Germany hits record of almost 20,000 new cases

BERLIN (AP) – Germany has recorded nearly 20,000 new coronavirus cases in one day, its highest level yet.

The national disease control centre, the Robert Koch Institute, yesterday said 19,990 infections had been confirmed in the past 24 hours. That tops the previous record of 19,059 set last Saturday.

It brought the total case tally in Germany, a nation of 83 million people, since the pandemic began to 597,583. Another 118 deaths raised the total to 10,930.

Like other European countries, Germany has seen a sharp rise in infections in recent weeks. A four-week partial shutdown took effect on Monday, with restaurants, leisure and sports facilities being closed and new contact restrictions imposed. Shops and schools remain open.

Although Germany’s situation is alarming officials, many other European countries are in worse shape. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control said on Wednesday that Germany has 237 new cases per 100,000 residents over 14 days — some seven times lower than in Belgium.