BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s relatively low rate of deaths so far from coronavirus is largely due to the high number of tests being carried out in the country, meaning authorities are simply aware of more cases, including milder ones, a senior virologist said.

Speaking at the launch of a government-backed alliance to promote research into the virus, Christian Drosten – a Berlin research virologist – said on Thursday that Germany was carrying out “extremely high numbers” of tests, averaging around 500,000 a week.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Michelle Martin)