Germany registers record 962 COVID deaths

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Germany has registered a record 962 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours, taking the national total to 27,968, the Robert Koch institute (RKI) of infectious diseases in Berlin says.

The previous high was reached a week ago, when 952 deaths were announced.

A further 24,740 new infections were recorded on Wednesday, according to the RKI.

The increasing number of infections and deaths is putting pressure on Germany's health systems.

In the city of Zittau in the eastern German state of Saxony, the crematorium is completely full and bodies of the deceased are having to be stored in a large storage hall typically in action during floods, the city said.

Saxony is an infection hotspot in Germany, but the RKI said the daily number of new infections there had declined over the past week, from 5,603 seven days ago to 2,728 in the past 24 hours.