Great Britain

Germany sees highest number of coronavirus deaths with 266 victims in 24 hours as number of cases continues to rises

GERMANY has been rocked by a record rise in coronavirus deaths after 266 more people died in just 24 hours.

The latest deaths bring the total now killed in the country during the outbreak to 2,373 following a previous record daily rise of 254 announced on Wednesday.

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Meanwhile the total number of infections jumped by 5,323 to 113,525 - the fourth daily rise in a row.

Around half of the new deaths were in the southern states of Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg which are closest to virus-ravaged Italy.

Germany's mortality rate is now 2.1 per cent which means that one in 48 confirmed infections have resulted in death.

Up until now the country has fared better in the battle against the bug than many of its neighbours in Western Europe.

Health chiefs there have managed to keep the death rate relatively low, while the actual number of daily deaths actually seemed to be falling earlier this week.

But hopes Germany had seen the worst of the outbreak have been dashed by today's new statistics.

Germany’s relatively good performance against Covid-19 has been partially put down to its high number of hospital beds.

Experts have pointed to the fact Germany has one of the world’s highest concentrations of hospitals.

On top of this, the German government last month said it would double the number of intensive care beds to about 56,000 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In contrast, the UK had just 4,000 ICU beds as of the end of March, although work has been ongoing to boost that number.

ICU beds can mean the difference between life and death for those who become severely ill with Covid-19.

As well as more ICU beds, Dr Mike Ryan, health emergencies director at the World Health Organisation (WHO) also revealed rigorous testing in Germany may be having an impact on their death toll.

He said last month: "Germany has had a very aggressive testing process - so the number of tests maybe detecting more mild cases."

And, speaking at a press conference in March, Professor Lothar Wieler of Germany’s Robert Koch Institute added: "From the beginning, we have very systematically called upon our doctors to test people.

"We can provide testing to a high degree so that we can easily look into the beginnings of the epidemic."

Angela Merkel refused a handshake by Germany's Interior Minister as officials struggle with rapidly growing outbreak of coronavirus

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