/Germany’s coronavirus reproduction rate jumps above key containment level

Germany’s coronavirus reproduction rate jumps above key containment level

A man speaks to foreign labourers inside an area secured by local police forces within an apartment complex used by the Toennies meat company to house labourers from eastern Europe during the coronavirus pandemic on June 20, 2020 in Verl near Guetersloh, Germany.

Alexander Koerner

The coronavirus reproduction rate in Germany jumped to 2.88 on Sunday, up from 1.79 a day earlier, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for public health said, taking infections above the level needed to contain it over the longer term.

A reproduction rate, or ‘R’, of 2.88 means that out of 100 people who contracted the virus, a further 288 other people will get infected. A rate of less than one is needed to gradually contain the disease.

The number, a sharp increase from 1.06 on Friday, is based on RKI’s moving 4-day average data, which reflects infection rates one to two weeks ago.

Based an a 7-day average, the reproduction rate jumped to 2.03, RKI statistics from Sunday showed.

Germany has been widely regarded as a success story in Europe in terms of containing the coronavirus. But infections have been rising again. Recently, authorities in Germany have started to call on police to enforce quarantine measures. 

Health authorities needed police reinforcement to maintain lockdown conditions at a tower block in Goettingen after a riot broke out on Saturday where around 700 people had been placed into quarantine.

“Around 200 people tried to get out, but 500 people complied with quarantine rules,” Uwe Luehrig, head of police in Goettingen, said at a press conference on Sunday.

In the ensuing fracas, eight police officers were injured after residents started to attack law enforcement officials with bottles, fireworks and metal bars, Luehrig said.

In North Rhine Westphalia, more than 1,000 staff at German meat processing firm Toennies tested positive for coronavirus. Local officials pleaded with the workers and their families to observe quarantine rules. 

RKI said Covid-19 outbreaks have been reported in nursing homes and hospitals, institutions for asylum seekers and refugees, in meat processing plants and logistics companies, among seasonal harvest workers and in connection with religious events and family gatherings.

In total, 189,822 laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 cases and 8,882 deaths due to Covid-19 have been reported, RKI said.

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