Authorities in Germany are starting to see signs that the fight against the coronavirus is heading in the right direction. “The curve is flattening,” said the CEO of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the German counterpart of the Dutch RIVM.
The so-called reproduction number, which indicates how fast the virus is circulating, has now dropped below 1 and stands at 0.89. That means that every 100 infected people transmit the virus to 89 other people.
RKI CEO Lothar Wieler warned that the situation could worsen again in the coming weeks. Hospitals could then run up against their limits.
Wieler called on his fellow countrymen to keep their social contacts to a minimum. He said wearing face masks and social distancing also help stop the virus from spreading. According to him, such measures will also remain necessary if there is a vaccine in the future because it will take time to carry out vaccination campaigns.
Germany and many other European countries have seen the number of corona infections rise sharply for weeks. Earlier in the day, the RKI reported nearly 22,000 new corona cases. The German authorities often registered only a few hundred new corona infections per day last summer.
Health Minister Jens Spahn said earlier in the day that measures against the coronavirus are likely to remain in effect in the coming months, even if the virus is less likely to spread. “I do not expect events to take place with more than ten or fifteen people this winter,” the minister told a German broadcaster.