Germany's daily coronavirus case count has nearly tripled as regions consider an 'emergency brake' to reinstate harsher lockdowns

  • Germany reported 933 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, nearly three times as many as the day before.
  • Lags in reporting can sometimes skew case counts, and officials say they need more data before they are certain of a trend.
  • The elevated figure comes six days after the country reopened shops and some schools.
  • Regions may have to apply an “emergency brake” and reapply lockdown measures if there are more than 50 cases per 100,000 people.
  • As of Tuesday, the country had reported 170,508 infections and 7,533 deaths from the virus.

About a week after Chancellor Angela Merkel further relaxed Germany’s strict lockdown, the country on Tuesday reported nearly three times as many new COVID-19 cases as it did the day before.

The country’s agency for limiting the spread of disease, the Robert Koch Institute, reported 933 new cases – a huge leap compared with the 357 reported Monday.

The country’s “R” rate has also been above 1 for the past three days, according to the institute. An R rate of 1 means that, on average, an infected person infects one other. Anything above 1 means that the outbreak is worsening.

Lags in reporting can affect case counts, and CNN reported that because of statistical uncertainties, the institute said it was too early to know whether cases were indeed on the rise overall.

It has been six days since the country’s lockdown was significantly loosened, with the reopening of shops and schools. This furthered a process of easing restrictions that began April 27.

Germany coronavirus lockdown lifted

Merkel has repeatedly warned that should the R number go above 1, Germany’s health system could be overwhelmed, according to Reuters.

On Thursday, Merkel laid out criteria to apply an “emergency brake” to tighten the lockdown. It could be applied in any region where new cases of the virus in a seven-day period reach a rate of 50 per 100,000 people.

Three districts – a relatively small part of Germany – have already used the brake, and more could follow. The specific modifications to the lockdown vary by place.

As of Tuesday, Germany had reported 170,508 infections and 7,533 deaths from the virus, according to the institute. At its peak, Germany reported 6,993 new cases in a single day, according to the statistics website Worldometer.