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People's Daily Online

Germany records highest daily death toll since start of COVID-19

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 09:33, January 15, 2021

BERLIN, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Another 1,244 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in Germany in a 24-hour period, the highest daily figure since the start of the pandemic, official data showed on Thursday.

To date, 43,881 people in Germany have succumbed to the disease, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the government's agency for disease control.

Another 25,164 people have tested positive in the 24 hours, raising the total number of confirmed cases in Germany to about 1.98 million, RKI data showed.

At a press conference on Thursday, RKI President Lothar Wieler warned that a lag in testing over the New Year could mean that the latest numbers still don't show the full picture, German news agency dpa reported.

Germany "must massively reduce the case numbers" so as to bring normal life back to Germany, he said, urging more employers to switch to work-from-home models and appealing to the public to reduce contact with others to an absolute minimum.

"It is possible that the case numbers have stabilized," but much more still needed to be done, dpa quoted Wieler as saying.

Wieler also called for attention to frontline medical workers. Medical staff in Germany was already working at the limits, and many contracted COVID-19 themselves. "Without them, we cannot run beds for treatment either," Wieler warned.

In 10 German states, more than 85 percent of intensive care beds were occupied, and beds in normal wards were also becoming increasingly scarce, according to the RKI.

Wieler also urged Germans to get the coronavirus vaccine if they are offered vaccination. As of Wednesday, Germany has vaccinated a total of almost 760,000 people.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in Germany and some other countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 236 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 63 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on Tuesday.



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