In Brief: Germany’s COVID-19 reproduction rate rises to 2.76, likely due to local outbreaks, according to RKI

The head of the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s disease prevention authority, cautioned against reading too much into the rising rate, which he blamed on localized outbreaks.

Photo by: Kobu Agency

By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and William Glucroft

Social distancing is one coronavirus rule that won’t be ending in the foreseeable future. Health officials say keeping 1.5 meters — or 5 feet — away from people is key to keeping the pandemic in check.

But that hasn’t stopped many Berliners from ignoring the rule, including at illegal parties officials complain are happening citywide.

At a news conference yesterday, Mayor Michael Müller urged residents to show “real responsibility, not only for yourself, but for neighbors, for relatives, for people standing next to you in a shop or sitting next to you on the subway.

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There’s a widening divide between children who get to go to school and those who don’t, according to the latest UNESCO report. 

The Global Education Monitoring report found that poverty was the major obstacle to schooling around the world, with 258 million children in 209 countries unable to get an education.

Researchers said COVID-19 increased that inequality. They found that 40% of poorer countries failed to support the hardest hit students while schools were shut due to the pandemic.

The report also notes some progress. One state in India, for example, has introduced 21 tribal languages in its classrooms.

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The head of Germany’s disease prevention authority said the latest reproduction rate of COVID-19 in the country was 2.76 yesterday, meaning one infected person is passing on the virus to nearly three other people.

But Dr. Lothar Wieler of the Robert Koch Institute cautioned against reading too much into the rising rate, which he blamed on localized outbreaks.

Dr. Wieler told reporters yesterday: The rates are “prone to fluctuate” given fewer cases are now being reported daily across Germany.

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