The German Medical Association does not consider the hospitals in Germany to be sufficiently widespread for the new corona virus. Single rooms with front locks are ideal for patients with this virus, but there are not very many left, said the chamber's pandemic officer, Susanne Johna, who New Osnabrück newspaper, The number of these rooms had been reduced in the past decade due to cost reasons.
Johna said that if there is an urgent need for treatment, so-called single boxes are needed in intensive care units to minimize the risk of transmission. There are also too few of these for cost reasons.
The hygiene expert, who is also the chairperson of the Marburger Bund medical union, labeled the new virus China as a wake-up call. There is not only a need to catch up in terms of hospital equipment. The public health service is also "massively understaffed" in many places. There is a shortage of doctors and specialist staff.
Fifth case of infection in Germany
However, Johna warned of panic. The new virus must be taken seriously, "because we still don't know everything about it". But there is no current threat. The risk of normal flu is much higher. Around 40 people had already died of influenza in Germany this winter. But the flu is known "and is therefore not taken as seriously as a new pathogen with many unknowns".
A fifth case of infection with the new virus was confirmed in Germany on Thursday evening. As in the other four German cases, it is an employee of the automotive supplier Webasto based in Starnberg in Upper Bavaria, as the Bavarian Ministry of Health announced.
Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) emphasized that Germany is well prepared for the virus. In an interview with the magazine Focus he said that the federal government had taken measures to identify suspected cases early and thus minimize the risk of infection. Spahn said that he did not consider the new respiratory disease to be an emergency in Germany: "We are very vigilant. But calm."
In China, infections and deaths rose as a result of the novel coronavirus further on. The number of patients grew by 1,981 to 9,692, according to the Beijing Health Commission. The number of deaths rose by 42 to 213. The World Health Organization (WHO) had previously declared the spread of the virus to be a "health emergency of international importance". The 190 member countries will coordinate the crisis measures recommended by the WHO.
The U.S. Department of State issued a travel warning for all of China because of the virus. The Federal Foreign Office in Berlin initially warned against trips to the most affected province of Hubei, but recommended in a partial trip warning to postpone unnecessary trips to China "as far as possible".