BERLIN

The number of new coronavirus infections and deaths in Germany has started to increase almost a week after the government’s move to lift lockdown measures.

The country’s disease control agency reported 116 coronavirus-related deaths and 933 new infections on Tuesday, showing a sharp increase from the previous day.

On Monday, the Robert Koch Institute reported 22 deaths and 357 new infections, recording the lowest daily figures in nearly two months.

The new figures reversed the previous day’s trend and also prompted concerns that relaxing lockdown measures could result in a rapid escalation of COVID-19 deaths and cases.

The coronavirus transmission rate has also risen above the 1.0 threshold, meaning each person with coronavirus is now infecting more than one other person on average.

The Robert Koch Institute reported 23,308 current infections and said an estimated 147,200 people have so far recovered from the disease.

In total, the institute has counted nearly 170,508 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 7,533 deaths in Germany since the first cases were detected in January.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government decided last Wednesday to ease strict lockdown measures, by reopening all shops and schools, and relaxing an earlier ban for gatherings of more than two people in public.

After originating in China last December, COVID-19 has spread to at least 187 countries and regions. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit regions.

The pandemic has killed nearly 287,000 worldwide and it infected more than 4.20 million, while over 1.46 million people recovered from the disease, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

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