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Germany sets another record for new daily COVID-19 cases

A sign directs people to a coronavirus test station at the central train station, in Berlin, Germany. Photo by Omer Messinger/EPA-EFE
A sign directs people to a coronavirus test station at the central train station, in Berlin, Germany. Photo by Omer Messinger/EPA-EFE

Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Germany set another record Saturday for its daily COVID-19 case count, according to the Robert Koch Institute.

The German federal agency reported 7,830 new daily cases within a span of 24 hours, up from the last record of 7,334 new daily cases on Friday, and another record of 6,638 new cases a day earlier.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged citizens in a video message to follow government regulations to curb the rising number of cases and "meet with a lot fewer people" both inside and outside their homes.

"We must do everything to ensure that the virus does not spread in an uncontrolled way," Merkel said amid the record highs. "Every day counts."

The German government's strategy to control the virus has focused on contact tracing to isolate individuals before they can infect others.

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"Health authorities are doing amazing work in this regard ... but where the number of infections become too high, they simply cannot keep up," Merkel said.

Merkel added that people should avoid traveling unless necessary.

"If each of us drastically reduces the amount of contacts outside if [of] their own family, then it is possible to stop and even reverse this trend," she added.

Germany has reported 359,802 cases and 9,776 deaths since the pandemic began, according to the Johns Hopkins University global tracker.

On Friday, the Czech Republic also set a daily record, reporting some 11,105 new daily cases of COVID-19. It was the first time the country recorded more than 10,000 cases in a day.

The Czech Republic has reported 164,422 cases and 1,338 deaths to date, with over 89,000 cases reported in October.

The government on Friday approved the construction of a field hospital in Prague's Letnany exhibition grounds. The army was expected to begin work on the 500-bed hospital this weekend.

Italy reported a new daily record of 10,925 cases, the national Civil Protection Agency said Saturday, amid a second wave of the virus raging through Europe.

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Campania, the Italian region that includes Naples, has reported a daily infection rate five times higher than March's peak.

Campania Gov. Vincenzo De Luca ordered schools closed through October and threatened a lockdown if the number of cases continue to rise.

"Are we dramatizing it?" the regional governor questioned in a Facebook post. "No, simply doing a calculation that will prevent use from a crushing situation in our hospitals."

Since the pandemic began, Italy has reported 402,536 cases and 36,474 deaths, Johns Hopkins data shows.

France began to impose new restrictions Saturday to control the spread of the coronavirus, including a curfew in Paris and seven other cities from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

France has reported 876,342 cases and 33,325 deaths, Johns Hopkins data shows.

Belgium similarly will impose a curfew starting Monday to curb rising cases, from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. Cafes, bars and restaurants will also be closed.

Belgium has reported 202,151 cases and 10,359 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.

Britain reported 150 new deaths and 16,171 new cases Saturday, government figures showed. To date, Britain has reported 692,126 cases and 43,669 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data.

The British government imposed tighter COVID-19 restrictions on meetings in London earlier this week to combat the spread of the coronavirus, including a ban on people meeting with people outside their household in an indoor setting and ban on people meeting in a group of six or more outside.

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According to a CNBC analysis, when adjusting for population, the number of new cases in Europe has overtaken the United States. Europe has reported 187 new cases per million people based on a seven-day average, compared with 162 new cases per million people in the United States as of Thursday.

Worldwide, COVID-19 has sickened over 39.4 million people and killed over 1.1 million people.

World moves to reopen amid COVID-19 pandemic

Visitors wear face masks as they tour the Whitney Museum of American Art as it reopens on September 3. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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