One year ago today, the first person was diagnosed with coronavirus in Germany at a Bavarian company, as German Health Minister Jens Spahn warned the country was at the "beginning of a coronavirus epidemic."
Spahn provided assurance that Germany was well equipped to tackle the virus with large amounts of hospital space and warned against unnecessary panic saying "not every cough is a case of coronavirus."
Germans were warned by Chancellor Angela Merkel that the country would enter into its first national lockdown on March 22 while cases and deaths were still low. She added that Germany should expect restrictions like they have "never seen them before."
As people were urged to stay at home, the data showed cases and mortality rates slowing down, leading Merkel to say in May, the first phase of the pandemic was behind them.
We're at a point where we can say we've achieved the goal of slowing the spread and keeping the health care system from being overwhelmed," Merkel said.
But as Germany started to open up and travel restrictions were lifted, a second wave of coronavirus quickly grew, leading Merkel to warn that another -- lighter -- lockdown was to come. Experiencing lockdown fatigue, social distancing became less of a priority and the country battled higher infections and death rates.
On Wednesday, Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soeder marked the grim anniversary, telling CNN’s German affiliate they could now identify and isolate the patients effectively. He warned though that the virus was still spreading “at great speed.”
- Germany's health agency said there'd been 13,202 new cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 2,161,279.
- According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), 982 people died of the disease in the same period, bringing the country's death toll to 53,972.
- Since the start of Germany's vaccine rollout, 1,638,425 first doses have been administered and 283,264 people have received a second dose, according to RKI.