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Germany: Is the Spread of the Coronavirus Under Control?

The Corona infection numbers in Germany are rising. For now, the country is dealing with local outbreaks successfully. But will it always be able to keep things under control?

Nijmegen, September 25th, 2020 (The Berlin Spectator) — Throughout the Corona crisis, Germany has been admired as the country with the right approach. In comparison, the number of new infections was relatively low after the first wave. The same applied to the number of Corona-related deaths. With 9,436 as of Friday morning, that number is still low, especially in proportion to the number of inhabitants.

Munich Decreases Infection Numbers

Now that the cold season is on its way, the numbers are rising. In Spain and France, they are unbearable. Here, the situation in intensive care units is deteriorating as well. Things do not look good in parts of the Netherlands either. Another neighbor, Austria, is fighting an intensifying spread of Corona. Budapest is another problem zone. So are Dublin and Lisbon.

Germany does have hotspots as well. In Hamm, the infection numbers are going through the roof. Berlin is developing into a hotspot. Munich had to take action when the Seven Day Incidence Number reached a critical level. The approach helped, the number decreased to where it is supposed to be, namely below 50. But the new measures, including a mandatory mask rule in the city center of Munich, even on the street, stays, at least for now.

Munich, Berlin and Hamm

Munich also has alcohol bans at hotspots, for instance at Theresienwiese where the Oktoberfest would be going on right now had Corona not screwed it up. Also, strict contact rules apply. In public, at pubs, cafés or restaurants, people in Munich may meet in groups of up to five. Alternatively, an unlimited number of people from up to two households may be together.

In Berlin, 238 persons got infected with Corona within 24 hours, which is the highest number in months. In Germany’s west, the city of Hamm is trying to curb a major Corona outbreak. All in all, Germany is still doing relatively well, with around 2,000 new Coronavirus cases per day. Still, the government is worried the situation might deteriorate further at any moment. On Tuesday, Chancellor Merkel and the First Ministers will discuss the implications of the rising numbers.

Spahn Comments on Masks

Days before that meeting, on Thursday night, Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn made clear the mandatory mask rule from Munich would not be adopted for the entire country. This kind of measure could be taken locally, depending on the infection situation on site, Spahn said in an interview with the ARD radio and television network.

States with low infection numbers, such as Brandenburg or Mecklenburg-Hither Pomerania did not need new mask rules. Spahn also said, the rising Corona infection numbers in Berlin and Munich had mainly been caused by parties in public. This sounded like Spahn might be in favor of stricter checks.

New Local Outbreak in Hesse

The latest local Corona outbreak in Germany was reported in Offenbach county. At a parcel service hub, 33 persons tested positive. Seven hundred and fifty more employees still need to be tested. Hundreds of people are already in quarantine.

Considering everything, does Germany have Corona under control? This does not really seem to be the case. But the way local outbreaks, at companies or in cities, are being dealt with is effective. When and if the infection numbers exceed a certain level, tracking down all contact persons of each infected individual will not be possible anymore. That is the moment experts and the government are afraid of.

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