The head of Germany’s disease control institute said Tuesday the rate of new COVID-19 infections in that country continues to drop but says a second – or even third wave of infections is likely.
Robert Koch Institute President Lothar Wieler spoke with reporters in a virtual briefing in Berlin saying in the last few days, only 700 to 1,600 new cases per day were reported, showing the rate of increase continues to fall, which he called “very good news.”
Wieler said Germany’s current reproduction rate – the number of people infected by one person with the coronavirus – is at 0.71, less than one to one.
But he warned it is the nature of a virus in a pandemic to stay active until 60 to 70 percent of the population has been infected. That is why he says there is "a large degree of certainty among scientists that there will be a second wave. And many also assume that there will be a third wave."
Wieler said Germany will be much better prepared for a second wave, depending on how strong it is. He said they are developing a smart phone application to help with “contact tracing” - tracing those people who have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for the virus – that will be helpful in the controlling the spread of the virus.
Germany is in the process of loosening some social and economic restrictions it put in place in March to control the spread of the coronavirus.