Germany records more than 400 coronavirus deaths within a day

Germany has logged a record number of Covid-19 deaths within one day, new figures show.

Germany records more than 400 coronavirus deaths within a day
People wearing face masks next to a sign in Bonn. Photo: DPA

Health authorities reported 410 new coronavirus-related deaths within 24 hours, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said on Tuesday.

This is the highest number of daily deaths recorded in Germany since the start of the pandemic. The highest number to date was in mid-April, when 315 deaths within one day were logged.

The total number of people who have died in connection with Covid-19 in Germany now stands at 14,771, according to official figures.

One of the reasons for the increase in deaths is likely down to more older people contracting the virus.

“The proportion of outbreaks with over five people within the settings of nursing homes has continuously and considerably increased since week 38 (week beginning September 16th 2020),” said the RKI in its Tuesday situation report.

Meanwhile, the number of patients being treated in intensive care units in Germany for Covid-19 has also reached record levels this month, raising fears that health care providers will become overwhelmed.

“Since mid October, the number of Covid-19 patients requiring intensive care has strongly increased, from 655 patients on October 15th to 3.770 patients on November 24th,” the RKI said.

Within a day, 18,633 new infections were recorded – about 1,000 cases more than a week ago. Last Wednesday, the number was 17,561.

READ ALSO: What is Germany's new coronavirus test strategy for winter?

According to the latest figures from the RKI, a total of 961,320 cases of infection have been registered in Germany since the beginning of the pandemic. The number of people to recover stands at 656,400.

According to the RKI, the so-called seven-day reproductive number (R0) was 0.97. This means that 100 infected persons will go on to infect on average almost 100 more people. The number reflects the level of infection 8 to 16 days ago.

According to experts, an R number of 0.7 or lower would be ideal to get the infection situation under control.

Last Friday November 20th, there was a record number of Covid-19 infections reported in Germany, with 23,648 cases within 24 hours.

On Wednesday Chancellor Angela Merkel and state leaders were expected to meet to discuss how Germany will deal with the situation in the coming weeks, including over Christmas and New Year.

READ ALSO: What will Christmas 2020 be like in Germany?

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Germany should prepare for Covid wave in autumn, ministers warn

German health ministers say that tougher Covid restrictions should come back into force if a serious wave emerges in autumn.

Germany should prepare for Covid wave in autumn, ministers warn

Following a video meeting on Monday, the health ministers of Germany’s 16 states said tougher restrictions should be imposed again if they are needed. 

“The corona pandemic is not over yet – we must not be deceived by the current declining incidences,” said Saxony-Anhalt’s health minister Petra Grimm-Benne, of the Social Democrats, who currently chairs the Conference of Health Ministers (GMK).

According to the GMK, new virus variants are expected to appear in autumn and winter. Over the weekend, federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) also warned that the more dangerous Delta variant could return to Germany. “That is why the federal Ministry of Health should draw up a master plan to combat the corona pandemic as soon as possible and coordinate it with the states,” Grimm-Benne said.

Preparations should also include an amendment of the Infection Protection Act, ministers urged. They want to see the states given powers to react to the infection situation in autumn and winter. They called on the government to initiate the legislative process in a timely manner, and get the states actively involved.

The current Infection Protection Act expires on September 23rd this year. Germany has loosened much of its Covid restrictions in the last months, however, face masks are still compulsory on public transport as well as on planes. 

READ ALSO: Do people in Germany still have to wear Covid masks on planes?

The health ministers said that from autumn onwards, it should be possible for states to make masks compulsory indoors if the regional infection situation calls for it. Previously, wearing a Covid mask was obligatory in Germany when shopping and in restaurants and bars when not sitting at a table. 

Furthermore, the so-called 3G rule for accessing some venues and facilities – where people have to present proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative test – should be implemented again if needed, as well as other infection protection rules, the ministers said. 

Bavaria’s health minister Klaus Holetschek, of the CSU, welcomed the ministers’ unanimous call for a revision of the Infection Protection Act. “The states must be able to take all necessary infection protection measures quickly, effectively, and with legal certainty,” he said.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s health minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU) warned that no one should “lull themselves into a false sense of security”.

“We must now prepare for the colder season and use the time to be able to answer important questions about the immunity of the population or the mechanisms of infection chains,” he said.

On Tuesday, Germany reported 86,253 Covid infections within the latest 24 hour period, as well as 215 Covid-related deaths. The 7-day incidence stood at 437.6 infections per 100,000 people. However, experts believe there could be twice as many infections because lots of cases go unreported. 

READ ALSO: Five things to know about the Covid pandemic in Germany right now