Authorities in Germany recorded 1,707 new cases of the coronavirus in the past 24 hours. This is the highest daily toll since April.

The latest figures, reported by the Robert Koch Institute’s department for infectious diseases, bring to 228,621 the number of infections in the country since the start of the pandemic.

The country has fared better than many European neighbors in suppressing the virus so far. However, the number of cases has jumped significantly over the summer holidays.

Much of the rise has been blamed on returning holidaymakers, as well as parties and family gatherings.

The new data takes the daily toll back to a level not seen since late April, when the pandemic was considered to be at its peak. Ten new deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 9,253.

Earlier this month, Germany introduced free mandatory tests for anyone returning from areas deemed a high risk for Covid-19 infections. On Tuesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel warned there could be no further relaxation of coronavirus restrictions. For travelers returning from risk areas, quarantine is not an option but “a must,” she said.

However, some experts believe the situation is not as dire as one might think, claiming the jump in cases could be explained by a sharp rise in the number of tests being carried out.

Meanwhile, Germany and France want to give more money and power to the World Health Organization after the pandemic underscored long-standing financial and legal weaknesses at the UN agency, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing an internal document.

Like this story? Share it with a friend!