German military prepares to transfer COVID patients as infections hit new record

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BERLIN, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Germany on Friday reported a new record of more than 76,000 COVID-19 infections in a day as its air force got ready for the first time in the pandemic to fly severely ill patients to other parts of the country to unburden struggling hospitals.

The day before, Germany had crossed the threshold of 100,000 COVID-19-related deaths amid warnings from hospitals mainly in the south and the east of the country that their intensive care units are filling to capacity.

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Later on Friday, the German air force will transport severely ill COVID-19 patients from the southern town of Memmingen to Muenster near Osnabrueck in the north to relieve clinics in the south, a security source told Reuters.

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It is the first time that the air force has to use its so-called flying intensive care units, planes fitted with up to six ICU beds, to transfer COVID-19 patients within Germany.

Berlin will also declare South Africa a virus variant area on Friday after the detection of a new COVID-19 variant there, a health ministry source said.

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