Germany prepares for the collapse of its hospitals
The Klinikum Wolfsburg has become the first German hospital to close due to saturation and to reject the entry of new patients with few exceptions
Farmers, small entrepreneurs and the self-employed can receive from today the aid organised by the federal government to avoid the collapse of the German economy and the bankruptcy of firms, workshops or farmers. In an unprecedented emergency action, the federal government and the two German parliamentary chambers approved in just five days and with the consensus of all parties a large umbrella of the aid of up to 1.2 billion euros with which to sustain the economy national until the coronavirus crisis is overcome. Meanwhile, Germany already counts more than 62,000 infected and more than 540 deaths from the Covid-19 epidemic, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University, which keeps global accounts of those affected by the disease.
Federal integration commissioner Annette Widmann-Mauz calls for the work ban for asylum seekers to be lifted in order to fill the shortage of some job sectors due to the coronavirus epidemic. Given the current situation, “every person who can lend a hand is needed,” said the commissioner. For this reason, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer should allow “asylum seekers and tolerated people to work temporarily in harvesting crops or the supply chain,” said Widmann-Mauz, who believes that this potential hand works must be used “quickly and consistently”. The Interior Ministry has banned entry into Germany due to the pandemic of seasonal workers from other EU countries, especially Romanians and Poles, essential in harvesting crops such as asparagus.
Specialists in intensive care medicine demand that coronavirus sufferers be spread throughout Germany. If “in two or three weeks the peak of infections is reached, hospitals in some regions will see their capacities overwhelmed,” warned the president of the German Interdisciplinary Association of Intensive and Emergency Medicine (DIVI), Uwe Janssens, in statements to the Funke media group. Janssens demands that the federal government urgently prepare a centre for the distribution of patients nationwide to other less overloaded clinics and hospitals. The Robert Koch Institute (TKI), which coordinates the fight against the pandemic in this country, the Ministries of Health and Interior and the federal army should work in that institution.
The Klinikum Wolfsburg has become the first German hospital to close due to saturation and to reject the entry of new patients with few exceptions. The centre’s management categorically prohibits all visits to the centre and diverts new patients to other medical centres in the city and the region. A significant outbreak of coronavirus has also been registered in a local nursing home, and at least 72 of its 165 elderly have been infected, according to the institution’s management, which has so far produced 15 deaths. Also in residence in Würzburg, a virulent focus of Covid-19 has been located, which has so far killed more than a dozen people.