Germany is being closely watched worldwide as the most successful large European country in curbing the spread of the virus, partly thanks to massive testing, which has prompted a partial reopening of the economy. Merkel has frequently said the reproduction rate of the new coronavirus must be held below 1 to prevent the health system from being overwhelmed.
But the Robert Koch Institute for public health said the rate hovered above this critical threshold for the third consecutive day with an estimated value of 1.07 on Monday, after 1.13 on Sunday.
That Germany does not have its R below one is, in a nutshell, why short-run measurements of coronavirus responses are not very reliable. And why “we need to lock down until full testing is up and running” is not necessarily convincing. Here is the full story.