The rate at which the coronavirus is spreading in Germany has increased following the easing of lockdown restrictions.
Authorities say the “R” factor, which measures the average number of people that an infected person contaminates, is now close to the limit of target levels.
It had been at around 0.7 on April 20th when Germany eased restrictions on movement and economic activity.
Now it is at 0.96, said Lothar Wieler, the head of the Robert Koch Institute.
Authorities have said they want to keep the “R” factor below 1 to keep the pandemic on a scale that’s manageable for the country’s health care system.
Euronews correspondent Jona Kallgren says the government is likely to wait to see if the trend is confirmed before announcing any corrective measures.
Germany’s New Coronavirus Cases Increase the Most in Four Days
The number of new coronavirus cases in Germany rose the most in four days as the government considers further steps to ease restrictions on daily life.
There were 1,627 additional infections in the 24 hours through Thursday morning, taking the total to 161,539, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Fatalities rose by 153 to 6,467 and the death rate inched up to 4% from 3.95% a day earlier, while the number of recovered held at 120,400.
Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to consult with state premiers later on Thursday on whether to lift more of the curbs imposed to stop the disease from spreading. Some regional leaders including North Rhine-Westphalia Premier Armin Laschet have tried to lower expectations, saying it’s too early for a significant change in strategy.
European leaders are eager to restart economies after lockdown measures shuttered factories, halted travel and kept millions of people largely confined to their homes. The German government will extend a global travel warning until June 14 and cannot promise that it will be dropped after that date, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Wednesday.
Merkel has identified the reproduction factor — known by epidemiologists as R-naught — as a means of gauging how successfully countries have kept the virus in check and how much stress it could place on health services.
Germany’s latest R0 declined to 0.75 on Wednesday from 0.9 the previous day, according to the latest situation report from the country’s public health authority. That means that each person with the virus infects an average of 0.75 other people.