germany Lufthaffe, the country’s military air force has had to get involved in handling the coronavirus pandemic as cases skyrocket and intensive care units struggle to keep up with the load of patients. The situation strengthens the prospects of national containment.
With more than 76,000 infections on Friday – up from 52,970 new infections a day a week ago – Europe’s largest economy is now one of the hardest hit by COVID-19.
On Thursday, the country was the fifth – after Russia, the UK, Italy and France – to exceed 100,000 deaths from the virus.
He came amid warnings from hospitals, mainly in the south and east, that intensive care units were filling to capacity.
Security forces confirmed on Friday that the Air Force has equipped its planes with up to six intensive care beds to transfer patients to Germany – another first since the start of the pandemic.
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Doctors were pictured loading patients onto planes at the main airport in Memmingen, Bavaria.
They labeled the planes “flying intensive care units”.
4,000 of the 22,000 available intensive care beds in Germany are occupied by coronavirus patients – a 100% increase in one week.
85 percent of them need respiratory assistance.
Their average age is between 50 and 79 years.
Meanwhile, co-leader of the Greens and new Minister of the Economy, Robert Habeck, said: “Time is running out.
“We are seeing a doubling of infection rates every 12 days.
“The hospitals are already full.
Professor Lothar Wieler, director of the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s federal disease control agency, urged leaders to “trigger all measures” to reduce the incidence rate.
He said, “We are at a crossroads.
Mr Spahn also raised concerns over the detection of a new variant, B.1.1.529, detected for the first time in South Africa.
Preliminary studies suggest it may be more transmissible than any other so far.
Germany joined with 26 other EU member states in agreeing on the need to temporarily suspend travel to South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
The announcement caused stocks to plummet across the bloc.
Britain, on a related note, announced a temporary ban on flights from South Africa and several neighboring countries, which sent the stock market to its biggest plunge in more than a year. year.