According to the Robert Koch Institute, responsible for disease control and prevention, the number of people infected by each patient – known as the basic reproduction number (R0) – rose to 1.1. When that value exceeds 1, it means that the number of infections is increasing.
This rise comes after, on Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced measures for a gradual return to normality, including the reopening of some establishments and the return of part of students to schools.
The decision followed the insistence of 16 federal states to return to social life and economic activity. The chancellor guaranteed, however, the existence of an “emergency brake” that allows restoring restrictions if the number of infections increases again.
The German city of Cologne was one of those that witnessed the presence of crowds on its streets and gardens on Saturday. Experts believe that these clusters of people may be responsible for a new peak of the disease in the country.
“The relief of measures has been very poorly prepared,” Karl Lauterbach, professor of epidemiology, told Reuters news agency. “It is expected that the basic number of reproduction (R0) will exceed 1 and that we will return to exponential growth” of caseshe lamented.
Sixth most affected country
The most recent data from the German institute Robert Koch point to a 667 increase in the number of infections, which now total 169,218, while the number of deaths in the last 24 hours was 26, bringing this total to 7,395.
“It is too early to see if the number of new infections will continue to decrease, as it has in recent weeks, or if it will increase again”, says a bulletin launched by the same institute.
“It is necessary to carefully monitor the increase in R0”, explains the entity, adding that this number is subject to some statistical uncertainty.
The Germany is the sixth European country with the highest number of cases of infection, but it has managed to keep the number of deaths relatively low, betting on large-scale tests and its solid health system.