Germany saw both the daily death toll and the number of new infections drop sharply today, which gives new hope that the coronavirus lock works.
The number of infections increased by 3,677 – the smallest since March 22 – to bring the total number to 91,714 to 95,391.
Meanwhile, the death toll rose by just 92, the lowest in a week, taking the total from 1,342 to 1,434.
The resulting 1.5 percent death rate remains lower than many of Germany’s neighbors, although it has risen every day for more than two weeks.
This chart shows the daily number of deaths added to the census in Germany. Today’s figure was 92 much lower than in recent days
This graph shows the daily number of new cases, with the current number of 3,677 being the lowest in two weeks
The two southern states of Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg – closest to Italy – are the most affected, with 824 of the 1,434 killed among them.
Bavaria alone recorded nearly a third of new infections in the past 24 hours, according to the Robert Koch Institute that compiles the numbers.
The capital of Bavaria, Munich, has registered a total of about 3,500 cases of coronavirus, but only nine deaths.
Berlin has more than 3,600 infections, while Hamburg has just under 3,000, the figures show.
The 1.5 percent death rate means that one in 67 patients who have tested positive for the virus has died.
This figure is significantly lower than in Italy (12.3 percent), Spain (9.5 percent) or France (11.5 percent), although it has risen 0.5 percent since March 26.
The relatively low rate is thought to be related to Germany’s mass tests, meaning many people with mild symptoms are added to the count who are missed elsewhere.
A patient from France who is seriously ill with the coronavirus is transported from an ambulance plane after landing at Dresden International Airport in Germany
Medical student Florian Schwenzer, wearing a protective suit, mask, gloves and glasses, sits at a table in the coronavirus care facility on the north side of Signal Iduna Park
Top Berlin virologist Christian Drosten estimates that Germany is now able to run up to 500,000 tests per week, and the country also has more intensive care facilities than Italy.
Germany also plans to buy an “incredible” number of face masks, Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz said yesterday.
“We need an incredible amount of masks. Our entire effort is to obtain them. That’s where we are today, “he told a TV show on ZDF.
Authorities in Berlin accused the United States of diverting a batch of 200,000 masks in Bangkok amid claims that the US is paying too much to get masks.
However, supplier 3M said he had no news of an order from the Berlin police and investigated whether the German authorities had been cheated.
Angela Merkel has noted that Germany’s lockdown measures may last after Easter, although they are less stringent than in some countries.
A police officer is standing at the Brandenburg Gate yesterday when authorities made announcements for people to keep their distance
“The rise in confirmed new cases is slightly slower than a few days ago,” Merkel said Friday.
“But it is definitely too early to identify a trend, which is why it is too early to relax some of the strict rules we have set for ourselves.”
Merkel has returned to her office after spending almost two weeks at home after being tested by a doctor who later tested positive.
The 65-year-old chancellor tested negative several times during her quarantine period.
Lothar Wieler, the president of the Koch Institute, had said on Friday that lockdown measures seem to have controlled infection rates.
The country’s 16 states have agreed to maintain freedom of movement until at least April 19.
In recent weeks, Germany has admitted patients from congested hospitals in France and Italy out of solidarity.
Nevertheless, it remained his longstanding opposition to contracting European joint debts, despite new demands from Italy.