Record COVID-19 deaths reported in Germany

German health officials reported their highest single-day death toll from the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday.

The Associated Press reported that officials at Germany’s Robert Koch Institute, which serves as the country’s highest health authority, recorded 962 deaths over a 24-hour period Wednesday morning, a surge that comes alongside Germany’s highest numbers of new COVID-19 cases amid the pandemic so far.

Just under 28,000 people have died across Germany from the disease, a number that remains far lower than the U.S. and other countries which have had less success in limiting the virus’s spread. But Germany’s daily rate of deaths from the virus has risen by 62 percent over the last two weeks, underscoring concerns in the country.


The new numbers come as Germany’s health minister said Monday that the country’s health authorities will begin vaccinations for COVID-19 on Dec. 27 in care homes for elderly Germans, a few weeks after the vaccine began being distributed in the U.K. and U.S.

Chancellor Angela Merkel announced earlier this month that in-person learning at German schools would be cancelled until at least Christmas, and closed many non-essential businesses as well while placing limits on gatherings ahead of the Christmas holiday.

“The measures which we began on November 2 have not been enough,” Merkel said in a statement last weekend.

“The health system is under heavy strain and our aim has always been to avoid an overloading of the health care system,” the chancellor added at the time.