Germany reports record COVID-19 deaths

Germany reported a record 1,188 daily COVID-19 deaths on Friday. Europe's largest and most populous economy hopes to be able to limit the spread of the virus until enough of its population has been vaccinated against COVID-19 to achieve herd immunity.

Earlier on Tuesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and state premiers agreed to restrict non-essential travel for residents of hard-hit areas all over Germany for the first time.

The death toll reported by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases on Friday surpassed a previous record of 1,129 registered on Dec. 30, taking the total in connection with the pandemic to 38,795. It also confirms another 31,849 new infections, one of the highest daily tallies so far. The premier of the eastern state of Thuringia, one of the hardest-hit areas in Germany, called on the government in Berlin to extend the shutdown to the whole economy, as in the first wave of the pandemic, to curb the surge in infections.

"I don't see any other option," Bodo Ramelow told broadcaster MDR, shortly after the neighboring state of Saxony reported the first discovery of the more transmissible variant of the virus in a traveler returning from Great Britain. "We made a mistake by missing the opportunity to shut down the economy in December," he added,

Germany is also reportedly considering suspending flights from additional countries, including Ireland, over concerns about the new variant of the virus.

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