BERLIN – Germany recorded its highest daily number of coronavirus cases on Thursday with more than 65,000 new infections, as officials warned that many hospitals were at the limits of their capacity.
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the country's disease control agency, confirmed 65,371 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, up from 52,826 cases reported on Wednesday.
The virus claimed 264 more lives, bringing the country’s death toll in the pandemic to 98,538.
Health authorities in the southern state of Bavaria warned that many hospitals have reached their full capacity with seriously ill Covid-19 patients, and started transferring new patients to other cities and states.
There were 3,376 seriously ill coronavirus patients in intensive care units (ICUs) across the country on Wednesday, with 1,710 of them on mechanical ventilators.
Germany has seen a resurgence of coronavirus as people spend more time indoors during the colder months, and a large number of people are still unvaccinated against the disease.
As many as 56.3 million people, or 67.7 percent of the country’s population, are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
The government’s goal has been to vaccinate at least 75 percent of the population to prevent an exponential rise in new infections during the fall and winter months.
Germany’s central government and premiers of federal states are scheduled to hold a videoconference later in the day to organize a wider vaccination campaign and introduce tougher restrictions, especially for unvaccinated people.
SoKor’s highest single-day spike
South Korea on Thursday also reported nearly 3,300 new COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day spike since the country's pandemic outbreak last year, local media reported.
According to the Yonhap News Agency, the country recorded 3,292 new cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the total caseload to 406,065, as the country battles the pandemic's fourth wave.
The new spike broke the previous record of 3,270 COVID-19 cases in a single day on Sept. 25.
With 29 more fatalities, the death toll has now reached 3,187, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.
Since July 7, new infections have been rising in the country following the emergence of the Delta variant.
Cases spiked after the government eased restrictions across the country under the "living with Covid-19" scheme on Nov. 1 to allow people to return to normal life, according to the report.
Under that scheme, the government allowed people to gather in groups of up to 10 in the capital and its surrounding areas, while the limit was raised to 12 in other parts of the country, regardless of vaccination.
Limits on working hours for businesses were also lifted, though people asked to continue wearing masks indoors.
When entering high-risk facilities such as pubs, nightclubs, and indoor gyms, visitors must show their immunization certificates or negative Covid-19 test results.
South Korea intends to lift all restrictions by the end of February of next year.
So far, 42.11 million people, or 82 percent of the country's 52 million population, have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, while over 40.31 million, or 78.5 percent people, have been fully vaccinated, according to the agency.
All-time high death toll in Russia
Russia on Wednesday registered another record number of daily coronavirus fatalities -- 1,247 people died over the past day, pushing the overall count to 259,084.
Over the same period, 36,626 people contracted the virus, taking Russia's caseload to 9.18 million and active cases to 1.04 million, the country's emergency task force said in a daily report.
Meanwhile, 36,388 patients healed of Covid-19 since Tuesday, bringing the total recoveries to 7.88 million.
Since December 2019, the pandemic has claimed more than 5.1 million lives in 192 countries and regions, with over 254.4 million cases reported worldwide, according to the US' Johns Hopkins University. (Anadolu)