Doctors in Berlin, Germany.
Sean Gallup | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Germany was widely seen as a poster-child for its approach to tackling the coronavirus in the spring, but its second wave of infections is proving far more deadly.
Covid-19 cases in the country started to creep higher in October, after a lull in the summer months and a relaxation of lockdowns and restrictions in Europe. This rise in cases has been accompanied by an increasing daily death rate, on a 7-day average, which has now passed its April peak.
One chart shows just how bad Germany’s second wave is.
The 7-day average number of deaths from Covid-19 stood at 306.71 on November 29 — significantly higher than the peak of 248.43 seen on April 21, data from Johns Hopkin University shows.
The first case of Covid-19 in Germany was reported 307 days ago on Jan. 27. Germany reacted quickly, isolating cases, rapidly scaling up testing and implementing a track and trace system to try to stop the spread of infection. Its robust network of local health authorities and modern health care system were also seen as key to keeping its death rate low.
Nonetheless, Germany does not appear to have fared so well during the second wave of infections with its contact tracing system being pushed to the limit. In early November, like many of its European neighbors, Germany imposed a second lockdown to try to curb a surge in new cases.
Last week, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leaders of Germany’s 16 federal states agreed to continue the second lockdown into December. Restrictions have allowed schools and shops to stay open but have put strict limits on social gathering and forced the closure of gyms, theaters, pubs, bars and restaurants aside from those offering takeaways.
Restrictions will be eased between December 23 and Jan.1 to allow families and friends to gather for Christmas but will then be tightened back up.
To date, Germany has reported 1,070,092 coronavirus infections, and 16,694 deaths, JHU data shows. This is a far lower number than its western European peers, however. France, for example, has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in Europe, with over 2.27 million cases and 52,819 deaths. Spain, Italy and the U.K. have all reported around 1.6 million cases, with over 45,000 deaths each to date.