Covid tracking sparks controversy in Germany

Berlin, Aug 2 (efe-epa).- Tracking Covid-19 infections in a large city like Berlin is a complex task and has sparked criticism over how authorities handle personal data.

Officials trying to trace contagion routes in the German capital spend an average of 30 minutes per person gathering information.

Health service managers oversee staff involved in detecting infected people, handling their data, planning sampling, archiving and organizing them.

The number of workers dedicated to these tasks in the country is around five per 20,000 inhabitants.

Jana Kellermann, a health manager in the city’s Tempelhof-Schöneberg district, said the number of employees deployed daily, including on weekends and holidays, must be continuously adapted to the epidemiological situation.

“The health department provides most of the employees but we also receive personal support from the district office and, if necessary, from the army and the RKI (Robert Koch Institute),” she added.

The number of cases they manage varies from day to day, from a few individuals to a longer list of people who have had contact with a patient.

Germany’s tracing system has been cited as one of the reasons for the country’s relatively low infection and death rate.

A total of 209,653 cases have been detected in Germany, with 9,148 deaths, according to German public health agency the RKI.

As in many other European countries, there has been an increase in infections in recent days with 955 confirmed in 24 hours on Saturday.

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