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Coronavirus infection rate begins to climb as schools reopen across Germany

Coronavirus infection rate begins to climb as schools reopen across Germany

Coronavirus infection rate begins to climb as schools reopen across Germany

Schools and daycare centres were set to reopen in 10 German federal states on Monday, just as new figures from the RKI confirmed that the coronavirus infection rate is beginning to rise in Germany. 

Schools reopening as coronavirus infection rate rises

After nearly four months of lockdown measures, the infection rate in Germany had been brought down in recent weeks. But after plateauing for several days, the numbers have begun to rise again slightly in recent days, a trend that has been linked to the spread of the highly-contagious “British” strain of COVID-19

Health authorities in Germany reported 4.369 new coronavirus infections to the Robert Koch Institute in the 24 hours to Monday morning, as well as 62 new deaths. According to the RKI, the number of new infections reported per 100.000 inhabitants per seven days had therefore risen to 61,0 on Monday morning, up from 60,2 on Sunday. 

On Sunday, the nationwide reproduction rate was 1,10 - meaning that 100 infected people theoretically go on to infect 110 more people. This number needs to be brought below 1 for the pandemic to recede. 

Experts are warning that the rising infection numbers are a worrying signal, and have therefore questioned whether the timing is right to begin lifting restrictions. On Monday, face-to-face teaching was to resume in schools and childcare centres in many parts of Germany - although with limited class sizes, mandatory facemasks and strict room ventilation requirements. 

German politicians support school reopenings

Speaking to German broadcaster ARD, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn acknowledged these concerns, but said that a balance had to be struck between protecting the population from the risk of more infectious virus strains, and the need to allow children to return to some semblance of “normal daily life.” He said the impact of school reopenings would be closely watched before the government decides upon any further easing of restrictions. 

“The virus isn’t making it easy for us,” he said. “We’re seeing that numbers are climbing again. That’s annoying, and it brings back some uncertainty. That’s why caution, testing and vaccinating must continue to guide our path.” 

Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey also defended the decision to return children to schools. “It is right that the first opening steps are now taking place, also in the interests of the children and their welfare,” she said. She also advocated regional differentiation, saying that if the numbers rose rapidly in some areas, “naturally [schools] must be closed again.” 

Abi

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Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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