COVID-19 virus SARS-CoV-2

Epidemiological Development in Germany


Epidemiological development of COVID-19 in Germany throughout the pandemic between March 1, 2020 and September 12, 2021. Germany's epidemiological profile is somewhat atypical in that, while the COVID-19 incidence is lower than in most European countries throughout the entire second wave likely due to the implementation and maintenance of very strict social distancing measures, the individual incidence oscillations observed in most other European countries in Germany fused into one single wave. In spite of this, notice the characteristic relatively sharp incidence peak around November 10, 2020, then again a third peak on January 10, 2021. The first peak is shared with a number of other European countries such as Spain, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, France to mention a few. The latter was also observed in the UK, USA and Canada. The dip observed past the second peak on December 20, 2020 was suggested to reflect the testing and reporting slow down between the holidays. Due to the country's very strict non-pharmaceutical interventions the attainment of the nation's global herd immunity was substantially delayed. As of April 11, 2021 the Germany's population (83,8 million) was still short of 60% herd immunity by 20 million persons.

Correlation between Germany and Sweden

For unknown reasons Germany shares its characteristic COVID-19 epidemiological profile with Sweden despite of the implementation of vastly different non-pharmaceutical intervention measures. The second wave in both countries is highly positively correlated r=0.904.

In addition Germany's second wave epidemiological profile highly positively correlated with a number of other countries: 
Countries Correlation coefficient "r" Statistical probability "P"
Germany/USA 0.906 P < 0.001
Germany/Canada 0.924 P < 0.001
Germany/Italy 0.819 P < 0.001
Germany/UK 0.764 P < 0.001
Germany/Iran 0.766 P < 0.001
Germany/Slovakia 0.833 P < 0.001
Germany/Sweden 0.904 P < 0.001
Germany/Norway 0.877 P < 0.001
Germany/Finland 0.701 P < 0.001

The German COVID-19 incidence between March 22, 2020 and June 6, 2021 plotted together with its corresponding infection fatality ratio (IFR).

At the beginning of the pandemic (here before July  2020) the apparent COVID-19 mortalities appeared to be very high due to a number of unrelated factors such as, the unfamiliarity with the novel disesease resulting in late diagnosis or misdiagnosis, lack of initial testing, which artificially inflated the equation numerator resulting in large mortality value in addition to some initial mishandling of severe cases due to overwhelming of the medical system. This region of the graph (blue dots) by no means reflects the true COVID-19 morbidity. However, the prevalent German COVID-19 mortalities tend to be higher than IFR in many other European countries despite very strict social distancing measures adopted by the German government. One possible explanation for the apparently high mortalities might be hardly surprizing reluctance of the German population having themselves tested. This would result in artificially reduced incidence inflating the German mortality numbers (see below).

The German COVID-19 IFR profile appears to be higher than IFR calculated for many other countries likely due to lack of testing. 

Data: WHO weekly reported SARS-CoV-2 virus positive cases.