This graph shows the value of R in Germany before they relaxed their lockdown rules (the amber line) and after they were relaxed (the blue line). The red horizontal line represents an R value of one. If R is higher than one the infection is still spreading exponentially. If it’s lower than one the spread is slowing and will eventually die out. The goal is keep the R value below one and to lower it as much as possible.
The slight rise in the German COVID-19 R value on 27 April to just below one prompted news reporting such as this in the British press:
“WAVE OF FEAR Germany faces having to bring BACK strict coronavirus lockdowns as cases surge just days after easing them”.
“Germany has seen a worrying rise in its coronavirus infection rate after becoming one of the first countries in Europe to start easing lockdown measures”
This sort of misleading, and frequently sensationalist, reporting is rife, ands gets repeated ad nauseam online, and particularly on social media.
Unfortunately some people inform their decision making based on reading stories such as these, rather than relying on facts.
For those who would like to know the source of my data, it’s taken from the website of the Robert Koch Institut (RKI) in Germany and is available in German and English:
The facts and figures on COVID-19 that the RKI publishes on a daily basis makes the UK’s efforts to do the same seem inadequate.
EDIT: I’ll be updating the graph on a regular basis. So far the R-value shows no sign of increasing