| 23 April 2024, Tuesday |

German intensive care association calls for hard lockdown

Germany urgently needs a 2-week lockdown, faster vaccinations and mandatory tests at schools to break a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DIVI association for intensive and emergency medicine was quoted as saying on Thursday.

Nearly 1,000 additional patients have ended up in intensive care units since the middle of March, said Christian Karagiannidis, the DIVI’s scientific head. On Wednesday, 3,680 people were in intensive care in Germany, DIVI data show.

“If this rate continues, we will reach the regular capacity limit in less than 4 weeks,” he told the Rheinische Post daily. “We are not overexaggerating. Our warnings are driven by the tally.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel is under growing criticism for failing to spell out a plan to contain the spread of the virus in Germany and blaming uncooperative state premiers for an increasingly chaotic management of the crisis.

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections rose 24,300 to 2.833 million on Thursday, the biggest spike since Jan. 14. The reported death toll increased by 201 to 76,543.

The number of cases per 100,000 in the last 7 days, which the government has used as a key metric to decide on lockdown steps, rose to 134 from 132 on Wednesday and up from 113 a week ago.

Karagiannidis called for a hard lockdown for 2 weeks, mandatory tests at schools twice a week and much faster doses at vaccination centers and doctors’ practices.

Bavaria’s Health Minister Klaus Holetschek told ARD television he would consider introducing compulsory testing for teachers and pupils, noting that the willingness to get tested voluntarily has not turned out to be as high as he expected.

The premiers of 2 southern German states badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic called on leaders in the rest of the country on Wednesday to reintroduce more stringent lockdown measures to try to contain the third wave of infections.

  • Reuters