Germany registered on Sunday for the first time more fully recovered coronavirus patients than people still infected with the virus, according to the country’s disease control agency.
The Robert Koch Institute reported 60,200 recoveries as of Sunday, compared to 57,606 current COVID-19 infections, raising hope that the country's measures to fight coronavirus outbreak were bearing fruit.
The institute recorded a total of 120,479 coronavirus cases so far, including those who recovered, outstanding infections and those who died from the virus.
The country’s death toll reached 2,673, with 129 new deaths reported by the local health authorities as of Sunday morning.
Germany has the fifth-highest tally of reported COVID-19 infections in the world, ranking behind the U.S., Spain, Italy, and France. But its death toll remains far lower than other hard-hit countries.
Besides widespread coronavirus testing, Germany has also significantly raised the bed capacity of intensive care units in hospitals: from 28,000 to nearly 40,000 in a couple of weeks.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's government imposed strict lockdown measures last month to stem the spread of the coronavirus, ordering all non-essential shops to close, and banning any social contact among more than two people in public.
Last week, Merkel expressed “cautious optimism” about slowing rate of new COVID-19 infections in the country, and ruled out discussing a lockdown exit strategy before achieving sustained decline in new infections.
The government is expected to reassess the situation on Wednesday after consulting the disease control agency.
Since appearing in China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 185 countries and regions, with its epicenter having shifted to Europe and the U.S.
Data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University shows that worldwide infections have reached 1.78 million, with the death toll nearing 110,000. Almost 412,000 people have recovered.