Germany's coronavirus deaths hit 815, infection rate slows
Death toll from the novel coronavirus in Germany rose to 815 on Wednesday, according to the most recent statistics released by local authorities.
Berlin-based website Coronavirus-Monitor, which compiles up-to-date numbers from the local health authorities, reported 128 new deaths over the past 24 hours.
With 6,166 new cases, the number of people infected with the virus climbed to 73,217 in the country.
More than 18,000 people were reported to have recovered from the virus.
- HIGHEST DAILY DEATH TOLL
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), which only uses official data submitted by the federal states, announced on Wednesday the highest daily toll in Germany since the beginning of the outbreak.
According to the country's disease control agency, federal states reported 149 new fatalities on Tuesday until midnight, up from 128 deaths reported a day earlier.
The agency put the overall death toll at 732 as of Wednesday morning, and the mortality rate was 1.1%.
- INFECTION RATE SLOWS
Despite significant rise in coronavirus deaths since Sunday, the rate of infection growth have slowed down this week, apparently due to the strict lockdown measures and widespread testing across the country.
While the number of new coronavirus cases consistently grew last week up to 16% in a single day, since Sunday, the daily infection rate has been under 8%.
Germany is the third worst-affected country by the coronavirus pandemic in Europe, but its death toll remained far lower than the two hardest-hit countries, Italy and Spain.
Italy's coronavirus death toll passed 12,000 on Tuesday, the highest globally. Spain has recorded 9,053 fatalities so far.
Germany is pursuing a strategy of widespread coronavirus testing and tested more than 700,000 people in the last three weeks, the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians announced on Wednesday.
According to a recent study by the Robert Koch Institute, most of those infected in Germany are younger and middle-aged. Less than 20% of the infected are among the high-risk group of people age 60 and over.
- HOSPITALS WELL PREPARED
Despite a rise in coronavirus patients in recent weeks, many intensive care beds with ventilators were not occupied, according to the statistics by the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI).
As of Wednesday, 7,337 coronavirus patients were receiving treatment in intensive care units with ventilators, while more than 5,000 beds and ventilators were still available, according to the DIVI, which compiled data from 912 hospitals.
Hospital managers informed the DIVI that they could make available 8,328 additional intensive care beds within 24-hours in case of an emergency.
The German government is also planning to double the number of beds in intensive care units across the country, and increasing its stock of ventilators from 25,000 to 35,000.
After originating in Wuhan last December, COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has spread to at least 180 countries and regions across the world, with its epicenter shifting to Europe.
The virus has killed more than 44,200 people and infected over 885,600 globally, while recoveries from the disease exceeded 185,400, according to figures compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.