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Germany reports a record number of new COVID-19 cases

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By Euronews  with AP
People line up for vaccination injections in front of at the vaccination center of the Malteser relief service on the fair grounds in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021
People line up for vaccination injections in front of at the vaccination center of the Malteser relief service on the fair grounds in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

Germany's public health body reported a record-high number of COVID-19 cases on Thursday.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said 33,949 new cases had been registered in the last 24 hours, up from 28,037 daily cases a week ago. The previous record was 33,777 new cases on 18 December 2020.

Federal health minister Jens Spahn is set to meet with state health ministers to discuss how to limit the virus' spread ahead of the winter as intensive care units in hospitals fill up and infections in children surge.

"We are currently experiencing a pandemic mainly among the unvaccinated and it is massive," Spahn said at a press conference earlier in the week.

There were 165 deaths reported on Thursday, up from 126 a week ago. At least 96,192 people have died from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic and more than 4.6 million people have contracted the virus.

Around 66% of Germany's population have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine but some 16.2 million people age 12 or above remain unvaccinated including 3.2 million over-60s.

Some German regions are tightening controls and pressure is mounting to require testing in German care homes.

Ulrich Weigeldt, the head of the association of family doctors, was quoted as saying that vaccination should be mandatory for people working in care homes and hospitals.

“No unvaccinated person should have contact with such a vulnerable group, either professionally or as a visitor," Weigeldt told daily tabloid Bild. "This applies to senior citizen homes and nursing homes as well as to intensive care units.”