Coronavirus: concerns in unclear Germany, where the rate of infection starts to rise again

Germany is registering first worrying signals, a few days after declaring the start of a return to normal with coronavirus, at the time when other countries like France and Spain will enter them into deconfinement.

The Robert Koch National Institute of Virology, responsible for monitoring the evolution of the pandemic, reported Sunday an increase in the rate of infection, ironed around the area considered to be potentially dangerous, from 1 to 1.1.

Figures closely watched

This so-called “reproduction” rate measures the average number of people that a person infected with Covid-19 will in turn contaminate. A number less than 1 suggests that the number of infections in the country is trending downward, while a higher level suggests an upward trend. This figure went from 0.7 to more than 1 in just a few days.

The institute warned that it was still too early to draw conclusions, but said in a report that the infection figures were “to be monitored very closely in the coming days”.

On Sunday, Germany registered 169,218 cases of contamination, just 667 more in the past 24 hours, which is little compared to the average of the last weeks. The number of deaths was 7395, a fatality rate of 4.4%, lower than that of most other large countries.

Three cantons above the number of authorized cases

In this context, the authorities announced Wednesday a gradual return to normal, after the start of deconfinement on April 20, with in particular the reopening of primary schools and restaurants. However, after a few days only first failures are registered.

Three German cantons exceed the authorized limit of cases of new contaminations within the framework of the deconfinement plan (50 per 100,000 inhabitants), and one of them has already postponed flexibility measures as a result. Five others are approaching this threshold, according to statistics released Sunday by the RKI institute.

The new sources of contamination have been reported in particular in retirement homes and industrial meat processing workshops, employing hundreds of foreign workers in questionable hygienic conditions. Several of these workshops were closed and large-scale tests in this industry ordered.

In addition, concerns remain over the German Football League's plan to restart the 1st and 2nd Division championships on May 16 as planned, following the placement in quarantine of a team, Dynamo Dresden, which suddenly cannot play minus his first game.

Protests against containment

Despite the now accelerated deconfinement in Germany, for part of the population this is not going fast enough. Several thousand people demonstrated again on Saturday in several cities, notably in Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Munich, Cologne or Berlin, against what remains of restrictive measures, in particular the wearing of the mask in stores, public transport, as well as the ban on large gatherings.

The police carried out a few arrests on Alexanderplatz in Berlin where a few dozen protesters met with cries of “Freedom! Freedom!” or “We are the people!”, the rallying slogan of the East Germans at the end of 1989 who demonstrated against the dictatorship of the communist GDR.

These demonstrations bring together supporters of the extreme right as well as the extreme left. But they are also starting to gain more traditional movements.

A leader of the German liberal party FDP (right), Thomas Kemmerich, participated in an anti-containment rally in Saxony-Anhalt, in the East, alongside the extreme right of the Alternative for Germany (AfD ), causing an uproar.


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