tuesday, there were more than 5,600 Kovid-19 patients in intensive care, the highest number ever.
The Robert Koch Institute said that 22,459 new coronovirus cases occurred in Germany in the last 24 hours, with 83 million inhabitants.
Germany has reported around 1.69 million cases in total.
The vaccination program began in Germany and the European Union over the weekend. So far 78,109 people have received their first vaccine dose in Germany.
All the same, Wieler said that the Germans would have to stick to social disturbances, hygiene and mask-wearing rules for months.
“It will take months before vaccinating so many people that the prevalence of the virus has decreased in the population,” he said.
It is unclear whether the measures will actually continue beyond January. 10. In Germany, state governments alone are responsible for schools.
Spahn said it is “normal” to discuss what happens to schools, but “in case of doubt, I’m in favor of very little in a week rather than a week.”
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