Germany faces a long period of limitations and drastic cuts in its social life with the application since Monday of severe measures to suppress the spread of the coronavirus. “Months of restrictions and deprivation await the Germans,” warned Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn, in statements to public television ZDF. Although public life is reactivated after overcoming a month of November with drastic measures such as the closure of bars, restaurants and hotels, it cannot be ruled out that radical provisions will be adopted later. “No one can rule out that at some point it will happen again,” said Spahn, who warned that due to the coronavirus crisis, he is in an exceptional situation “this century.”
The new restrictions, which came into effect last midnight, also entail the closure until the end of the month of theaters, operas, concert halls and museums, as well as gyms and sports facilities of all kinds. Furthermore, contacts are kept to a minimum. No more than ten people from a maximum of two different households may meet both publicly and privately. The fight against the pandemic needs “a national effort,” said the German head of Health. “Yes I know. This is really tough, ”said Spahn, who stressed that the drastic reduction in contacts is the only possible way to slow the spread of the virus and regain control of the epidemic by the health authorities.
Faced with criticism from the gastronomy and hospitality industry, as well as the culture sector, the head of the fight against the disease in Germany stated that even the best hygiene concept reduces the risks to zero. Regarding his own infection with the Sars-Cov-2 virus, Spahn said he felt fine and had no symptoms for several days. After commenting that he does not know how the contagion occurred, he pointed out that, like many others in Germany, he is still in home quarantine and thanked all those who stay at home to protect others.
“It depends on all of us” that the infection figures do not rise again after the partial closure dictated by the federal government and the 16 federal states, said the minister, who warned that the fact that the restrictions end at the end of November does not mean that “we can all go partying again.” The German Health Minister also announced the donation of 290 million masks to nursing homes and home care services for the elderly from surpluses that the ministry has accumulated in the meantime in recent months and that will be delivered to 33,000 institutions across the country as of November 10. Despite everything, Spahn advises not to neglect the reserves of protective material for hospitals and treatment centers and shelters for the sick and elderly for the coming months.
The president of the German Hospital Society, Gerald Gass, expects a drastic increase in patients in intensive care units in the face of the increasing number of infections with coronavirus. “In two or three weeks the number of patients in intensive care will exceed the marks of April and that is something that we can no longer avoid”says Gass in statements published today by the tabloid Bild. “Whoever is admitted to our hospitals in three weeks is already infected today”, highlights the expert, who speaks of a “unfortunately realistic” prognosis. Gass points out that personnel from other plants have already begun to be diverted to intensive care units, which “is not optimal at all, but justifiable in an exceptional situation like this.”
On the other hand, the German Minister for Family, Franziska Giffey, reiterated today that schools and kindergartens is the last thing that should be closed in the fight against the coronavirus. “Schools are much better prepared for some situations that caused confusion in March,” Giffey said in television statements, in which he recalled that in Germany there are more than 30,000 schools and 56,000 kindergartens and that only a couple of hundred have provisionally closed after detect infectious outbreaks among students or teaching staff. Schools will remain open during the new stage of restrictions in Germany, as will wholesale and retail trade, albeit under harsh hygienic conditions.
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