GERMANY REGISTERS HIGHEST ONE-DAY COVID DEATH TOLL AT 1,244
Germany on Thursday counted its highest 24-hour death toll in the COVID-19 pandemic so far, despite sweeping lockdown measures designed to curb the spread of the virus and shield the nation's hospitals, Rachel More and Laura Dubois reported for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the government's agency for disease control, reported 1,244 additional deaths, bringing the total of people who have died after catching the novel coronavirus so far to 43,881. Germany's previous record of 1,188 deaths over a 24-hour period was reported on January 8.
The total number of infections confirmed rose by 25,164 to 1,978,590, said RKI, whose 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.
In order for normal life to return to Germany, the country "must massively reduce the case numbers," Wieler told reporters in Berlin. Wieler however the current measures might not be sufficient and urged the government to implement even tougher rules to prevent personal contact.
"These measures we are doing now - for me it is not a full lockdown," he said. "There are too many exceptions and it is not being implemented rigorously."
Due to the continuously high number of infections, local parliamentary elections in the state of Thuringia scheduled for April were postponed and are to take place together with national elections on September 26, according to local authorities.
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