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Germany outpaces China in COVID-19 cases

Posted April. 04, 2020 07:47,   

Updated April. 04, 2020 07:47


With global COVID-19 cases now topping 1 million, Germany, once considered a model country in response to the pandemic, has seen confirmed cases and deaths increase sharply, prompting critics to say Europe’s last bulwark has also collapsed. The disease is spreading more rapidly in Britain and France as well.

According to Worldometer and German health authorities, COVID-19 cases in Germany as of Friday was 84,794, up 5,811 from the previous day, thus surpassing China (8,620) to rank fourth in the number of confirmed cases in the world. Cumulative deaths in Germany have reached 990, with its fatality rate rising to 1.2 percent from 0.5 percent a week ago.

Analysts say a hike in Germany's fatality rate had been widely predicted. According to a survey by the Robert Koch Institute in Germany, the average age of Germans who were diagnosed with the disease in the early phase of the pandemic was late 40s, more than 15 years younger than the patients in Italy and Spain, countries that have more confirmed cases among the elderly. This is because the majority of those infected in Germany were people who had traveled to Italy or Austria in February.

However, Germany is another super-aged society, where people 65 years or older accounts for 21 percent of the total population. Local media reported on Monday that 79 elderly people tested positive and 17 people died at a nursing home in Wolfsburg, central Germany. As the majority of the confirmed cases have thus shifted to older people, Germany has already reached a limit in its ability to control the virus outbreak like other European countries, local media reported.

Youn-Jong Kim zozo@donga.com