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States report over 4,500 new coronavirus cases during 24-hour period

A staff member is seen at a coronavirus test center in Ludwigsburg, Germany, on March 14. Thomas Kienzle/AFP/Getty Images

The number of coronavirus cases in Germany jumped by 2,958 in the last 24 hours to a total of 13,957, the head of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany’s federal public health agency, said Friday.

There have been 31 total deaths as a result of coronavirus, with 11 fatalities in the last 24 hours, said RKI chief Lothar Wieler at a press conference in Berlin.

”We will see more fatalities over the next few weeks — including here in Germany,” Wieler said.

The head of the RKI also warned about hospital capacity in the country.

“More people will get infected; more people will be admitted to the emergency room and more people will require respiratory aid and therefore we have to fear that there will not be enough ventilator places,” Wieler said.

Germany is only at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, Wieler warned. He urged people to keep their distance to fight the pandemic, but said it is up to local authorities to decide on specific measures designed to achieve that. 

He went on to issue a stark warning.

“If there are still people in our country who don’t believe this, who don’t believe me, who think that this is panic making, then I can only call upon them to finally open their eyes to this reality,” he said.

“If everyone sticks to what is set, we can slow down this epidemic by the maximum possible.”

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