On Friday, the number of people in Germany infected with COVID-19 grew to 3,059. Six of them have died so far. That is roughly two people for every thousand cases.
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In China, it’s roughly 39 deaths per 1,000 people infected, in Italy it’s 71, in Iran 45 and in Spain it’s 28.
At a press conference last Wednesday, Prof. Dr. Lothar H. Wieler, President of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin said, “From the beginning, we have very systematically called upon our doctors to test people.”
He added that the German system can provide “testing to a high degree so that we can easily look into the beginnings of the epidemic.”
Wieler also explained that this is just the beginning for Germany. “If you imagine an epidemic like a curve […] then there are countries that are simply further” into the progression of this epidemic.
He expects the case numbers and the numbers of deaths to rise, just like they have in other affected countries.
The professor noted that Germany is exchanging information with other countries to learn about the development of the disease and is collaborating on concepts to contain the pandemic.
“As long as this epidemic continues to affect our country, it will take months, certainly, perhaps years.
He focused on the need to protect the high-risk group of people by not exposing them in the first place.
Meanwhile, an Italian virologist said the low number in German deaths “is a question no one can really answer”.
Giovanni Maga from CNR told Euronews that in Italy a person who tested positive while alive or post-mortem is counted as a coronavirus-death. “I don’t know if Germany or France follow the same criteria,” he noted.
Maga also stated that healthcare structures are rather similar in northern Italy, France and Germany, making it harder to justify such discrepancies in numbers.
He agreed with Wieler with regards to the time curve and the progression of the pandemic. “France and Germany are where Italy was at the beginning of the month. They are late in implementing measures and will get to a point where they will have a harsher level of contagion.”
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