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Coronavirus infection rate in Germany remains above 1 for second day

Coronavirus infection rate in Germany remains above 1 for second day

Coronavirus infection rate in Germany remains above 1 for second day

The coronavirus infection rate in Germany has remained above 1 for the second day in a row, the Robert Koch Institute announced on Monday morning. The news came just as lockdown measures began to be significantly relaxed across the country. 

Coronavirus infection rate in Germany above 1

In a briefing on Monday morning, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) confirmed that the coronavirus reproduction rate (R-value) in Germany had remained above 1 for the second day in a row. Politicians and health experts have repeatedly stressed that this figure needs to remain below 1 in order for the outbreak to recede. 

According to RKI figures, the reproduction rate in Germany - which takes into account the inevitable statistical lag in data delivery over the weekend - is now 1,13, up from 1,1 the day before and 0,83 on Friday. Last Wednesday, when Chancellor Angela Merkel announced an extensive loosening of coronavirus restrictions, the rate was 0,65, and it has remained below 1 for the majority of the last three weeks. 

The higher infection rate means that every 10 coronavirus patients in Germany are, on average, infecting 11 more people. The RKI said that the estimate involved a “degree of uncertainty”, and that it was too soon to tell whether the decreasing trend of the past few weeks would continue, or whether numbers will increase again. Nonetheless, the slight upswing made it necessary to “watch the development very carefully in the coming days.” 

Reproduction rate monitored closely as restrictions lift

The reproduction rate is an estimate and thus can vary from day to day - and especially over the weekend - so officials warn against reading too much into short-term changes. 

But, the figures came just as Germany embarked on its first major loosening of coronavirus restrictions - with schools, restaurants, hotels and cinemas across the country gearing up to reopen their doors - so the government will be closely monitoring the infection trend.

An “emergency brake” has already been put in place, which requires any district or city to reimpose restrictions should coronavirus cases rise above the threshold of 50 per 100.000 residents within 7 days. 

According to the RKI, this has already happened in a handful of districts across the country, including Coesfeld in North Rhine-Westphalia and Steinburg in Schleswig-Holstein, where there have been outbreaks at two slaughterhouses. In Greiz in Thuringia, there has also been a spike in infections among patients and employees at several care homes and a geriatric hospital

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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