Covid: Record deaths in Germany and Russia

Germany is facing calls for a second lockdown before Christmas.

Covid: Record deaths in Germany and Russia

"We have to act urgently. We have to do more than was previously planned," warned Economy Minister Peter Altmaier.

Russia and Ukraine also reported record numbers of fatalities on Friday.

However, the latest excess death statistics have cast doubt on the numbers announced in Russian updates.

Germany has been under partial lockdown since early November, shutting bars, restaurants and entertainment venues, and a relaxation had been planned over Christmas.

But the rise in infections has increasingly alarmed top officials, with Lothar Wieler, head of Germany's public healthy body, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), describing the situation as "extremely fragile". Chancellor Angela Merkel made an impassioned speech in the Bundestag (parliament) this week calling for tighter measures, saying that "500 deaths a day is unacceptable".