RKI: Coronavirus could infect 10 million people in Germany

RKI: Coronavirus could infect 10 million people in Germany

The Robert Koch Institute has said that up to 10 million people could become infected with coronavirus over the coming months, if emergency measures are not followed. 

Coronavirus cases in Germany growing exponentially

The number of coronavirus cases in Germany is growing exponentially, the Robert Koch Institute reported on Wednesday at its daily press conference on COVID-19. The number of confirmed cases reported to the RKI had risen to 8.198 by midnight on Tuesday, 1.042 more than the day before.

“We are at the beginning of an epidemic that will continue to be in our country for many weeks and months,” said the President of the RKI, Lothar Wieler. “If we do not manage to sustainably and effectively reduce contact between people over a matter of weeks, then it is possible we will have up to 10 million cases within two to three months.”

RKI urges public to heed emergency containment measures

He emphasised that the next few weeks are crucial for containment and called on the public, as well as mayors, doctors and hospitals, to do their bit: “Do not gather, stay at home,” he urged. “Comply with hygiene rules. Take care of your neighbours when they need help. Protect old and chronically ill people from infection.” 

Wieler also announced that the RKI would be using anonymised data from mobile phones, provided by Telekom, to analyse the impact of the government’s new containment measures. With this data, for instance, the RKI can assess whether people are now travelling less.

His comments came on the same day as Angela Merkel’s announcement that she would, for the first time ever, give a televised speech urging the public to heed the government recommendation to stay at home. 

German hospitals approve emergency plan

Wieler also said that hospitals needed to at least double their intensive care capacities. On Tuesday, Germany’s 16 federal states approved an emergency plan to set up additional capacities by “upgrading, expanding and converting rehabilitation facilities, hotels or larger halls.” 

According to Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn, there are currently 28.000 intensive care beds in Germany, 25.000 of which have ventilation options. 

On Wednesday, statutory health insurance companies in Germany committed to covering all medical costs involved in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic - even if doing so meant dipping into their reserves. 



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

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