D.he number of Covid-19 patients treated in intensive care fell for the ninth time in a row on Tuesday. “If the development continues like this, that would be good. It is finally going in the right direction, “said Gernot Marx, President of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine (Divi), the FAZ.” Today we can see that the holidays had no negative effect on the intensive care units. Most people seem extremely withdrawn at Christmas. For us intensive care physicians the best gift ever! ”, Marx continued.
The intensive care physician cites the lockdown as the reason for the decline in the number of occupied beds: “The measures taken by the federal government and the federal states before Christmas are having a certain effect. That is why the measures taken must be consistently pursued – we absolutely cannot afford to relax. ”There are still regions where things are very serious. “The situation in Saxony is still more than tense,” said Marx.
Constant messages from hospitals
From mid-September onwards, the number of Covid-19 patients treated in intensive care was initially slow, but then rose sharply and continuously from mid-October. In the spring of 2020, the peak value that was valid for many months was 2928 (April 18) before the numbers rose again. On January 3 of this year, the new previous high of 5745 treated Covid intensive care patients was reached. On Tuesday the number was only 5230 – and thus at the level of just before Christmas Eve.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, politicians have stated that one of the most important goals is to avoid overloading the hospitals and justify the restrictions against this background, among other things. The goal is that nobody should die because they cannot be treated.
While the number of daily new infections reported by the RKI was recently delayed due to the thin staffing of the health authorities on the holidays, the numbers from Divi are not subject to a high number of unreported cases. The number of reporting hospitals remained constant over the Christmas period and thereafter. The figures in the Divi intensive care register are therefore the best way to see how the infection was a few weeks ago. According to the intensive care physician Marx, patients with severe disease are usually admitted about ten to twelve days after the onset of the disease.
Some critics call for even tougher measures
The number of new admissions fluctuates constantly, but apparently a small trend can be seen. In the past five days (including Tuesday) a total of 2598 Covid patients came to the intensive care unit, in the five days before it was still 3218, in the five days before that again 3504. However, it has not yet been determined whether the trend will continue, because, for example, many new patients were admitted again on Tuesday and the total number only fell on that day because the number of those who recovered and those who died combined was higher. In general, around 200 to 300 patients died daily in connection with the coronavirus. It also remains unclear what effects the new virus mutations have.
Most recently, a discussion broke out about whether the restrictions on public life that had been imposed by politics up to now were sufficient. Some critics are calling for even stricter measures – especially for the economy. Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (Die Linke) told the FAZ: “We must finally go into a real lockdown.” Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) said on Tuesday that the measures are slowly beginning to take effect, but at the same time led to an obligation FFP2 masks in public transport and retail. Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “It will be tough until Easter.” What that means for the duration of the lockdown remained unclear.