dpa/GNA – Germany on Thursday counted its highest 24-hour death toll in the coronavirus pandemic so far, despite sweeping lockdown measures designed to curb the spread of the virus and shield the nation’s hospitals.
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, according to the RKI, whose president, Lothar Wieler, is scheduled to speak to the press later in the day.
There is still concern among officials that a lag in testing over the New Year could mean that the numbers don’t show the full picture.
The country has closed schools, non-essential shops, bars, restaurants, and leisure and cultural facilities under a lockdown that has been incrementally tightened since early November.
The measures, which also ban people from meeting with more than one other person from another household, are set to remain in place until the end of the month at the earliest.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and other government ministers have warned that the lockdown could endure beyond January.
Merkel is expected to meet with the nation’s 16 state premiers on January 25 to discuss next steps.