Germany reports over 1,000 daily COVID-19 deaths for 1st time

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Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and France's President Emmanuel Macron attends an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, on July 18, 2020 (AFP)

German authorities reported more than 1,000 coronavirus-related deaths in one day for the first time since the pandemic began.

The national disease control center, the Robert Koch Institute, said Wednesday that 1,129 deaths were reported over the past 24 hours. That exceeds the previous record set a week ago of 962 and brings Germany’s total death toll to 32,107.

While delayed reporting of statistics over holidays and weekends is often an issue in Germany, the latest figure fits a recent pattern of high numbers of deaths.

Germany had a relatively low death rate in the first phase of the pandemic but has seen hundreds of deaths per day in recent weeks. Among major European nations, Italy, the U.K., France and Spain still have higher death tolls.

A shutdown that was deepened on Dec. 16 with the closure of schools and most shops is scheduled to remain in place until Jan. 10. It appears almost certain to be extended when Chancellor Angela Merkel and state governors review the situation next week.

The disease control center said 22,459 new coronavirus cases were reported over the past 24 hours. That’s a bit lower than a week ago, but lower testing of non-acute cases over Christmas may also play a role. Germany has reported nearly 1.69 million cases in total.