Germany sees another steep rise in number of coronavirus infections

Germany sees another steep rise in the number of coronavirus infections with 4,974 new cases and 246 deaths – its second-worst day for fatalities

  • Germany’s daily infection total rose for the third day, after four days of decline
  • Total number of infections stands at 108,202, up from 103,228 on Wednesday
  • Deaths rose by 246, bringing total from 1,861 to 2,107 – its second-worst day
  • Rate of new infections also increased, suggested crisis has yet to peak 

Germany has seen a steep rise in the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus and suffered through its second-deadliest day of the crisis so far.

The country recorded 246 new deaths from coronavirus between Wednesday and Thursday, bringing the total number killed from 1,861 to 2,107. 

Scientists from the Robert Koch Institute also recorded another 4,974 cases of the virus in 24 hours bringing the total number of infected from 103,228 to 108,202.

It marks the third straight day that the number of daily new cases has climbed after four days of drops, suggesting the crisis has yet to peak.

A graph showing the number of new infections per day in Germany, with three days of steep rises following four previous days of decline

A graph showing the number of new coronavirus deaths in Germany, which fell slightly on Thursday but are still far higher than where the country was a few days ago

The daily death toll is marginally lower than the 254 people who were reported to have died Wednesday, but still far higher than the 92 who perished Monday.

Health services in other countries including Britain and Spain have warned that Monday figures can be deceptively low because of a backlog in data from the weekend that needs to filter through into the system.

The figures mean that the German infection rate has increased to 4.8 per cent after three straight days of flat numbers.

A falling infection rate is the surest sign that a country has reached or passed its infection peak, a rising rate indicates worse is still to come.

The death figures also mean that Germany’s mortality rate is now around 2 per cent – still far below European neighbours such as France, Spain and Italy – but far higher than the 0.1 per cent reported at the start of the crisis.

Experts had said that a highly efficient testing regime meant that German death figures presented as a smaller proportion of overall cases – but the mortality rate has been steadily rising for almost a month, suggesting the system is reaching its limit. 

For comparison, Italy has a mortality rate of 12.6 per cent, Spain is at 9.8 per cent and Britain is at 11.1 per cent. 

A member of the medical staff treats a patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in an intensive care unit at Havelhoehe community hospital in Berlin, 

A German soldier unpacks boxes of protective masks at an underground armed forces supply depot in the country’s east

The low rate is thought to be linked to Germany’s regime of mass testing, with 500,000 people being screened for the virus every week. 

Vets at a Berlin university have even begun rolling out tests for cats and dogs after virologists found that pets could be infected, although there is no evidence they can pass the disease to humans. 

An interior ministry document has drawn up plans for a partial lifting of the lockdown if the infection rate remains low enough. 

Under those plans, life could begin to return to normal if the contagion rate is below 1.0, meaning that each patient is infecting less than one other person on average.  

But the head of the Robert Koch Institute, which collects the official figures, warned yesterday that it was too early to say whether the epidemic was definitely slowing. 

Germany is assembling a €1.1trillion spending package to ease the impact of the economic standstill, including guaranteed loans to businesses. 

Ministers are also planning a new law to restrict foreign takeovers of German companies, aiming to keep critical production within its borders. 

Angela Merkel said on Monday that Europe needed to develop ‘self-sufficiency’ in manufacturing of medical gear such as masks.

‘Regardless of the fact that this market is presently installed in Asia… we need a certain self-sufficiency, or at least a pillar of our own manufacturing’ in Germany or elsewhere in the European Union, she said.

People queue outside a test centre for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Havelhoehe community hospital in Berlin, Germany,

At a cabinet meeting today, ministers will discuss a new law to make it easier for Berlin to block foreign takeovers. 

Instead of demonstrating that the acquisition presents a real danger to German security, officials would only have to prove a ‘likely impact’. 

Takeovers will be placed on ice while the government makes such assessments, preventing the new owners laying hands on any of the firm’s intellectual property. 

‘Recent weeks have shown that supplying the German people with items vital for life, like vaccines, can depend on a single company,’ a government source told German media.   

‘Information or technology seeping out during an ongoing investment check can have serious consequences.’   

Elsewhere, Germany is planning to accept 50 young people from Greek migrant camps where conditions have worsened because of coronavirus.     

Germany has also accepted hospital patients from neighbouring countries including Italy and France in a show of European solidarity during the crisis. 

But Berlin has maintained its opposition to joint European debt instruments, despite pleas from Italy.  

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