UPDATED: Germany reports another COVID-19 record: 50,196 new cases

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BERLIN, Nov 11 (Reuters) – Germany reported a record 50,196 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, the fourth day in a row it has posted a fresh daily high, as a wave of COVID-19 infections sweeps the country.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases is now 4.89 million and total deaths rose 235 to 97,198, according to the Robert Koch Institute public health authority.

The institute reported a rise in the coronavirus seven-day incidence rate – the number of people per 100,000 to be infected over the last week – to 249 from 232 on Wednesday.

The three German parties in talks to form a coalition government by early December have agreed not to extend a nationwide state of emergency, despite a fourth wave of infections.

Instead, they presented a draft law on Monday that would amend existing legislation to allow for measures such as compulsory face masks and social distancing in public spaces to continue to be enforced until next March.

The draft law is due to be presented to the Bundestag lower house of parliament on Thursday and voted on in a special session a week later.

Meanwhile, Germany’s likely future chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Thursday vaccination centers should be reopened across the country and more citizens encouraged to get vaccinated against the new coronavirus given the worrying rise in infections.

“The virus is still amongst us and threatening citizens’ health,” Scholz, the finance minister and chancellor candidate for the centre-left Social Democrats which came first in September’s national election, said in a speech to the parliament.

German lawmakers are debating a new law providing a bundle of measures to tackle the country’s fourth wave of coronavirus.

(Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Michael Perry)

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