Germany last country to pass 100,000 deaths from COVID-19

Official figures show Germany has become last country to exceed 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic

BERLIN — Official figures released Thursday show that Germany has become the last country to exceed 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

In Europe, Germany is the fifth country to cross that border, after Russia, the United Kingdom, Italy and France.

The rise in the number of cases prompted the German government-in-waiting on Wednesday to announce the creation of a new permanent expert group to advise officials on how to deal with the pandemic.

Although the number of daily infections is higher than during the last wave of winter, there are currently fewer daily deaths per confirmed case. Experts claim this is due to vaccinations, which they say reduce the risk of serious illness.

Still, hospitals have warned that intensive care beds are running out, with nearly 4,000 already occupied by COVID-19 patients. Some hospitals in the south and east of the country have started transferring patients to other regions.

The general manager of the Bavarian Hospital Association, Roland Engehausen, said the number of new cases should fall sharply.

“Otherwise, between Christmas and New Years, we will have a dramatic situation such as we have not seen before,” he told the German news agency dpa.

Saxony, in the northeast, became the first German state on Thursday to record a weekly number of confirmed cases of more than 1,000 per 100,000 inhabitants. It has the lowest vaccination rate – 57.9% – of the 16 German states.

The government has urged people who were vaccinated more than six months ago to get boosters, and those who haven’t been vaccinated at all to get their first shot. Officials say 68.1% of Germany’s 83 million residents have been fully vaccinated, well below the 75% minimum level the government has been aiming for.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

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