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Coronavirus

Germany Says Virus Infection Decline Weeks Away

December 22, 2020

BERLIN — The head of Germany’s disease control center says it will probably be several weeks before infections in the country, which is nearly a week into a toughened lockdown, start to decline.

Germany has seen new coronavirus cases and deaths related to COVID-19 hit record highs over recent weeks, despite a partial shutdown in place since early November. Last Wednesday, nonessential shops and schools were closed in a bid to reverse the trend.

Lothar Wieler, the head of the Robert Koch Institute disease control center, said Tuesday that he fears the Christmas period is making the situation worse, despite restrictions on the number of people allowed to gather.

He appealed to people not to travel, to minimize contacts beyond their closest family and where possible meet others outdoors.

On Tuesday, Wieler’s institute reported 19,528 new cases over the past 24 hours, up from 14,432 a week earlier and bringing Germany’s total to 1.53 million. It recorded 731 more deaths, bringing the total to 27,006.

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