German coronavirus situation ‘could escalate like other European countries,’ warns virologist

German coronavirus situation 'could escalate like other European countries,' warns virologist
An employee at a coronavirus test centre in Dresden. Photo: DPA
Against a backdrop of rising coronavirus infections in other European countries, top virologist Christian Drosten has warned a similar development could take place in Germany.

In view of the new infections currently being reported in Germany, it must be made clear “if we superimpose the curves, we are lagging somewhat behind Spain and France and England,” said the head of Charité Virology.

But he emphasised that “we shouldn't delude ourselves that things are going very differently for us either. Even now we are not doing many things very differently”.

Drosten acknowledged, however, that some things differ in Germany.

“There are a few details that are perhaps different here than in Southern Europe,” he said. “Our households are often smaller, we have more one-person households.”

The number of new daily coronavirus infections in France recently broke through the 10,000 mark.

Infections are also increasing in Spain, with major concerns about Madrid, while there are also worries about rising rates in parts of the UK.

Drosten said in Germany there are fewer multigenerational families where the virus can spread very easily across age groups compared to some other countries in Europe.

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“These are certainly differences,” he said. “But apart from that, Germany is not much different from these neighbouring European countries. That is why we have to be very careful there and observe very closely how things develop now.”

READ ALSO: What is the coronavirus situation in Germany in September 2020?

'Testing can't stay at this level'

Drosten said the testing frequency in Germany was currently very high, but that's only since the decision to test people returning from travelling was put in place.

“This is a test frequency that we in Germany can't keep up for much longer,” said Drosten.

Drosten said the number of cases in Germany over the summer was largely due to returning holidaymakers who had not necessarily carried the virus on in large numbers in this country.

Those infected instead give indications of the coronavirus situation in the country of origin, he said.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported on Thursday about 2,200 new corona infections nationwide within 24 hours. On Friday the number of new cases stood at 1,916.

In total there have been 267,773 cases since the pandemic started and 9,378 deaths.


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