(FamilyRetirementClub.Com)- Europe is giving the United States a good insight into how the coronavirus spreads, and what the implications of lifting lockdown measures may be. Germany, which was one of the hardest-hit economies in Europe when it comes to the Chinese coronavirus, recently decided to begin lifting lockdown restrictions and now we’re seeing what happens when that decision is made.
The rate of infections of the virus in Germany started rising again after Chancellor Angela Merkel relaxed lockdown rules.
The Robert Koch Institute, which is the government agency overseeing the coronavirus outbreak in Germany, announced that the virus is spreading at a higher rate now that people are leaving their homes more often. Specifically, it found that the amount of people an infected person is passing the virus onto has risen from 0.83 on Friday, to over 1.13 by Sunday.
This “R number” as it is known has now risen above 1, meaning that the number of infections in the country is beginning to rise again. When the number is below 1, it means the infection is slowly disappearing. The Robert Koch Institute warned the German government that there is also a degree of lag in their figures, meaning that they are currently uncertain whether the spike was caused by the relaxing of the lockdown rules, although it is the most likely contributing factor.
It comes after Merkel told the country that some businesses could start reopening, students could return to schools, and religious services could once again be held. At the time she made the announcement, the rate of infection was sitting low at 0.65. She told the country that, thanks to the responsible behavior of citizens, the country had achieved its goal of slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
Merkel also warned previously that if the rate of infection went beyond 1.1 by October, however, then the health system would reach capacity and people would be denied access to intensive care beds owing to a shortage.
The news comes as a stark warning to the United States which is currently seeing states reopening economies. As long as it is done responsibly and gradually, problems may be avoided, but Germany’s story shows just how difficult it may be to navigate.