German New Virus Cases, Deaths Rise by Most in Almost a Week

(Bloomberg) --

The number of new coronavirus cases and deaths in Germany rose by the most in nearly a week, a day after Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that the nation is “far from being out of the woods.”

There were 2,481 new cases in the 24 hours through Friday morning, bringing the total to 153,129, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Fatalities rose by 260 to 5,575 and the death rate edged up by about a 10th of a percentage point to 3.6%. Some 103,300 people have recovered from the disease, more than any other nation.

Germany has won praise for its swift response to the outbreak and appears to have brought the disease under relative control more quickly than in other countries. The government this week began lifting restrictions on movement, allowing shops to reopen and some students to return to school, but officials wary of a resurgence in infections remain cautious.

“We are not at the end of the pandemic but at the beginning,” Merkel said Thursday in a speech to the lower house of parliament. “Let’s not gamble away what we’ve achieved and risk a setback.”

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 was unchanged at 0.9 on Thursday, 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 0.9 other people.

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April 24, 2020