The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Germany, which is the federal agency responsible for health, has reported that the mortality rate from this rampant pandemic is a mere 2.5% throughout the country. 3,495 fatalities is a less significant figure out of the 132,000 reported cases reported at the time of writing when compared to the statistics for both Spain and Italy. The death rate in Italy is round about 13% of the 160,000 cases reported today.
Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit, University of Hamburg professor in virology, admits that the statistics may differ between countries depending on how a diagnosis is made. RKI’s research information reveals that from the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak there were a lot of mild cases that had been diagnosed early on, but were included in the statistics.
Therefore, the death rate didn’t appear to be that high. However, these statistics will not remain the same as ultimately in the near future those who have been more affected and are in hospital might die. The true fatality rate cannot be calculated until the last person in the country dies of COVID-19 and the last infected person recovers.
How Italy Confirms its Mortality Rates
There has been some explanation as to the higher death rate in Italy. Because postmortem testing is far more rigorous, more mortality cases will have the right cause of death, while in Germany some people die, never being given a cause of death. It has been suggested by German parliamentarian Professor Karl Lauterbach, also an epidemiologist, that the true fatality rates won’t be known until the COVID-19 pandemic has been resolved.
Widespread Testing in Germany Another Possible Reason
Another explanation for the allegedly lower mortality rate could be due to the fact that Germany quickly initiated widespread testing. This is what South Korea did, which helped to contain the pandemic. Leading scientists suggest that lots of testing while implementing social distancing helps immensely to control pandemics like COVID-19.
One of the key reasons for high death rates is lack of preparation and the unwillingness to put people first and not the economy. Putting people first means explaining to the population in a transparent way the importance of social distancing and why measures have to be taken immediately so that the curve is flattened. This allows health services to be able to handle the outbreak in a humanitarian way.
Germany is intent on expanding its testing capacity to 200,000 tests daily so the necessary measures can be taken in the areas where clusters of the virus are becoming prevalent..
Age of an Infected Population Affects Mortality Rate
In Germany, the median age of COVID-19 victims is 45 years, while in Italy it is significantly higher at 63 years. Also, the true statistics of lives lost in Italy probably will not change as a percentage so much now, as the pandemic has existed in Italy about 3 weeks longer than Germany. Germany may see an increase in its death rate sometime soon.
Well-Equipped Health Care System Saves COVID-19 Lives
Death rates vary around the world according to the ability of medical services to treat seriously ill patients. It seems apparent that Italy did not have sufficient intensive care equipment to handle so many seriously ill people all at once. Germany is far better equipped with its 28,000 intensive care beds. In Italy, only 5 intensive care beds are available. In Germany, there are 450,000 beds available in general hospitals 100,000 empty. The more empty beds there are means less crowding and less transmission of COVID-19.