BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany recorded the biggest daily increase in new coronavirus cases in more than three months, data showed on Wednesday, with the health minister warning of outbreaks in nearly all parts of the country due to holiday returnees and party-goers.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 1,226 to 218,519, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) showed. That was the biggest daily increase since May 9.
The number of coronavirus deaths remained relatively low, edging up by six to a total of 9,207.
“This is, no doubt, very worrying,” Health Minister Jens Spahn told Deutschlandfunk radio, adding that citizens had to remain cautious to prevent the virus from spreading further.
“Because we now have a lot of outbreaks all over the country,” Spahn said.
“We see that due to holidaymakers coming back, but also due to all sorts of parties and family gatherings, we now have smaller and larger outbreaks in many regions, in nearly all parts of the country.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel and the 16 state governments in charge of health protection decided in May to gradually ease coronavirus restrictions, a balancing act to allow public life and business activity to recover while trying to keep the infection rate low.
The easing of measures followed two months of lockdown that plunged Europe’s economy into its steepest recession on record, though sentiment surveys and economic data now point to a quick, V-shaped recovery as long as another nationwide lockdown can be avoided.
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; editing by Philippa Fletcher)