Germany hit another grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic on Friday, crossing over 1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The Robert Koch Institute, the country’s disease control center, said Germany’s 16 states reported 22,806 cases overnight for a total of 1,6006,394 since the outbreak.
Despite the large number of infections, Germany has seen fewer deaths than many other European countries, with 15,586 – compared with over 50,000 in, for example, the United Kingdom, Italy and France.
A rapid response to the first outbreak, massive tests and a robust hospital system have been credited for keeping the death rate down. A total of 696,100 people have recovered from the virus, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute.
The country is almost a month into a so-called “wave-breaker” shutdown that was set up on November 2 after an alarming increase in daily figures to new record highs. Friday’s total was slightly less than what was reported a week ago and officials say the new measures have managed to stop the sharp increase.
But Chancellor Angela Merkel and state governors decided earlier this week to extend the shutdown well into December and add more restrictions to try to bring the numbers down to less than 50 per 100,000 inhabitants each week. It is only at that level or below that officials say they can effectively track outbreaks to implement quarantines when needed.
Currently, the country sees about 138 cases per 100,000 according to the Robert Koch Institute.