Germany ‘flattens the curve’ as Italy deaths close in on 7,000

Head of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, Germany, Lothar Wieler. (Photo: RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland)

Germany’s coronavirus infection curve could have now flattened, according to the country’s public health chief, as cases across elsewhere in Europe and the US continue to surge.

Italy, the country with the world’s worst outbreak, reported 743 more deaths in the last 24 hours, with the overall number to 6,820.

The number of confirmed cases in Italy rose to 63,928 from 59,138 on Sunday, an increase of 8 per cent, according to the Civil Protection Department.

However, it was the lowest rise in percentage terms since the contagion in the country came to light on 21 February.

Germany said the upward trend it was seeing in the number of COVID-19 cases seems to be levelling off, in part thanks to social distancing measures to deal with the outbreak.

Lothar Wieler, head of the country’s health institute, said: “We are seeing signs that the exponential growth curve is flattening off slightly.

“But I will only be able to confirm this trend definitively on Wednesday.”

Wieler added that he was optimistic, given the strict measures in place in Germany, including those on public gatherings and washing of hands.

In Spain however, cases have continued to surge, with 4,540 more people diagnosed with COVID-19 in the 24 hours — a rise of 15% on the previous day.

The total number of confirmed cases in the country stands at 39,676—the second-highest number in Europe. The death toll is rising too, as 2,800 people have now died in Spain, after testing positive for COVID-19.

More people have died after testing positive from coronavirus in Italy than anywhere else in the world, despite the stringent lockdown measures in place.

Elsewhere, the number of dead in Iran continues to rise, with 1,934 people losing their lives after testing positive, out of 24,811 confirmed cases.