BERLIN 

Germany reported 23,542 new coronavirus infections and 218 deaths on Friday, the highest single-day increase since the beginning of the pandemic.

Despite a partial lockdown imposed on Nov. 2, the seven-day average of new infections remained above 18,500.

Berlin, Bremen, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Bavaria were the regions most severely hit by the virus.

“The nationwide increase is caused by increasingly diffuse transmission, with numerous clusters in households, but also in community institutions, nursing and long-term care homes, as well as in occupational settings or related to religious events,” the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said in its latest report.

The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units has almost doubled over the past two weeks, reaching 3,186 on Thursday. Nearly half of them were on ventilators, according to the DIVI Association for Emergency Medicine.

Germany has the fifth-highest tally of coronavirus infections in Europe, behind France, Spain, the UK, and Italy.

The national total now stands at 751,095 cases with at least 12,200 deaths.

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