How did Germany manage to prevent an Italy-like situation?

Edited By: Bharat Sharma WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Apr 11, 2020, 03:02 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Germany has a fatality rate of just two per cent

Western Europe has been battered by the coronavirus outbreak, but Germany remains a bright-spot in the continent.

The fatality rates in Europe are as follows: 10 per cent each in Spain and France. In Italy and Britain it's 12 per cent.

But Germany has a fatality rate of just two per cent.

How did they do this?

Germany has been testing way more people than rest of Europe.

Identifying and isolating patients helped Germany prevent the infection from spreading to more vulnerable age groups.

Germany has the capacity to test 500,000 people every week.

But in countries like UK, this number is much lower at around 300,000.

Germany also had a head start in preparing for the outbreak.

Also read: Moscow mayor warns city of 'serious test' as coronavirus numbers climb

Italy reached 100 COVID-19 cases on February 23rd while Germany reached the same number almost a week later.

This gave the country a buffer period to chalk out its response.

Germany's patients also seem to be much younger than the rest of Europe.

Just 18 per cent of patients in Germany are older than 60 years.

But in Italy - this demographic accounts for 60 per cent of the patients.

Also read: WHO warns about dangers of premature lifting of COVID-19 restrictions

As many researches have asserted, older patients are affected disproportionately by this virus.

Through rampant testing and strict social distancing, Germany was able to protect its older age group from the infection.

Something Italy, France and Spain have failed to do.

Health infrastructure

Germany is now reaping the reward for consistently investing in health infrastructure over the years.

There are 34 ventilators for 100,000 people in the country. While Italy has only seven.

There are 621 hospital beds for 100,000 people in Germany, more than double the capacity in Spain and Italy.

Massive public health investment has made this possible.

Germany spends twice as much on public health as its European counterparts.

So when the pandemic came - Germany was ready for it.

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