In Brief: RKI reports record number of new COVID-19 cases in Germany

The new high of daily cases is 23,648, which is 106 more cases than last week’s record-setting number.

Photo by Martha Dominguez de Gouveia on Unsplash

Updated on Nov. 20 at 10:00 a.m.

By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and Kate Brady

The head of Germany’s disease prevention authority said on Thursday despite some hopeful signs, the COVID-19 crisis remains very serious.

Dr. Lothar Wieler of the Robert Koch Institute told reporters: “The number of cases over the last few weeks has stabilized at a high level, but the good news is that it’s not rising.”

He added the bad news is that the number of patients in intensive care is increasing and the number of fatalities remains too high.

On Friday morning, the Robert Koch Institute reported a record number of 23,648 new cases over a 24-hour period, surpassing last week’s record by 106 cases.

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Christian Democrats leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has called on Family Minister Franziska Giffey to resign, if her doctor title is withdrawn.

Giffey, who is with the governing coalition’s Social Democrats, had already said last week that she would no longer use her doctor title after Berlin’s Freie Universität reopened its investigation into accusations that she plagiarized her PhD thesis a decade ago.

CDU’s Kramp-Karrenbauer said she hopes a final decision in the case will come before Berlin’s local elections next fall, when Giffey hopes to become Berlin’s Social Democratic Party leader, and the city’s mayor.

The FU says a decision on whether Giffey will join a growing list of German politicians who have been stripped of their doctor titles and lost their jobs as a result, can be expected by February.

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German cultural events have a more prominent legal status thanks to the Infection Protection Law passed this week by the parliament.

That means it will be tougher during the pandemic for officials to close theaters, concert halls and museums. Most are closed now during the partial lockdown.

Cultural Council Managing Director Olaf Zimmermann tweeted that the enhanced status is a “good thing!”

Many people in the culture sector have been unemployed since the first lockdown last March.

This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.

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