Germany reports highest one-day virus increase

BERLIN (AP) — Germany has reported its highest one-day total of new coronavirus cases, while the number of deaths linked to COVID-19 has climbed above 20,000.

The national disease control centre, the Robert Koch Institute, said yesterday that 23,679 new cases were confirmed over the previous 24 hours.

That’s just above the previous record of 23,648 from November 20.

A partial shutdown that started November 2 has succeeded in keeping the surge from picking up speed, but the number of daily new cases have remained around the same high level in recent weeks rather than falling. Momentum is building for a harder lockdown over the holidays and New Year, and some regions already are introducing new restrictions.

That’s partly because deaths, which have been relatively low in Germany compared with several other European countries, have increased markedly.

Another 440 deaths were reported yesterday, following a single-day record of 590 on Wednesday.

That brought the total so far to 20,372. Germany has reported some 1.24 million coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.

A frontliner in a protective suit takes coronavirus test sample from an older woman in Rathmannsdorf, Germany. PHOTO: AP