“all of Germany is a single big outbreak”


International

Coronavirus

Agencies | EiTB Media

Bavaria has suspended all Christmas markets and has ordered the closure of discos and bars. Lack of staff severely limits the operation of intensive care units.

The acting German Government and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) of virology have warned today of the extreme situation in which it is Germany, with consecutive peaks of new infections and incidents and the consequent risk of saturation of the hospitals.

“The situation is serious, more serious than a week ago,” said the acting head of Health, Jens Spahn, while the president of the RKI, Lothar Wieler, said that “all of Germany is a single major outbreak.”

In a joint press conference, Spahn has pointed out that only in the last four weeks the incidence has increased fivefold and successive peaks have been registered, with consequently “sadly high” numbers of hospitalizations and deaths.

The upper house of the German Parliament (Bundesrat) has given the green light to the new regulation against the pandemic drawn up by the future governing coalition that the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz aspires to lead with Greens and Liberals.

“The situation is serious, more serious than a week ago”

Germany is at the worst moment of the pandemic due to the delta variant and insufficient vaccination rate, with 67.9% of the population on the full schedule, which “is hard, it hurts and it is frustrating”, because everyone they expected another winter precisely thanks to vaccines, he said.

Wieler, for his part, stressed that the number of active cases exceeds half a million and the cumulative incidence in seven days, 300 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants -340.7 according to updated figures-.

Germany has surpassed the barrier of 5.2 million cases of coronavirus this Friday after adding about 53,000 during the last day, a day in which the European country has reported more than 200 deaths, amid a rebound that has set off the alarms of the authorities.

The Robert Koch Institute, the government entity in charge of infectious disease control, has indicated that during the last 24 hours there have been 52,970 positives and 201 deaths, which brings the total figures to 5,248,291 and 98,793, respectively, from start of the pandemic in March 2020.

Bavaria

In this context, the state of Bavaria has suspended all Christmas markets and has ordered the closure of discos and bars to stop the spread of covid-19.

The move comes days after local authorities announced the cancellation of Munich’s Christmas market, the largest in the state. Bavarian President Markus Soeder added that the closure of these facilities will last for at least an initial period of three weeks.

In addition, the Bavarian authorities have decided to close non-essential public activity in those districts where a weekly incidence level of 1000 cases per 100,000 inhabitants is exceeded.

Lack of staff

Lack of staff severely limits the operation of intensive care units in Germany, only a quarter of which are currently operating normally.

Some 750 of the country’s 1,300 adult ucis have had to restrict the number of beds at this time due to staff shortages, while some 300 also show a lack of space.

Telecommuting

Finally, teleworking has prevented a further decline in the German economy during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a study by the consulting firm Deloitte, published today in the weekly Spiegel.

Without the option to work from home, Germany’s gross domestic product (GDP) would have fallen not by 4.9%, but possibly by as much as 22.1%, the study authors note.




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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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