Europe, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

COVID-19: Germany death toll rises to 275

Chancellor Angela Merkel rules out easing of lockdown measures, warns of sharp rise in new infections

Ayhan Şimşek   | 27.03.2020
COVID-19: Germany death toll rises to 275


Coronavirus cases in Germany continued to rise on Friday despite drastic lockdown measures to stem the spread of virus.

The number of cases climbed to 45,076, while the death toll rose to 275, according to the Berlin-based website Coronavirus-Monitor, which compiles up-to-date numbers from local health authorities.

Authorities reported 53 more fatalities and nearly 5,500 more cases over the past 24 hours.

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday evening ruled out easing lockdown measures, stressing that new infections continued to rise rapidly over the last couple of days.

The government this week tightened coronavirus restrictions, banning any social contact between more than two people in public.

The federal states also ordered all non-essential shops to close, with restaurants restricted to takeaway and delivery service.

Germany is the third-worst-affected country by the coronavirus pandemic in Europe, but its death toll has so far remained far lower than the two hardest-hit countries, Italy and Spain.

According to a recent study by the Robert Koch Institute, most of those infected in Germany are younger and middle-aged.

More than 77% of them are age 15-59, the country's disease control agency reported on Wednesday. 

Less than 20% of the infected are among the high-risk group of people age 60 and over. 

The average age of Germany’s coronavirus fatalities is 81, according to the institute. 

More than 410,000 tests conducted

Germany is pursuing a strategy of widespread testing to detect those infected and isolate them in an attempt to contain the virus’ spread.

So far more than 410,000 coronavirus tests have been conducted across the county, including for people showing only mild symptoms.

After first appearing in Wuhan, China, last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 176 countries and regions, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

The data shows more than 542,700 cases have been reported worldwide, with the death toll above 24,000 and over 124,000 recoveries.

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