US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — For several months now, German authorities have continued to effectively confront the coronavirus pandemic. What allows the country to keep the infection rate and mortality rate lower than in other developed countries?
From the very beginning of the global coronavirus pandemic, Germany has remained one of the world leaders in countering the spread of COVID-19. What helps the government of Angela Merkel more successfully than the authorities of other states to repel the onslaught of infection, why political apathy is important for the fight against the disease, and in which Germany sees the main risks in the near future, the authors of The Wall Street Journal understood.
According to statistics from Johns Hopkins University, as of Thursday April 30, 162,530 cases of COVID-19 infection have been detected in Germany – this is the sixth result in the world. At the same time, the mortality rate from the disease in the country is unusually low compared to other large European countries: all 6,572 deaths in the FRG mean 79 deaths per 1 million inhabitants. For comparison, Italy has the same indicator – 463 deaths, France – 364, the United States – 191.
The increase in the number of cases detected in Germany has been declining since the beginning of April. From a peak of 6559 new cases per day, the rate dropped to 1478 as of April 30, according to statistics from the Robert Koch Institute.
Germany’s outstanding performance is all the more valuable because its country achieved a small “quarantine” blood supply – especially against its neighbors: many local industrial enterprises and offices worked throughout the five-week “lockdown” when schools, non-essential goods stores and restaurants were closed.
However, it’s too early to relax: in a speech to the parliament last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasized that even the slightest mistake in easing quarantine measures that began in the country a few days earlier threatens a new outbreak of the disease. Germany remains on “thin ice”, the head of the cabinet stated.
The country’s authorities are closely monitoring the increase in the daily death rate from COVID-19: if on March 29 the figure was only 0.7%, then on April 30 it reached 3.8%. This is associated with the “aging” of the sick base: the first cases recorded in Germany were brought into the country by young people who spent their holidays in the ski resorts of Italy and Austria. But gradually the average age of patients with coronavirus got from 40 to 50, although it is still lower than the Italian and French indicators (62 years).
A good decentralized healthcare system also helps Germany to remain effective. The country entered into a pandemic with an index of 34 intensive care beds per 100,000 inhabitants: it was twice as high as in France and three times in the UK and Italy. Only the United States could boast a comparable level of hospital equipment. Germany even agreed to accept about 200 patients from other countries – the local budget cost $ 21.7 million.
Germany is also actively diagnosing the incidence rate: more than 2 million tests have been carried out in the country – the per capita rate here is twice as high as even in the US And at the same time, the authorities have already announced their intention to increase the infrastructure capacity for testing from 900,000 to 4.5 million tests per week.
The antiviral strategy of Germany is conveniently studied at the level of individual administrative lands. For example, the lands of Baden-Württemberg, an industrial center in the south of the country where, for example, Daimler and Porsche factories work and 11 million people live. The region had one of the first outbreaks of the disease in Germany. But the local administration, which represents a coalition of representatives of different parties who for a while forgot about political strife, quickly converted 160 clinics to receive patients from COVID-19. Tests for the diagnosis of coronavirus were just as quickly developed in their bowels. And 3,000 civil servants were thrown to identify and isolate all contacts of patients.
Industry also helped: for example, Porsche through Chinese partners helped the authorities agree on the supply of masks and other personal protective equipment to Baden-Württemberg. As a result, the outbreak was suppressed, and today the region has more free beds for intensive care than Spain and Italy combined.
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