Germany’s R number rockets again – up to 2.88

Germany’s coronavirus R number has leapt again – from 1.79 on Saturday to 2.88 on Sunday, official figures show.

The Robert Koch Institute for public health (RKI), which has been publishing the country’s COVID-19 statistics, said the new number is based on a four-day average. On Friday it was 1.06.

The R number refers to the reproductive rate of the disease. A figure of 2.88 means that for every 100 people who contract coronavirus, another 288 are likely to become infected too.

Trolleys being cleaned at Frankfurt airport
Image: Trolleys being cleaned at Frankfurt airport

In order to contain the illness, a figure of less than one is required.

Thus the new level means it is likely to increase among the population.

RKI said outbreaks had been reported in a variety of locations including hospitals and nursing homes.

COVID-19 was also discovered in centres for asylum seekers and refugees, among those harvesting crops and at religious and family gatherings.

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The increase in the R rate also comes after hundreds of workers tested positive for coronavirus at an abattoir in northern Germany last week, prompting the closure of local schools and an urgent investigation.

Toennies, one of Germany’s biggest meat processors, said it had stopped slaughtering on Wednesday and was shutting the abattoir in stages.

More than 1,000 workers were tested and 657 were positive, DW News reported.

The Toennies meat factory that had to be shut down because of a coronavirus outbreak among employees
Image: A meat factory that was shut down because of a coronavirus outbreak

Toennies’ co-owner, Clemens Toennies, has apologised.

RKI said that in total, 189,822 cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed, and 8,882 deaths.

Germany recently said it was lifting travel restrictions to European countries, but advised against visiting the UK while quarantine rules are in place.

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