Germany's virus situation 'very serious': health body

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Germany is facing a “very serious” surge in coronavirus cases, said the head of the Robert Koch Institute’s disease control center on Thursday as the country reported a record of 11,287 new infections.

It is still possible to bring the virus under control through “systematic compliance with restrictive measures”, said Lothar Wieler.

But “the overall situation has become very serious,” he added.

Like many European countries, Germany has been exposed to a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases for several weeks.

The number of cases on Thursday is well above the previous record of 7,830 last Friday and is a steep jump from the 7,595 cases reported on Wednesday.

In light of the boom, authorities have tightened measures to contain the spread of the pandemic, such as banning large gatherings.

Local restrictions have also been imposed – in Berlin it is now mandatory to wear a mask on certain busy streets.

Wieler blamed private gatherings, especially among young people, for the dramatic increase in cases on Thursday.

“The more people gather in private circles, the more the numbers will increase and the further the virus will spread,” he said, noting that “the boys are currently the most affected by this virus”.

Wieler urged people to follow the rules, but warned that “uncontrolled” spread in some regions could be inevitable.

On Saturday, Chancellor Angela Merkel urged citizens to socialize less and encouraged them to stay at home instead.

“What winter will be, what our Christmas will be, will be decided in the coming days and weeks,” she warned.

At least 392,049 people have been infected in Germany since the outbreak of the virus, and 9,905 deaths have been reported.

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