BERLIN (AP) – The death toll from coronavirus has risen to more than 50,000 in Germany, a number that has risen sharply in recent weeks as infection figures are finally declining.
The nation’s Centers for Disease Control, Robert Koch Institute, said on Friday that another 859 deaths have occurred in the last 24 hours, totaling 50,642 so far.
Germany had a relatively small number of deaths in the first phase of the epidemic and was able to quickly lift many restrictions.
But it has seen high levels of infection in the fall and winter. In recent weeks, there have been hundreds of deaths per day in the country of 83 million people, sometimes more than 1,000. On January 10, Germany scored 40,000.
President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will leave a light shining in a window in his Belvet palace in Berlin from Friday evening in memory of the dead and those fighting for his life, his office said. He encouraged other Germans to do the same.
Stanmire plans to lead a central memorial program for the dead after Easter.
Steinmeier said the light meant that “the dead in the Corona epidemic are not just figures for us.” “Even though we don’t know their names and families, we know that every figure stands for a loved one whom we remember infinitely.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel echoed those comments this week, describing recent death figures as “terrible”. Still, she said that daily infections are falling and that fewer people are receiving intensive care than at Christmas.
In Europe, the UK, Italy, France and Spain, all of which have a low population, still have high deaths.
The explanation of the high death figures this week is “relatively low but very disappointing,” said Lothar Willer, head of the Robert Koch Institute.
“The increase is simply linked to the fact that the case numbers increased so much,” he said.
Wieler said there are still several outbreaks in nursing homes – currently more than 900. Some households are better prepared than others to combat the epidemic. There are also a large number of cases between the 80s.
Overall, the new infections peak in December. On Friday, the Robert Koch Institute reported 17,862 new cases from 22,368 a week earlier. Germany’s total so far is over 2.1 million. After reaching about 200 a month ago, the number of new cases per 100,000 residents in seven days was 115.3. This is still well above the government’s target of 50.
There are currently 4,787 COVID-19 patients in intensive care, said Gernot Marx, head of DIVI, the intensive care association of Germany.
He is below the peak of around 5,800 on January 3, he said – “In my opinion, this was the most important situation since intensive care in Germany.” He said that there is no sign of Christmas or New Year’s peak.
Germany’s current lockdown was extended until this week. On February 14, amid concerns about the potential impact of virus mutations, first found in England.
Authorities are trying to encourage more people to work from home, thus reducing the number of people who use public transport. Restaurant, bars, sports and leisure facilities have been closed since early November. Schools and unprofessional shops followed in mid-December, and professional sports events are taking place without an audience.
Merkel says everyone in Germany will be offered vaccinations by the end of September. The slow onset of vaccination has led to disappointment. As of Thursday, about 1.39 million people had received the first dose and more than 115,000 second doses.
The UK has delayed giving a second dose for three months, so it may give a higher dose. But Health Minister Jens Spann indicated that Germany would not follow suit, pointing to concerns over the lack of study data and the need for the most vulnerable and elderly to achieve “comprehensive” protection.
“We will stick to the recommended rhythm for the second dose at this time, according to all scientific grounds,” Spann said on Friday.
Frank Jordan of Berlin contributed to this report.