Germany will soon reach a record number of patients in intensive care units, warns Gerald Gaß, head of the Association of German Hospitals.
“In two to three weeks we will exceed the level of patients in April, and there is nothing we can do to stop this,” Gaß told Bild.
“Everyone who will be hospitalised in the next three weeks is already infected today,” he added.
Gaß also announced that part of the healthcare staff in the non-intensive care units will be deployed in the intensive care units. “This is not optimal, but in such exceptional circumstances it is necessary,” Gaß points out.
As of October 30, there were 7,539 beds available in intensive care in Germany, with 21,682 already occupied, according to Statista.
Uwe Janssens, president of the German Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine (DIVI), told Bild am Sonntag that “in some Länder there is absolutely no room for maneuver”.
“Berlin has only 14% of its intensive care beds free, and Bremen 17%,” Janssens said, adding that the current situation is more dramatic than what Germany saw in the spring.
Non-urgent operations are postponed
To deal with staff shortages, German hospital coordinator Andreas Westerfellhaus called for the postponement of non-emergency operations.
“Many intensive care nurses work to the limit and rightly warn that the situation will get worse,” Westerfellhaus told Bild.
“Only a set of measures will stop a catastrophe – for example, based on the current situation to postpone non-urgent operations to a later date,” he added.
On Monday, November 2, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for disease control reported a drop in the number of cases, with just over 12,000 new infections in 24 hours. However, the figure is often lower on Monday, as not all health authorities report cases over the weekend.