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Experts: Rapid testing helps explain few German virus deaths

BY , Mar 9, 2020 8:24 PM - REPORT AN ERROR

Firefighters disinfect a sidewalk to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, March 5, 2020. Iran has one of the highest death tolls in the world from the new coronavirus outside of China, the epicenter of the outbreak. The federal government is now warning against all travel to Iran over concerns about the novel coronavirus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Vahid Salemi

Experts say Germany's low death rate from the new coronavirus is partly due to early testing that gave more time to contain the outbreak.

The country has confirmed more than 1,100 cases but, so far, just two deaths.

Other countries with a similar number of confirmed infections have dozens of deaths.

Christian Drosten, the director of the Institute for Virology at Berlin's Charite hospital, said Germany's dense network of independent labs received both the technical information needed to conduct tests and the approval to bill for them in January.

Case numbers in Germany were still in the single digits at the time.

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