Germany’s New Virus Cases Increase for Second Time in Five Days

(Bloomberg) --

The number of coronavirus cases in Germany rose for the second time in five days as the government considers how to tackle the next stage of the crisis.

There were 2,195 new cases in the 24 hours through Thursday morning, bringing the total to 150,648, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Fatalities rose by 229 to 5,315. The death rate is now at 3.53%, while the number of people who have recovered climbed to more than 103,000.

After a debate lasting almost eight hours, Germany’s ruling coalition agreed late Wednesday on a 10 billion-euro ($10.8 billion) package of additional measures to lessen the economic impact of the pandemic. The coalition leaders laid out a seven-point plan, including a temporary reduction in value added taxes for restaurants and an increase in the amount of money paid as state wage support.

The agreement was reached as Germany and other European countries start taking steps to gradually reopen their economies.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has identified the reproduction factor -- known by epidemiologists as R-naught -- as a means of gauging how successfully countries have kept the virus in check and how much stress it could place on health services.

Germany’s R0 stood at 0.9 on Wednesday, according to the latest situation report from the country’s public health authority. That means that each person with the virus infects an average of 0.9 other people.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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