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‘Early testing, intensive care’ — how Germany has kept coronavirus deaths at 31 despite 13,957 cases

‘Early testing, intensive care’ — how Germany has kept coronavirus deaths at 31 despite 13,957 cases
March 20
15:00 2020

Despite being one of the hardest-hit countries, Germany’s death toll is low when compared to other nations with high confirmed cases of coronavirus.


According to Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany’s disease control agency, the country had 13,957 cases with 31 deaths recorded as of Friday.

Italy, who overtook China to become the country with the highest death toll, has 41,035 cases with 3405 deaths.

China has 80,976 cases with 3,248 deaths while Iran has 18407 cases with 1,284 deaths.


Spain has 18,077 cases with 831 deaths while the United States has recorded 14, 366 cases with 217 deaths.

With this figure, Germany has a fatality rate of 0.22%, which is lower than Italy’s 8.3%, and China’s 4%.

Some of the explanations given for the low death rate recorded from coronavirus in the country include early testing, availability of intensive care beds and younger age range that contracts the disease.



Early testing is said to be one of the reasons for the country’s low fatality.

Since January, the country has made testing readily available and quick including drive-through coronavirus testing sites.

Daily Mail quoted Christian Drosten, director of the Institute of Virology at Berlin’s Charite hospital, as saying early testing could also be a factor.


“We recognised the disease very early in this country. We are ahead in terms of diagnosis and detection,” he said.

It is estimated that about 12,000 people can be tested in a day with the high number of laboratories within the country.


According to RKI,  testing revealed that the most affected people are among the younger age group who “display minor symptoms”.


The institute’s report on Wednesday showed that the majority of cases – 6,557 of the 8,198 recorded at that time – were between 15 to 59 years old, and the median age was 47.

“In Germany, more than 70% of the people identified as having been infected until now are between 20 and 50 years old,” Lothar Wieler, president of RKI, was quoted to have said.


The country is reported to have about 28,000 intensive care beds, estimated at six ICU beds per 1000, making it the highest bloc tally relative to population size.


These ICU beds are said to be equipped with respiratory support that aids the patient’s recovery.

The government also disclosed plans to double the number of hospital beds available from the current level to about 50,000 to cope with the pandemic.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Germany’s minister of defence, said the armed forces would be deployed in support of the effort.

However, there are fears that the number of deaths may increase as the virus spreads.

Earlier, the RKI changed its COVID-19 threat risk from moderate to high, saying the pandemic and some imposed restricted could last two years.

The country has also closed its borders with Austria, Denmark, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

It ordered the closure of schools and non-essential shops and appealed to Germans to stay at home.


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