Doctor in Berlin, Germany.
Sean Gallup | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Germany is widely seen as a poster-child for its approach to tackling the coronavirus in the spring, but a second wave of infections has proven to be much more deadly.
The country’s Covid-19 cases started climbing higher in October, after a lull in the summer months and a relaxation of European lockdowns and restrictions. This increase in cases was accompanied by an increase in the daily death rate, on average in 7 days, which has now passed its peak in April.
One graph shows how bad Germany’s second wave was.
The 7-day median number of deaths from Covid-19 stood at 306.71 on November 29 – much higher than the peak of 248.43 seen on April 21, data from Johns Hopkin University showed.
Germany’s first case of Covid-19 was reported 307 days ago on January 27. Germany reacted quickly, isolated cases, rapidly stepped up testing and implemented tracing and tracking systems to try to stop the spread of the infection. A strong network of local health authorities and a modern health care system is also seen as key to keeping mortality rates low.
However, Germany did not appear to be faring well during the second wave of infections with its contact tracing system pushed to the limit. In early November, like many of its European neighbors, Germany imposed a second lockdown to try to curb a spike in new cases.
Last week, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leaders of Germany’s 16 states agreed to continue the second lockdown until December. The restrictions have allowed schools and shops to remain open but have tightly restricted social gatherings and forced the closure of gyms, theaters, pubs, bars and restaurants apart from those offering take-out meals.
Restrictions will be relaxed between December 23 and January 1 to allow family and friends to get together for Christmas but then to be tightened back up.
To date, Germany has reported 1,070,092 coronavirus infections, and 16,694 deaths, JHU data show. However, this is a much lower figure than other Western European countries. France, for example, has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in Europe, with more than 2.27 million cases and 52,819 deaths. Spain, Italy and the UK have all reported around 1.6 million cases, with more than 45,000 deaths to date.