In Brief: With Berlin labs at full capacity, medical officer fears number of COVID-19 cases is higher than reported

Reinickendorf’s medical officer Patrick Larscheid told dpa laboratories are no longer able to test people who are asymptomatic.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

 

By Dina Elsayed and Kate Brady

News agency dpa reported the number of coronavirus infections in the German capital could be four times higher than reported, because laboratories are no longer able to test people who are asymptomatic.

Patrick Larscheid, the medical officer of the district of Reinickendorf, told dpa that Berlin laboratories have reached their limit of how many coronavirus tests they can conduct per week.

He said the more than 66,000 coronavirus tests per week are not enough and that the infection risk is higher now than it was last spring.

Meanwhile, Germany’s disease prevention authority reported a record-breaking 21,506 new infections over a 24-hour period nationwide. Nearly a fourth of the new cases are in North Rhine-Westphalia, the country’s most populous state.

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Police arrested the father of a 3-year-old girl after she was found dead in an apartment in Berlin-Plänterwald.

Local police said the child’s body was found Wednesday afternoon by her grandmother. German broadcaster n-TV reported the parents had a fight earlier.

According to police, the child died from “cuts.”

Her 31-year-old father reached out to police and was arrested on suspicion of committing a violent crime. He is scheduled to be brought before a judge on Thursday.

Police say the mother was not in the apartment at the time of the murder.

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Half of Germans recently surveyed by YouGov on behalf of dpa say they expect to celebrate Christmas alone away from family and friends this year because of the pandemic.

Even more predicted restaurants, bars and coffee shops will remain closed.

The survey found that most Germans are also pessimistic about the reopening of Christmas markets, with two out of three people expecting festivities to be canceled this winter due to the coronavirus pandemic.

More than three in five people said they fear they will feel even lonelier this holiday season than they do already.

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

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