Official figures released Thursday show that Germany has become the latest country to exceed 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.
The German disease control agency said it has recorded an additional 351 deaths associated with the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, with total casualties reaching 100,119.
In Europe, Germany is the fifth country to pass the mark after Russia, Great Britain, Italy and France.
The Robert Koch Institute, a federal agency that collects data from about 400 community health agencies, said Germany also set a record of 75,961 daily confirmed cases in 24 hours. Since the onset of the outbreak, there have been more than 5.57 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Germany.
Due to the surge in incidents, the German government, waiting on Wednesday, has announced the creation of a new permanent group of experts to advise authorities on how to tackle a pandemic.
Daily infections are higher than those seen during the surge last winter, but now there are fewer daily deaths per confirmed case. Experts claim that this is due to vaccination, reducing the likelihood of serious illness.
Still, hospitals have warned that there is a shortage of intensive care units, with nearly 4,000 already occupied by COVID-19 patients. Several hospitals in the southern and eastern parts of the country have begun transferring patients to other areas.
Roland Engehausen, general manager of the Bavarian Hospital Association, said the number of new cases needed to be significantly reduced.
“Otherwise, we’ll be in a dramatic situation like Christmas and New Year, which we haven’t seen yet,” he told Deutsche Presse dpa.
Saxony in the northeast became the first German state to record the number of weeks of confirmed cases of more than 1,000 per 100,000 inhabitants on Thursday. Among the 16 states in Germany, the vaccination rate is the lowest at 57.9%.
The government has urged those who were vaccinated more than six months ago to be boosted, and those who have not been vaccinated at all to be given the first injection. Officials say that 68.1% of Germany’s 83 million inhabitants are fully vaccinated, well below the government’s target of 75%.
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