Germany hits 5,000 new cases, Merkel eyes action

BERLIN — The number of newly reported coronavirus cases in Germany has passed 5,000 for the first time since mid-April.

The country’s disease control agency, the Robert Koch Institute, said Wednesday that a further 5,132 infections and 43 deaths from COVID-19 were recorded over the past day.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is meeting the governors of Germany’s 16 states Wednesday to discuss which measures to take in response to the growing case load.

Officials are particularly concerned that COVID-19 infections might increase among older people, who are more likely to suffer serious illnesses.

So far, some 620 people in Germany are receiving intensive care treatment for COVID-19.

Since the start of the pandemic, Germany has recorded a total of 334,585 coronavirus infections, of which almost 282,000 are considered to have recovered. There have been 9,677 deaths in the country from COVID-19.


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LONDON — Health officials are scheduled to meet Wednesday to discuss whether to add areas of northern England, including Manchester and Lancashire, to the highest-risk tier, meaning additional anti-coronavirus measures such as closing pubs could soon be imposed there. Only Liverpool was placed in the highest-risk category when the plan was unveiled Monday.

The discussions come as the regional government in Northern Ireland prepares to announce even tougher measures, including a two-week school closure. Northern Ireland has the highest infection rate among the U.K.’s four nations.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is being criticized by all sides two days after announcing his three-tier approach to controlling the virus.

A report released Tuesday showed that the government’s science advisers have called for tougher measures, including a two- to three-week national lockdown. The opposition Labour Party has called for that advice to be followed, while members of Johnson’s Conservative Party say the measures already in place go too far and are damaging the economy.


BERLIN — Berlin’s Staatskapelle orchestra under star conductor Daniel Barenboim has called off a three-country European tour planned for November because of the coronavirus pandemic and the difficulties of juggling different countries’ travel restrictions.

The Staatskapelle had planned to play Beethoven works in Paris, Athens and Vienna between Nov. 6 and 22.

The orchestra said Wednesday that it had proven impossible to go ahead with the tour, “not least because of the complex situation with travel to three countries, each with different travel and quarantine rules.” It said the orchestra hopes to be able to rearrange the concerts in the future.

The decision comes after new coronavirus infections hit a record daily increase last week across Europe.



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