Germany reports another COVID-19 record: 50,196 new cases

BERLIN (Reuters) -Germany reported a record 50,196 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, the fourth day in a row it has posted a fresh daily high, as a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections sweeps the country.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases is now 4.89 million, and total deaths rose 235 to 97,198, according to the Robert Koch Institute public health authority.

The institute reported a rise in the coronavirus seven-day incidence rate – the number of people per 100,000 to be infected over the last week – to 249 from 232 on Wednesday.

Reinhard Sager, the president of the association of German local authorities (DLT), called on the catering and event industry to more strictly check that customers are tested, vaccinated or recovered from the virus.

“The concern about losing potential customers should be significantly less than the concern about the consequences that threaten if they continue to do too little to fulfil the control obligations,” Sager told the Rheinische Post newspaper.

The three German parties in talks to form a coalition government by early December have agreed not to extend a nationwide state of emergency, despite the wave of infections.

Instead, they presented a draft law on Monday that would amend existing legislation to allow for measures such as compulsory face masks and social distancing in public spaces to continue to be enforced until next March.

The draft law is due to be presented to the Bundestag lower house of parliament on Thursday and voted on in a special session a week later.

The parties are also considering allowing employers to impose a requirement for their staff to be vaccinated, recovered or tested negative for coronavirus, Dirk Wiese, the deputy parliamentary leader of the Social Democrats, told ARD television.

(Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Michael Perry and Toby Chopra)

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