Germany has seen its total number of coronavirus infections pass one million, the Robert Koch Institute for disease control said.
The institute recorded more than 22,000 new daily cases, pushing the country’s total beyond the one million mark.
Germany had largely contained the spread of the virus in the spring but has been hit hard by a second wave of infections.
The number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care nationwide has soared from just over 360 in early October to more than 3,500 last week.
Most populous North Rhine-Westphalia state has recorded more than a quarter of all cases, ahead of Bavaria’s 198,000 confirmed infections. Berlin has seen 62,000 cases since the start of the pandemic. 
Chancellor Angela Merkel this week announced that Germany was extending its current coronavirus restrictions through to early January unless there is a dramatic drop in infections.
Rules will ease over the festive period to accommodate Christmas and New Year celebrations, allowing meetings of up to 10 adults from December 23 to New Year’s Day.
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Europe’s biggest economy has shuttered restaurants, bars, sporting facilities and cultural venues, though schools and shops remain open.
South Korea faces hospital bed shortage
South Korea reported more than 500 new coronavirus cases for the second consecutive day today, a level unseen in nearly nine months, as a third wave of infections spread nationwide, leaving authorities scrambling to provide more hospital beds.
“The situation is extremely serious and acute, as all of the17 metropolitan cities and provinces and especially all the 25 districts in Seoul are reporting new cases,” Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun told a meeting on Covid-19 responses.
The daily tally of 569 came a day after the numbers hit the highest level since 6 March.
Of the latest cases, 525 were domestically transmitted and more than 64% of those were from the Seoul metropolitan area, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.
People queue for Covid-19 tests in Seoul
Authorities said the fresh wave is more difficult to trace and contain than early outbreaks which were concentrated in a specific region or among a certain religious group.
Alarmed by the countrywide spread and increasing number of cases involving younger patients, Mr Chung warned that daily infections could swell to 1,000 and there could be hospital bed shortages unless the contagion was brought under control.
The health ministry said there are sufficient beds available for now but it could face shortfalls if the current spike continues for more than two weeks.
The government reimposed strict social distancing rules on the capital Seoul and surrounding regions this week -restricting dining out, religious services and nightly entertainment. The move came only a month after similar restrictions were eased as a second wave of infections subsided.
South Korea has reported total infections of 32,887, with 516 deaths.

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