BERLIN, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- New COVID-19 infections in Germany reached a new record and increased by 11,287 within one day to a total of 392,049, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced on Thursday.
During the first COVID-19 wave in spring, the highest number of daily infections in Germany had been recorded at the end of March with 6,294 new infections, according to the RKI, the federal government agency for disease control and prevention.
"The situation overall has become very serious," said RKI President Lothar Wieler during a press conference on Thursday. "At present, we still have a chance to slow down the further spread of the virus."
Wieler emphasized that a large number of people would catch the COVID-19 infection in their private life through "interaction with each other," such as talking and laughing. The number of coronavirus infections in private households was increasing significantly.
An "uncontrolled spread" of COVID-19 was also possible in some regions in Germany, stressed Wieler, urging the German citizens to "keep to hygiene rules and watch out for symptoms."
According to the latest RKI daily situation report, more than 940 people with COVID-19 infection had to be treated in intensive medical care in Germany as of Wednesday, the number had doubled in the last two weeks.
The death toll in Germany rose by 30 in one day to 9,905 on Thursday, according to the RKI. Wieler stressed that it had to be assumed that there would be more serious cases and deaths caused by COVID-19 in Germany.
Wieler also expressed his concern over the current excessive burden for some health services, saying the overload was "serious and worrying."
As the world is struggling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, countries including Germany, France, Italy, China, Russia, Britain and the United States are racing to find a vaccine. According to the website of the World Health Organization, as of Oct. 19, there were 198 COVID-19 candidate vaccines being developed worldwide, and 44 of them were in clinical trials.