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Coronavirus digest: Germany records most cases since April

August 20, 2020

Cases are rising across the globe, with India reporting a new record and Germany logging the most cases since the end of April. South Korea is struggling to contain an outbreak in and around Seoul.

Coronavirus testing station in Cologne
Image: picture-alliance/Geisler/C. Hardt

Germany's number of confirmed coronavirus infections increased by 1,707 to 228,621 in the past 24 hours, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed. the reported death toll rose by 10 to 9,253. The new cases mark Germany's highest daily toll since April, when the pandemic was considered to be at its peak.

Like across much of Europe, Germany's number of infections has jumped significantly over the summer holidays. Returning holidaymakers as well as parties and family gatherings have been driving new cases. 

Catch up on Wedenesday's developments here: Coronavirus digest: South Korean capital struggles to contain outbreak

More than 22.27 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus worldwide and 781,162 have died.


South Korean health authorities are scrambling to contain the latest outbreaks after the country's Centers for Disease and Prevention (KCDC) announced 288 new cases, its third straight day of over 200 fresh cases. The total caseload has jumped to 16,346, including 307 deaths. There was no surge from the previous day's tally of 297. 

According to the KCDC, 230 of the new cases came from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan region, where health authorities have struggled to track transmissions tied to various places, including churches, restaurants, schools and workers.

The latest outbreak has been triggered by hundreds of cases in a Seoul church, whose followers have also attended anti-government protests in the city center in recent weeks. The government has banned in-person church meetings in Seoul
and surrounding areas  and ordered nightclubs, karaoke bars, buffets and cyber cafés to close.

India registered another record high of new coronavirus cases. The 69,652 new infections drove India's total past 2.8 million, of which 2 million have recovered, the Health Ministry said. India reported 977 coronavirus related deaths in the past 24 hours, raising total deaths to 53,866.

Health authorities ramped up testing to more than 900,000 a day. The country of 1.4 billion people has carried out over 30 million COVID-19 tests so far. Experts have urged health authorities to significantly increase its testing capacity, given India's population. 

Pyongyang will hold a rare ruling party congress meeting in January where Kim Jong Un will announce a new five-year plan to develop North Korea's economy, which has been left devastated by the coronavirus pandemic and US-led sanctions, official state media Korean Central News Agency reported.

The Chinese government has backed Wuhan's hosting of an electric music festival at its Maya Beach Water Park on July 11 after pictures of the densely packed pool party went viral overseas, sparking concerns about the spread of COVID-19.China’s Foreign Ministry said that the pictures showed that the country had successfully fought the virus and achieved a "strategic victory,” and therefore foreign media should depict "the real situation" in China in their reports.

China is starting to welcome back fans into stadiums for the first time since the coronavirus crisis. The Chinese Super League (CSL) will allow 1,000 fans into a high-profile match on Saturday. After coordinating with Suzhou authorities, football officials will allow 500 fans from Shanghai SIPG to attend and the same number from Beijing Guoan, French news agency AFP reported. 

Fans are required to provide a certificate proving they have tested negative for the virus within the past week, as well as wear a face mask, keep at least one meter (three feet) apart and have a temperature check on entry to the stadium. The CSL kicked off on July 25 behind closed doors after being delayed for five months  due to the pandemic.


On Thursday, Germany issued a travel warning for parts of Croatia, including the popular vacation destinations of Split, Barca and Hvar. The warning means returning travelers are obliged to get tested for COVID-19.

The UK government is set to drop Croatia from its quarantine-free list on Thursday, British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported.

Norway said it will impose a 10-day quarantine on all people arriving from Austria, Greece, the UK and Ireland from August 22.

Germany and France want to give more money and power to the World Health Organization after the COVID-19 pandemic underlined long-standing financial and legal shortcomings, Reuters reported, citing an internal document. 

Ukraine has registered 2,134 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, a new daily record for infections in the country, Health Minister Maksym Stepanov said. Ukraine reported the previous single-day record of 1,967 just a day earlier. Stepanov said that 407 patients were admitted to hospitals and 40 died in the past 24 hours, also the highest daily tally. The health minister urged people to wear masks and keep distancing.

Resurgent COVID-19 infections raise fears in Paris

Middle East

Iran's official death toll topped 20,000, with 153 deaths in the past 24 hours.

Egypt will require all people entering the country to present Polymerase Chain Reaction test results for the coronavirus on
arrival from September 1.


Melbourne health authorities in Victoria, Australia's coronavirus hot spot state, warned that the daily new COVID-19 tally would have to drop "substantially lower than it is now'' before lockdown restrictions can ease. Victoria reported 240 new cases and 13 deaths Thursday, an increase from the previous day but continuing a recent decline following one of Australia's strictest pandemic lockdowns for two weeks.

A previous version of this article said 3 million people in India have been tested for the coronavirus so far. This has been corrected to reflect that over 30 million have been tested.