Germany is not seeing rise in coronavirus cases after lockdown eased, scientist insists

BERLIN, GERMANY - APRIL 23: German Chancellor Angela Merkel leaves after the press conference following a video conference with the European Council during the coronavirus crisis on April 23, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. European leaders are looking for common measures to stem the social and economic impact of the virus. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Germany has not seen a rise in coronavirus cases after its lockdown was eased, a scientist has said.

It was reported on Tuesday transmission rates had increased from a reproduction number of 0.9 to 1.0, which meant an infected person would now infect one other person.

Lockdown restrictions in the country had been eased on Monday with smaller stores allowed to re-open, along with car and bicycle dealers and bookstores.

But Paul Hunter, Professor in Medicine, University of East Anglia (UEA), has stressed there has not been a rise in cases.

He said: “Despite suggestions that cases of COVID-19 have started to increase again in Germany following relaxation of its lockdown measures, this does not appear to be the case.”

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More people wearing face masks is seen in Cologne, Germany on April 29, 2020, after city takes relaxing measure for allowing more shops open. (Photo by Ying Tang/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Cologne, Germany, on April 29, 2020 (Picture: Getty)

Prof Hunter added: “Yes Tuesday’s figures (1144) are up on Monday’s (1018). But this is almost certainly due to the weekend effect.

“Monday’s figures reflect results produced on Sunday when there is almost always a dip in numbers across most countries.

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“Rather than look at individual days and make inaccurate conclusions it is always better to look at the smoothed data.

“I use a rolling seven-day average (the average value for the day in question plus the three previous and three days following).”

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Prof Hunter said it was vital countries continued to monitor trends across Europe to determine how relaxing current social distancing measures affect control of the pandemic.

The UK has said it will study the situation in countries including Germany when it comes to lifting lockdown, amid reports that restrictions there could be tightened again to prevent another rise in cases.

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Mr Raab said it was vital the UK proceeds “carefully” in lifting lockdown measures as he pointed to the apparent rising transmission rate in Germany.

He added: “We mustn’t gamble away the sacrifices and the progress that we have made – we must continue to follow the scientific evidence and we must continue to take the right decisions at the right moment in time.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned Germans to stay “vigilant and disciplined” to prevent a relapse of cases.

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