Covid latest news: Germany announces record number of infections and deaths

, Covid latest news: Germany announces record number of infections and deaths, The Evepost News
, Covid latest news: Germany announces record number of infections and deaths, The Evepost News

Germany has announced record daily coronavirus fatalities and infections as its total death toll passed 100,000 on Thursday, with its most severe virus wave yet swelling just as a new government prepares to replace Angela Merkel’s coalition.

Germany weathered earlier bouts of the pandemic better than many other European countries, but has seen a recent resurgence, with intensive care beds rapidly filling up.

Europe’s largest economy recorded 351 Covid-19 fatalities in the past 24 hours, bringing the official death toll since the start of the pandemic to 100,119, in what German daily newspaper Bild labelled a “grim milestone”.

The weekly incidence rate also hit an all-time high of 419.7 new infections per 100,000 people, according to figures from the Robert Koch Institute health agency.

Some hospitals are already facing an “acute overload” that has made it necessary to transfer Covid-19 patients abroad, according to Gernot Marx, head of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine.

Follow all the latest updates below.

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11:39AM

Planet Normal: Dismissing Wuhan lab leak theory was a ‘shocking episode in the history of science’

When Matt Ridley started writing his new book on the origins of the Coronavirus pandemic, he and his co-author, Canadian molecular biologist Dr Alina Chan, felt the possibility that the virus was an engineered escapee of the Wuhan Institute of Virology was unlikely.

, Covid latest news: Germany announces record number of infections and deaths, The Evepost News

But both their views have changed.

“I thought I’d probably be able to dismiss it after a couple of months’ work,” he tells Telegraph columnists Liam Halligan and Allison Pearson on their weekly podcast, Planet Normal, which you can listen to using the audio player below. 

11:17AM

Dutch hospitals postpone chemotherapy, organ transplants due to Covid-19 surge

Some Dutch hospitals have halted chemotherapy treatments and organ transplants to free up intensive care beds for a surging number of Covid-19 patients, an official said on Thursday.

The Dutch Hospital Association for Critical Care said it had asked Health Minister Hugo de Jonge to escalate the national Covid-19 plan to a stage under which regular care requiring an overnight stay would be cancelled.

The number of coronavirus patients in hospital has hit levels not seen since early May, and experts have warned that hospitals will reach full capacity in little more than a week if the virus is not contained. Several Covid-19 patients were transferred to German hospitals this week.

Responding to record high infection rates, the government’s leading Outbreak Management Team convened an emergency meeting Wednesday night and new lockdown measures are expected to be announced on Friday.

“There are hospitals in several regions scaling back care,” a spokesperson for the hospital association said. “We are talking about care that requires a bed. That means a lot of appointments are being cancelled.”

Under the next phase of the crisis response plan, hospitals could also request the assistance of military personnel and students to help nurse patients.