In view of the debate about the reasonableness of the corona measures, the chairman of the World Medical Association pleads for patience. “If we give up now, the virus has won,” Frank Ulrich Montgomery told Tagesspiegel. “It is still the case that avoiding contact is the most effective protection against infection – as long as the population is not vaccinated.”
The federal government, state leaders and doctors fear that the mutated virus variants will also spread rapidly in Germany. As reported, the Sars-Cov-2 variant B117, known as the British mutation, was last detected in Berlin clinics – for example at the Charité and in a Vivantes hospital. Should the mutated virus form spread, the number of patients will soon rise again.
The situation in the intensive care units is not quite as tense as it was at the turn of the year, but clinicians warn against “carelessness”. Many intensive care physicians do not expect the clinics to slowly return to normal operations until April.
Many hospitals have been working in an announced emergency mode for weeks: regular, plannable operations have been postponed in order to keep staff and space free for corona patients.
Currently around 4800 Covid-19 cases are being treated in Germany’s intensive care units, 2700 of them require invasive ventilation. Despite weeks of lockdowns, the number of registered new infections has only decreased slightly.
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As the Robert Koch Institute announced on Friday, there were 115.3 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within a week. This so-called seven-day incidence fell recently, but is still significantly higher than the target of a maximum of 50 set by the federal government.
Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) said on Friday that more than 1.5 million vaccinations had now been administered in Germany; around 100,000 German citizens have even received the second vaccination. And: 60 percent of the particularly endangered senior citizens’ home residents are vaccinated, as well as a “large part” of the nursing staff.
Doctors and nurses are tired, said Montgomery, after all, many of them had been fighting the pandemic for almost a year. “But the employees on the ward are not tired of their commitment.” World Medical President Montgomery was a radiologist in Hamburg. In Germany, he chaired the German Medical Association and the Marburger Bund, the union of clinicians.