Germany’s death toll from the coronavirus rose by the most since the pandemic began, topping 1,000 for a third straight day after Chancellor Angela Merkel warned the toughest months still lie ahead.
Fatalities have more than doubled since the start of December and increased by another 1,152 in the 24 hours through Friday morning, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Total infections rose by 45,333, close to the daily record of 49,044 on Dec. 31, to 1.89 million.
In a bid to halt the surge, Merkel and state leaders agreed Tuesday to tighter limits on movement, sharpened restrictions on private gatherings and prolonged hard lockdown measures until at least Jan. 31. Weeks of strict curbs have helped reduce contagion rates, but they’re still well above a government target, straining the health-care system.
Merkel followed up her warning Thursday by sounding a note of optimism, saying that the start of a vaccination program offers a “glimmer of hope.”
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