Yet Germany’s fatality rate so far — just 0.5% — is the world’s lowest, by a long shot.

“I believe that we are just testing much more than in other countries, and we are detecting our outbreak early,” said Christian Drosten, director of the institute of virology at Berlin’s Charité hospital.

As Europe has become the epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic, Italy’s fatality rate hovers around 10%. France’s is around 5%. Yet Germany’s fatality rate from COVID-19 has remained remarkably low since cases started showing up there more than a month ago. As of March 25, there were 175 deaths and 34,055 cases.

Drosten, whose team of researchers developed the first COVID-19 test used in the public domain, said Germany’s low fatality rate is because of his country’s ability to test early and often. He estimates Germany has been testing around 120,000 people a week for COVID-19 during the monthlong period from late February to now, when it’s reached epidemic proportions in the country, the most extensive testing regimen in the world.