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The World Health Organization expressed “grave concern” Thursday over the rising pace of coronavirus infections in Europe, as Germany registered its biggest daily increase since the start of the pandemic.

“We are, once again, at the epicentre,” WHO Europe director Hans Kluge told a press conference.

He warned that according to “one reliable projection” the current trajectory would mean “another half a million Covid-19 deaths” by February.

Alarm bells were ringing especially in Germany, the European Union’s most populous country, where the number of new cases over the past 24 hours soared to almost 34,000 on Thursday — an all-time high, according to the Robert Koch Institute health agency.

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