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Germany: Coronavirus transmission rate rises above 1

Martin Sauer, head physician for intensive-care medicine, takes care of a Covid-19 patient in the intensive care unit of the community hospital in Magdeburg

Germany’s coronavirus infection quota has jumped beyond one, just days after federal and regional authorities eased restraints. Keeping the patient ‘reproduction rate’ down is decisive, say epidemiologists.

The coronavirus reproduction rate in Germany rose to 1.1, scientists announced on Saturday after Germany loosened many of its restrictions.

That rate, which assumes statistical lag in data delivered, is the key measure used by Germany’s pandemic overseer, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) based in Berlin.

On Wednesday, as Chancellor Angela Merkel and state premiers announced the easing of social distancing coupled with wearing masks, the rate was 0.65.

Saturday’s figure meant that one patient infects at least another. The rise made it necessary to “watch the development very carefully in the next days,” said the RKI.

Its overall figures for Saturday documented 169,551 confirmed cases of infection (1,251 more than Friday), 7,369 deaths since early March, and 143,300 persons declared recovered.

Again topping infection data were Germany’s southern states Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria and the northern city-state of Hamburg.

Warning that Covid-19 remained a potentially fatal infection, the RKI said patients occupied 19,732 beds — 1,650 in intensive care — with another 12,096 beds ready in reserve at 1,226 clinics across the nation.

Unpersuaded, several thousand people protested in major German cities Saturday, including conspiracy theorists prominent on social media.

Read more: Germany: Thousands of protesters slam isolation measures

An Infratest/dimap survey released midweek showed that 67% of respondents across Germany were’satisfied’ to ‘very satisfied’ with the federal response to the pandemic — despite fears of becoming infected and losing jobs.

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