German daily COVID deaths toll nears 1,000 a week into lockdown
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany reported a record daily coronavirus deaths of 962 on Wednesday, a week after a tough lockdown began that has forced most stores, hair salons and other services to close.
The total death toll is now 27,968, as data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed.
The previous daily death toll was 952 and was reported on December 16, the day the lockdown went into effect.
Compared to other European countries in the first wave of the pandemic in spring, Germany mastered the COVID-19 pandemic relatively well.
However, in recent months there has been a sharp spike in the number of cases and deaths, and in November an attempt to lower the number of infections with a "Lockdown Lite" that kept shops and schools open failed.
The eastern German state of Saxony was hit hard by the second wave and recorded the highest number of deaths per capita in the course of the pandemic with around 57 out of 100,000 inhabitants.
The city of Zittau on the German border with Poland and the Czech Republic said late Tuesday that its crematorium could no longer keep up with the number of deaths and would need to find additional space to store the dead.
Nationwide, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 24,740 to 1,554,920, as the RKI balance showed on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Tom Hogue and Michael Perry)
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