Germany sees record daily virus infections of over 30,000

By: AFP      Published: 06:17 PM, 17 Dec, 2020
Germany sees record daily virus infections of over 30,000
People queue outside an apparel store at Berlin's Alexanderplatz shopping district on December 15, 2020, on the last day of shopping before a partial lockdown.

Germany on Thursday reported a daily record of new coronavirus infections of more than 30,000, as it struggles to cope with the outbreak with a fresh partial lockdown.

The Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases, which is managing reporting for the country in the pandemic, revised its initial total of 26,923 for the previous 24-hour period saying around 3,500 more cases had come to light.

"For technical reasons some 3,500 cases from (the southwestern state of) Baden-Wuerttemberg were not reported. The problem has been fixed and the cases are being reported today," it said on its website. 

Germany has recorded a total of 24,125 deaths, up by about 700 in one day.

Long considered a European example for effective management of the coronavirus pandemic, Germany had managed to keep infection and death rates relatively low for several months.

But beginning with end of summer holidays and the onset of colder weather, the virus began spreading at an exponential rate and the system of testing and tracking could not keep up with the outbreak.

A shutdown of restaurants, bars and cultural venues that was lenient compared to those of many European partners from November 2 failed to get the spread of the virus under control.

From Wednesday, the country has been on partial lockdown with non-essential shops and schools closed.

The new curbs will apply until at least January 10, with companies also urged to allow employees to work from home or offer extended company holidays, under the measures agreed by Chancellor Angela Merkel with leaders of Germany's 16 states on Sunday.

Germans are urged to limit their social contacts to another household, with contact limits to be eased slightly between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.