Germany sets new daily record exceeding 18,000 coronavirus cases

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Germany has recorded 18,681 new coronavirus infections over a 24-hour period, the Robert Koch Institute for disease control said on Friday, marking the country’s highest daily increase since the pandemic began.

This brings the total number of cases in the country so far to 499,694 and the institute gave the death toll as 10,349, an increase of 77 compared to the previous day.

Friday marks the third day running the country broke its record of daily figures. The previous record from Thursday was 16,774.

The surge in infections comes as Germany’s federal and state governments agreed on Wednesday to sweeping contact restrictions for the month of November in a bid to stem coronavirus infections before Christmas.

Cultural and recreational facilities will shut as well as restaurants and bars, and outdoor gatherings will be limited to members of no more than two households, with a maximum of 10 people.

The sweeping restrictions come into effect on Monday.

Fans will also be banned from top-level football matches in the Bundesliga, amateur sport will not take place, and gyms, pools, cosmetic studios, massage parlours and tattoo studios will have to close.

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday defended the November shutdown as “suitable, necessary and proportionate”.

Similarly, Germany is expected on Friday to post a hefty pickup in economic growth in the third quarter as it rebounds from a deep trough triggered by the coronavirus crisis.

The Federal Statistical Office forecast quoted analysts as saying that Europe’s biggest economy expanded by more than 7 per cent in the third quarter.

They said this came after it contracted by 9.7 per cent in the three months to the end of June at the height of the first wave of the global pandemic.

However, the rebound in German Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is looking increasingly fragile with business confidence in the nation declining at a faster-than-forecast rate, ending five consecutive monthly gains.

The country’s central bank, the Bundesbank also warned on Monday that the nation’s economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis could slow in the run-up to the end of the year.

“The German economy – as measured by quarterly GDP – may already have made up for just over half of the drastic slump in the first half of the year,” the Bundesbank wrote in its October monthly bulletin.

“From today’s perspective, the German economy should continue its recovery in the current quarter, but at a considerably slower pace.”

dpa/NAN

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