While countries around the globe struggle to cope with the death, panic, restrictions and economic dislocation wrought by coronavirus, a different picture has emerged in Germany.
Experts are scrambling to figure out why coronavirus is spreading at a lower rate and at the same time killing fewer people compared to what’s going on in other countries like Italy.
The country’s low death toll, according to virologists, can be attributed to early and extensive testing as well and the widespread availability of intensive care capacities.
Germany’s success in handling the cases of coronavirus and treating the infected depends on its commitment to invest heavily on the health sector.
The country in fact has almost twice as many vacant intensive care (ICU) beds as Italy‘s entire number of ICU beds, Germany’s health minister Jens Spahn told the public broadcaster ZDF.
Italy has one ICU bed per 11.870 people while Germany has one ICU bed per 3.000 people.
Mr Spahn confirmed that they had the highest number of ICU beds in Europe and were working on doubling that.
“Around half of Germany’s intensive care beds are vacant over the whole of Germany. We are preparing ourselves as best we can for what might happen next,“ Mr Spahn said. “And if I may add this: In Germany there are almost twice as many intensive care beds vacant as Italy has intensive care beds in total.”
This explains why Germany has been admitting coronavirus patients from Italy. Germany has activated an ICU plane to help Italy cope with the coronavirus crisis. The emergency plane is equipped with ICU and beds.
Germany has taken measures to make sure that the virus gets contained. Some of these measures include asking people to self-isolate, setting up lockdown and provision of test kits and masks to its citizens.
Germany has been diagnosing the virus sooner than another countries, by identifying asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic persons unlikely to require medical care.