Berlin — Compared to other countries, the number of deaths caused by the novel coronavirus in Germany has been surprisingly low.  According to the country’s federal health agency, The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the mortality rate is currently at less than 0.5%. It’s remarkable when compared to the grim numbers in Italy or Spain. Italy has reported more than 86,000 confirmed cases and over 9,000 deaths, which would seem to work out to a mortality rate of roughly 10%. Meanwhile Germany has reported over 49,000 cases but only 342 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.But how reliable are the figures? The statistics of individual countries can only be compared to a certain extent, and the simple division of the number of deaths by the number of reported cases is not a very reliable method, according to Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit, professor of virology at the University of Hamburg. “In each country the number of unreported cases varies because of the different diagnostic capacities,” he told CBS News. As RKI’s research data shows, many mild cases were detected from the beginning and included in Germany’s statistics, hence the mortality rate fell proportionally.However, more people who are currently ill could die in the


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