Germany warns against easing coronavirus restrictions despite progress | News | DW | 03.04.2020
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Germany warns against easing coronavirus restrictions despite progress

The Robert Koch Institute has said that despite apparent improvements, it is too early to think about loosening social distancing rules. Officials are expected to discuss further anti-coronavirus restrictions.

Germany's measures to curb the coronavirus outbreak are having a measurable effect, but it is still too early to justify issuing an all-clear, the country's disease control and prevention agency said on Friday.

Robert Koch Institute (RKI) President Lothar Wieler warned that country's most recent indicators of progress should not mean Germans should drop their guard in efforts to slow down the spread of the virus. 

Read more: What are Germany's new coronavirus social distancing rules?

The RKI reported that in previous weeks, a person infected with the virus in Germany had, on average, been infecting five to seven other people.

Following theimplementation of a number of restrictions to contain the highly contagious virus, the average infection rate has been one other person.

According to Wiesler, it is only when an infected person on average infects less than one other person that the coronavirus epidemic will start to slowly decline.  

"We have to get under one," he said. "I hope this will happen in the coming
days."

Wieler stressed the importance of people continuing to adhere to hygiene and social distancing rules.

Germany has registered more than 80,500 coronavirus infections and at least 1,022 deaths.

Read more: Coronavirus and mental health: 'We are not made for social isolation'

Bavaria sees improvements

The southern state of Bavaria also reported an apparent improvement in curbing the virus.

State Premier Markus Söder said on Friday that it now takes more than six days for its number of infections to double, up from two and a half days before Bavaria shut down its schools, childcare centers and other facilities.

Bavaria and the southwestern state of Saarland were the first two German states to impose a lockdown to prevent coronavirus infections but the rest of the country soon followed.

People in Germany have been urged to stay at home and practice social distancing when in public. Many unessential businesses have also shut down.

The German government will discuss on Monday the possibility of implementing further measures to contain the coronavirus, including stricter border controls and mandatory quarantine for all arrivals on flights, according to German news magazine Der Spiegel.

mvb/sms (dpa,AFP)

In reporting on the coronavirus pandemic, unless otherwise specified DW uses figures provided by the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Coronavirus Resource Center in the United States. JHU updates figures in real time, collating data from world health organizations, state and national governments and other public official sources, all of whom have their own systems for compiling information.

Germany's national statistics are compiled by its public health agency, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). These figures depend on data transmission from state and local levels and are updated around once a day, which can lead to deviation from JHU.

  • Date 03.04.2020