New corona restrictions in Germany come into force

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As of Monday, tougher restrictions to combat the corona pandemic have come into force everywhere in Germany. Among other things, only people from two households are allowed to stay together in public, but ten people at most. Health Minister Jens Spahn urged citizens to significantly reduce their contacts. The German Hospital Association expects a record number of patients receiving intensive medical care.

A large number of businesses and facilities such as operas, theaters, swimming pools and fitness studios will have to remain closed from Tuesday onwards, similar to the situation in Austria. Restaurants will only be allowed to sell out-of-home and deliver meals. Accommodation for tourist purposes is prohibited.

Retailers, however, may continue to open their stores. Schools and daycare centers will also remain open. The measures will initially remain in effect until the end of November; in the middle of the month, the federal and state governments plan to draw up an interim balance sheet. Some federal states deviate in details from the agreed catalog of measures.

The German health authorities reported 12,097 new corona infections within one day on Monday. Experience shows that the number of cases is lower on Mondays, partly because less testing is done at weekends.

Shortly before the partial lockdown came into effect, Spahn said on Sunday evening in the ZDF-“heute-journal”: In order to deal adequately with the “situation of the century” of the corona pandemic, a “national effort in November” was necessary. In order to keep day-care centers and schools open, contacts must be reduced “all the more” elsewhere.

Spahn was confident that the spread of the novel corona virus could be significantly slowed down, as was the case with the lockdown in spring, and the restrictions in November. It was an advantage that more is now known about the pathogen and its spread. “We are getting better at dealing with this virus every month,” said Spahn.

However, the past few weeks with the high number of new infections in Germany have also shown that it would not be possible to contain the pandemic entirely without government measures, the Health Minister stressed. The number of Covid-19 patients receiving intensive medical care in Germany has tripled in the last two weeks.

Asked about further so-called “Freihaltepauschalen” in which hospitals keep the beds free for corona patients and thus forego income from operations, Spahn said on ZDF television that the hospitals do not have to sit on corona-related deficits: “Where we have to make adjustments, we will make adjustments.

Almost two weeks ago, Spahn had announced that he had infected himself with the novel corona virus. However, the disease had had a “very mild course”, said the minister. He had been “symptom-free” for several days. The infection had made him even more humble in his dealings with Corona and grateful for the German health system, said Spahn.

The German Hospital Association expects that in two to three weeks the maximum number of intensive care patients of April will be exceeded. This can no longer be prevented, said association head Gerald Gass to the “Bild” newspaper (Monday edition). “Whoever is admitted to hospital in three weeks is already infected today. Gaß announced that nursing staff from non-intensive medical areas should be assigned to the intensive care units. This is “naturally not optimal, but can be justified in such an exceptional situation”.

The federal and state governments are already preparing for a possible overload of hospitals. A paper from the Federal Ministry of the Interior, which was presented to the AFP news agency at the weekend, outlines a “concept for interstate patient transport in a worst-case covid 19 scenario”.

  • hp, Source: APA. Picture: pixabay.com
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