Germany, which had virus under control, sees a jump in cases

BERLIN (AP) — In a world which has so far coped more successfully with modern coronavirus infections, Germany is seeing a sharp boom, growing concerns of the pandemic.

On Thursday 4,058 new infections and 16 deaths over the last 24 heures, totaling 310,144 recorded cases, were announced by the country's agency for the prevention of diseases Robert Koch Institute, with 9,578 deaths.

This is 1/5 of Britain's mortality rate and 1/3 of Italy's reported toll on viruses.

"I am extremely worried about that," said Health Minister Jens Spahn, one of the hotspots for new events, to reporters in Berlin.

He advised the Germans not to hit a stage "where we loose power" but to value social distance and hygiene steps.

Spahn's fears were reflected by the Director of the Robert Koch Institute, Lothar H. Wieler. He cautioned that new cases in many other European countries could escalate past 10 000 a day in recent years.

It is precisely because the steps implemented after March by officials and the public culminated in a reasonably low mortality rate that Wieler called the "preventive phenomenon" that complacency has risen.

Andreas Gassen, who chairs Germany's National Organization of Statutory Health Care Physicians, said the country is running more than 1.1 million checks a week, with a low rate that is just around 1.5% positive.

Gassen also stated that in the event of an abrupt surge in severe conditions, Germany already had 8,500 beds free of charge and another 12,000 that could be deployed over seven days.

Spahn played the risk that a nationwide lock-down might be enforced and claimed that he favoured regional initiatives.

On Wednesday, officials in Germany advised citizens from and near Bremen, Remscheid, Hagen, Hamm and areas of Berlin, not to fly to regions that have more than 50 fresh cases per 100 000 inhabitants.

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