The coronavirus situation in Germany is at its most dire since the pandemic began last year, the country's DIVI association for emergency medicine warned on Wednesday.
If the figures continue to increase at this rate, Germany will see more than 6,000 coronavirus patients in intensive care units (ICUs) in the next couple of weeks before the Christmas holiday, the DIVI said in a statement.
Intensive care doctors urged authorities to swiftly introduce tougher measures to reduce physical and social contact and consider a temporary lockdown to contain the unprecedented rise in new infections.
Many hospitals in Germany's worst-hit coronavirus hotspots have run out of beds in ICUs and postponed all non-critical operations as the country is battling a brutal fourth wave of the pandemic.
There were 4,636 seriously ill coronavirus patients in ICUs across the country on Tuesday, with 2,383 of them on ventilators, according to the DIVI association.
Despite new restrictions announced by local authorities last month, infections remain high, especially in the country's eastern and southern regions, including Saxony, Thuringia, and Bavaria.
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) confirmed 67,186 new infections in the past 24 hours, up from 45,753 cases reported on Tuesday.
The virus claimed 446 more lives, marking the highest daily death toll since mid-February.
According to the institute, nearly 865,000 individuals are still sick due to Covid-19, an alarming figure not seen in the previous three waves of the pandemic.
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