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BERLIN: Germany recorded the highest number of deaths from COVID-19 since February on Wednesday as it battles to stop a fourth wave of the pandemic.

A total of 69,601 new infections were reported, 2,415 more than the same time a week ago, and another 527 people died - the highest number since Feb. 12 - to bring the total to 104,047, the German Robert Koch Institute for disease control said.

However, the country's seven-day incidence rate of cases per 100,000 people continued to fall, declining to 427 from 432 on Tuesday.

Experts have questioned whether the metric means Germany has passed the peak of this wave of the pandemic or whether the figures are unreliable because some health authorities are so overwhelmed, particularly in the hardest-hit areas.

The country agreed last week to bar the unvaccinated from access to all but the most essential businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies and bakeries and to ramp up the vaccination campaign.

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