Coronavirus: German study shows COVID-19 might not be fatal as previously thought

Professor Hendrick Streeck, University of Bonn director of the Institute of Virology and Institute for HIV Research, joins ‘Closing Bell’ to discuss the university’s antibody study and what it means for the coronavirus pandemic.

The world is reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, and some countries are reeling more than others.

But Germany seems to be taking the epidemic in its stride with a high number of cases but a low number of deaths, thanks to a number of factors.

In Europe, while Italy and Spain are the worst hit countries with over 100,000 cases each, as of Friday, Germany has recorded 84,794 confirmed cases but has witnessed just 1,107 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The low mortality rate in Germany, at just over 1%, is far below its neighboring European countries, and this has been put down to Germany’s decision to implement widespread testing of people suspected of having the virus, as opposed to Italy or the U.K.’s decision to only test symptomatic cases.

Karl Lauterbach, a professor of health economics and epidemiology at the University of Cologne, and a politician in the Social Democratic Party (SPD) of Germany, told CNBC that Germany’s less severe experience of the pandemic so far was down to a handful of factors.

“I think so far we’ve been lucky because we were hit by the wave of new infections later than many other European countries, for example Italy, Spain and France,” he told CNBC Thursday.

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