January 24, 2022

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German Virus Cases Rise the Least Since March

(Bloomberg) —

The number of coronavirus cases in Germany rose by the least this month as the nation moves ahead with a cautious loosening of restrictions on public life.

There were 2,018 new infections in the 24 hours through Monday morning, taking the total to 145,742, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The number of fatalities rose by 104, the lowest since April 1, to 4,642. Some 88,000 people have recovered, more than in any other country, including China where the outbreak originated.

Germany will this week begin relaxing some curbs on daily life, while leaving most of the measures designed to limit the spread of the disease in place into next month. Smaller shops can resume regular business, and schools will gradually reopen with some students taking exams allowed to return.

The country has the fourth-highest number of cases in Europe behind Spain, Italy and France. More than 60,000 people have died from the virus in those three nations combined.

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 was 0.8 as of Saturday, 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 0.8 other people. The measure rose to 1.3 earlier this month. An update was not possible Sunday due to “technical changes,” the authority said.

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