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Coronavirus: Germany

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL6089, tabled on 23 June 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of Germany's 'R' rate for COVID-19 reportedly increasing to 2.88.

Answered on

7 July 2020

As the number of new cases declines, R becomes a less helpful indicator and the amount of uncertainty around its exact value increases. This uncertainty may be due to variability in the underlying data, leading to a wider range for R and more frequent changes in the estimates.

Additionally, R is an average measure. When the number of new cases is low, R will be more volatile and sensitive to individual outbreaks. An outbreak in one local area can result in the estimate of R for the entire region being pushed above 1. We believe this could be the case in Germany.

When the number of new cases decreases to a low level it becomes more important to monitor other indicators.