BERLIN 

Germany is now experiencing a third wave of coronavirus infections, the country’s top infectious diseases expert warned on Thursday.

Professor Lothar Wieler, head of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), said there are many indications that a third wave of the pandemic has started in the country.

“I am very worried,” he told a group of international reporters, stressing that the number of cases with more contagious variants is on the rise.

The ongoing vaccination campaign is a race against a changing and mutating virus, he said.

Germany on Thursday reported its highest daily tally of COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks, as the country began gradually easing lockdown restrictions.

The RKI recorded 14,356 new infections over the past 24 hours, up from 11,912 cases reported on the same day last week.

There were an estimated 123,100 active COVID-19 cases in the country as of Thursday, according to the institute.

The more contagious UK variant (B.1.1.7) of the virus accounts for more than 46% of new infections in the country, latest data showed.

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