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Germany must stop exponential rise of coronavirus infections - government spokeswoman

A medical staff member looks out of a window of a general practitioner's office which offers the coronavirus tests, as the COVID-19 spread continues in the Mitte district of Berlin, Germany, October 28, 2020. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany needs to stop the exponential growth of coronavirus cases, a government spokeswoman said on Wednesday after the country reported a new daily record of almost 15,000 new infections.

The number of infections is currently doubling in seven days, the number of patients in need of treatment in intensive care units in 10 days, the spokeswoman added.

Chancellor Angela Merkel was holding a video conference with regional leaders on Wednesday to persuade them of the need for a partial lockdown in Germany that would see restaurants and bars close but keep schools open, a draft document seen by Reuters said.

Germany was widely praised for keeping infection and death rates below those of many of its neighbours in the first phase of the crisis but is now in the midst of a second wave. Cases rose by 14,964 to 464,239 in the last 24 hours, the Robert Koch institute for infectious diseases said on Wednesday.

Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Editing by Maria Sheahan