Germany’s new coronavirus cases have stabilized but infections still remain very high, the country’s health agency said on Thursday.

Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported 22,046 new cases, and 479 deaths over the past 24 hours, above the seven-day average of cases and fatalities.

RKI’s Director Professor Lothar Wieler said Germany’s partial lockdown measures have helped avoid an exponential growth in cases, but warned that the situation was still very serious.

“The numbers are still very high. They reached a plateau but we’re not observing a noticeable decrease in the numbers,” he said at a news conference in the capital Berlin.

Wieler said growing number of infections among elderly and vulnerable people was a source of great concern.

He warned that the hospitalizations and deaths could further increase if this trend continues in the coming weeks.

On Wednesday, the government decided to extend the partial lockdown measures at least until Jan. 10 to contain the spread of the virus.

Bars, restaurants, hotels, cultural and leisure facilities will remain closed as part of the measures.

Germany has so far recorded more than 1.11 million cases, the fifth-highest tally of coronavirus infections in Europe, behind France, Spain, the UK, and Italy.​​​​​​​

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