On Friday there was a record number of new corona infections in Germany and now the numbers are falling. Statistical fluctuation or glimmer of hope?
This means that the value has fallen for the first time in months compared to a Saturday the previous week. A week ago, the number of new infections reported was 23 399 – it has fallen by 938. Even if such data can be statistical outliers, there are bright spots in the corona pandemic.
Even before Saturday, the rate of increase in new infections had dropped. The 7-day incidence has not increased as quickly in the past few days as in early November and was 140.4 cases in seven days per 100,000 inhabitants on Friday. The RKI already wrote that the increase in infections had “recently flattened out”.
There can be several reasons for this. According to the RKI, it will take two to three weeks until the effect of the partial lockdown, which has been in effect since November 2, is shown in the infection numbers. That would be until at least Monday. However, data from the Corona Monitor of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) had already shown that the respondents had already been more cautious before. However, the effect could also be partly caused by the fact that the laboratory capacities were slowly being exhausted, Uta Rexroth, the head of the RKI situation center, said on Thursday.
This Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the Prime Ministers are discussing the restrictions that have been in place for two weeks. It was previously planned that these would be maintained throughout November.
Even if the number of registrations is no longer rising as quickly, there are still many infected people in Germany and the number of patients in intensive care units continues to rise exponentially. According to the RKI, 3325 Covid 19 patients were treated there on Saturday, 56 percent of whom were ventilated. According to experts, the number can more than double.
It is known that about two percent of the newly infected have to be treated in intensive care units in ten to twelve days, said Gernot Marx, intensive care doctor at the Aachen University Hospital, on Friday on the radio station WDR5. These patients would also be in the clinics for a very long time – two to four weeks. “That means we will have to deal with it in intensive care medicine well beyond December.”
The reported number of new infections had also decreased on Saturday compared to Friday, by 1,081 cases. A reduction in the number from Friday to Saturday has also not occurred for months. However, under no circumstances should one derive a trend from this comparison from one day to the next, emphasized the epidemiologist Gérard Krause from the Braunschweig Helmholtz Center for Infection Research (HZI). “The collection and transmission system is subject to process-related fluctuations because the data from the health authorities are not accessible to the state authorities and the RKI at the same time.” The system consists of a multi-stage transmission process that results in time delays that can vary from week to week or from day to day.
On Friday there were subsequent reports in North Rhine-Westphalia, so that a reporting effect but also statistical fluctuations cannot be ruled out. On Friday, the previous record was reached with 23,542 cases.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the RKI has counted a total of 773 556 detected infections with Sars-CoV-2 in Germany (as of November 14, 00:00). The number of deaths related to the virus rose 178 as of Saturday to a total of 12,378. There is still a sharp increase here. On Saturday the previous week there were 130 new deaths. The RKI estimates that around 493,200 people have now recovered. This means that an estimated 270,000 of the total registered cases are currently infected.
According to the RKI situation report from Saturday evening, the so-called seven-day R was 1.05 (previous day: 0.99). This means that 100 infected people theoretically infect a good 100 more people. The value represents the occurrence of the infection 8 to 16 days ago. If it is below 1 for a long time, the infection process subsides.