Germany recorded more than 30,000 daily coronavirus infections for the first time this year, according to official figures released on Thursday.
The Robert Koch Institute confirmed 33,949 more coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, marking a new high in the current fourth wave of the pandemic.
Thursday’s count surpassed the previous high of 29,518 daily cases this year, which was reported on April 22 during the peak of the third wave.
The institute confirmed 165 coronavirus-related deaths and more than 1,100 new cases of hospitalizations.
The surge in new infections and hospitalizations has started to put a strain on hospitals.
As of Thursday, 2,226 seriously ill coronavirus patients are receiving treatment in intensive care units, with 1,172 of them on mechanical ventilators.
German hospitals currently maintain nearly 22,000 intensive care beds, but almost 89% of them are occupied, the DIVI association for emergency medicine said in its report.
Staff shortage remains a serious problem for hospitals, as many healthcare workers were exhausted and quit their jobs during the pandemic.