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Medical employees demonstrate testing, at a coronavirus test center for public service employees in Munich, Germany © Matthias Schrader/AP/Shutterstock

Inside Germany’s Covid-19 testing masterclass

Britain is patting itself on the back over testing—after the peak has passed. How many lives could have been saved by taking the German approach from the off?

When I reached Dr Rainer Schwertz, in Heidelberg, he expressed something that has been in short supply from nearly everyone in the UK: honest hope that the Covid-19 crisis may be under control. “For four weeks here we have had more recoveries from Covid-19 than new cases,” he told me. Schwertz is head of the public health department in the Rhein-Neckar district of Germany, a local administrative region of over 600,000 people, which includes the city of Heidelberg. Germany has been lauded for its response to the coronavirus crisis, moving quickly with an aggressive track-and-trace strategy that appears to have stalled the outbreak and prevented it from overwhelming the health system—as I write, Germany’s death rate, adjusted for population,…

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