Germany has recorded nearly 20,000 new coronavirus cases in one day what is its highest level yet.
The national disease control center, the Robert Koch Institute, on Thursday said 19,990 infections had been confirmed in the past 24 hours. That tops the previous record of 19,059 set on 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 countries in Europe, Germany has seen a sharp rise in infections in recent weeks. A four-week partial shutdown took effect on Monday, with bars, restaurants, leisure and sports facilities being closed and new contact restrictions imposed. Shops and schools remain open.
The German government also extended quarantine rules for several European countries on Friday. Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia and Cyprus have been declared high-risk areas, meaning travelers coming to Germany from those countries will have to quarantine unless they provide a negative COVID-19 test. Almost all of Austria and Italy have also been designated high-risk areas according to DW.
Although Germany’s situation is alarming officials, many other European countries are in worse shape. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control said Wednesday that Germany has 237 new cases per 100,000 residents over 14 days — some seven times lower than in Belgium.
Four regions in Italy are being put under severe lockdown, forbidding people to leave their homes except for essential reasons, in an effort to slow surging COVID-19 infections and prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed.