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Coronavirus: 40,000 deaths in Germany, Merkel fears “the hardest phase of the pandemic”

Germany has recorded 465 deaths from Covid-19 disease in the past 24 hours, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 40,343, the institute said.

Lhe total number of deaths caused by the coronavirus in Germany crossed the 40,000 threshold on Sunday, announced the Robert Koch (RKI) health watch institute. Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that the coming weeks will be “the hardest phase of the pandemic”.

Germany has recorded 465 deaths from Covid-19 disease in the past 24 hours, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 40,343, the institute said.

More than 1.9 million people have been infected so far, with nearly 17,000 new cases recorded since Saturday. In her weekly video message on Saturday, Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that the full impact of heightened social contact during the Christmas and New Years periods was not yet showing in the statistics.

She warned Germans that the coming weeks would be “the hardest phase of the pandemic” to date with many doctors and medical staff working to their maximum capacity.

Germany, the most populous country in the European Union with some 83 million inhabitants, is struggling to contain the pandemic. It was hit hard by the second wave of the virus after being relatively spared compared to many other European countries during the first phase.

The country has just extended and strengthened partial containment until January 31 and is urging citizens to reduce their contacts even further.

More than 5,000 Covid-19 patients are currently in intensive care in Germany and more than 80% of the beds in the intensive care units are occupied.

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