German hospitals see 40% more COVID-19 patients than first wave; hospitals struggle

WION Web Team
Berlin, Germany Published: Dec 06, 2020, 06:17 PM(IST)

Coronavirus cases in Germany increase; hospitals struggle Photograph:( Reuters )

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Some hospitals have also claimed to have a full-bed attendance in their ICU wards for almost a week now

Various European countries are struggling to control the second wave of the novel coronavirus, and Germany, too, has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases. The local authorities have claimed a massive increase in coronavirus patients in the second wave.

German hospitals are struggling to pay attention and accommodate the incoming COVID-19 patients, many of whom are brought in critical condition and need to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Hospitals have seen a nearly 40 per cent increase in COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care.

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This increase is almost five times more than what was seen during the first wave of coronavirus in Germany during the spring season.

“In states like Saxony, the number of patients in intensive care is five times higher than it was in April. Hospitals are either reaching their capacity limits or have already exceeded them,” Gerald Gass, the head of the German Hospital Federation (DKG), an umbrella group uniting regional hospital associations, told a local newspaper.

In addition to an increase in the ICU patients, on an average, nearly 16,000 patients are being treated for the deadly virus in the normal wards of the German hospitals. The increase has raised concerns for the local authorities who fear the bigger hospitals will soon run out of space to accommodate critically ill patients.

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During the first wave in the European country, the smaller hospitals were attending to the infected cases but were transferring the critically ill patients to the bigger hospitals with more resources. however, with an increase in the cases and ICU patients, the transferring process is getting tougher for the hospitals to manage, raising serious concerns. The hospitals are now, usually, packed to the highest occupancy limit.

Some hospitals have also claimed to have a full-bed attendance in their ICU wards for almost a week now. The experts are also raising concern over lack of qualified nurses and hospital staff, and have complained on behalf of the existing staff who are tired after being "stretched thin for years".

Uwe Janssens, the head of the German Association of Intensive and Emergency Medicine (DIVI) told a local agency that the experts and authorities are unsure of how will the hospitals be able to manage the inflow of COVID-19 patients if the situation remains as grim in the few upcoming weeks too.

As of now, the German government has imposed a new and stricter partial lockdown which will stay in place at least till January 10, as the country crossed the mark of 1.7 million COVID-19 cases this week.

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