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Coronavirus: Germany offers France victims assistance

Germany will admit Coronavirus infected patients from neighbouring region of eastern France that are struggling with a rising number of cases of the coronavirus.

As coronavirus cases surge in the biggest infectious disease crisis to hit European hospitals in a century, officials and health-care workers are scrambling to keep national health systems above water.

In a glimmer of European collaboration, hospitals in France’s Alsace region have begun transferring some critically ill patients across the border to Germany, where the state of Baden-Württemberg offered assistance.

Governor Winfried Kretschmann had offered assistance to France as the latter faced a growing shortage of ICU beds and this has been confirmed by the state’s ministry.

Markus Jox, a spokesperson for the health ministry, said authorities had asked all hospitals in Baden-Württemberg with free capacity to admit French patients who required ventilators.

He said despite the state’s own limited capacity, “we will naturally try to help our French neighbours”.

France has already reported 12,612 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 450 deaths so far and President Emmanuel Macron warned French citizen that it, might just be the start to the crisis.

We have taken exceptional measures to absorb this first wave, but we’ve started a race against the virus,” said the president at a crisis meeting at the interior ministry.

The president insinuated that the virus is highly unpredictable and that it was best people react a great deal and reorganise themselves at every moment and that there was need for anticipation.

Alsace, which borders Germany, has been hit the hardest by the outbreak, as hospitals and intensive care units there are “overstretched” and “overcrowded”, said an official for Grand Est and Bas-Rhin in northeastern France.

France has been under a nationwide lockdown since Monday. In the capital, Paris, as well as the southern city of Nice.

Authorities closed parks, promenades and walkways to stop people from gathering in large numbers and ignoring lockdown measures.