As Germany starts to relax its coronavirus lockdown measures, they are reporting an increase in infections again. Now the head of Germany’s infectious diseases institute is urging people to stay in home quarantine as much as possible. The virus reproduction rate in Germany is at 1.0, which means that on average, every one person with the virus infects one other person. The goal has been to keep the rate below 1.0 during the coronavirus pandemic, with the purpose of quarantines to stop people who already have the virus from spreading it to others. This news comes on top of stories from the U.S. where many governors are trying to open states back up, which many say is a risky move.
“The number should stay below one, that is the big goal,” said Lothar Wieler in a news conference Tuesday, who is the president of the Robert Koch Institute. The Robert Koch Institute has reported that the virus reproduction rate has risen from 0.7 earlier this month. Wieler added, “The further it is below one, the more secure we can feel, the more leeway we have, but there are other numbers that are also important [including the number of cases per day and testing capacity].”
Businesses were closed in Germany on March 16th, but have been scheduled to reopen as early as late April and the beginning of May, along with schools. Large gatherings will still be banned through August 31st at the least or until the government changes guidelines. Germany has 158,758 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 6,126 deaths, according to data collected from Johns Hopkins University. The German death toll is much lower than the numbers seen in other western European nations.