22,609 new Covid cases take Germany’s tally to 855,916

Germany has recorded 22,609 fresh coronavirus cases, taking the tally in the country to 855,916, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said.

The increase is slightly above the previous week’s level.

Germany is currently in the second half of a month-long partial coronavirus lockdown, Xinhua news agency reported.

The situation is “still serious, very serious,” said RKI President Lothar Wieler at a press conference on Thursday. The case numbers are “still very high overall, much too high.”

“The case numbers have stabilized at a high level in the last two weeks,” said Wieler.

“But we do not know whether this is already a trend reversal.”

The number of deaths related to COVID-19 in Germany increased by 251 on Thursday to a total of 13,370, according to the RKI.

The number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care increased to 3,561 by Wednesday, the RKI said. During the first wave of COVID-19, the peak was around 2,900 Covid-19 patients in intensive care units, according to the DIVI online registry for intensive care beds.

Some hospitals in the country could reach capacity limits soon and patients could no longer receive optimal care, Wieler said.

On Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the minister presidents of the federal states drew up an interim balance sheet of Germany’s partial lockdown. Rather than further tightening the preventive measures, they appealed to the public to reduce social contacts to a minimum.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, countries including Germany, China, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States are racing to find a vaccine.

According to the website of the World Health Organization, as of November 12, 212 Covid-19 candidate vaccines were being developed worldwide, 48 of them in clinical trials.