German virus death toll tops 50,000 even as infections sink

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BERLIN (AP) — The death toll from the coronavirus in Germany has passed 50,000, a number that has risen swiftly over recent weeks even as infection figures are finally declining.

The country’s disease control center, the Robert Koch Institute, said Friday that another 859 deaths were reported over the past 24 hours, taking the total so far to 50,642.

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Germany had a relative small number of deaths in the pandemic’s first phase and was able to lift many restrictions quickly, but it saw much higher levels of infections in the fall and winter.

Hundreds of deaths have been reported daily over recent weeks.