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Coronavirus in Germany: No End in Sight

Update March 8th, 2020, 4:26 p.m. CET

Germany now has more than 950 confirmed Coronavirus cases. Behind China, South Korea, Italy, Iran and France, it is one of the countries most affected by the pandemic.

In Italy, France and Germany, the number of Coronavirus infections has increased rapidly. Especially in Italy, the situation was alarming, as 1200 new cases were identified on Saturday alone. According to media reports, the government was getting ready to cordon off northern Italy completely, which would mean that 10 million people would be confined.

Bulgaria Hit by Virus

The Italian government called upon former doctors to return to their profession during the crisis. Both the incredible number of patients and the fact that many doctors and nurses have been infected themselves required a step of this kind. In the meantime, France just overtook Germany regarding the number of Coronavirus cases. The authorities there say 949 people are infected.

Within the European Union, Bulgaria was the only E.U. country in mainland Europe that did not have confirmed Coronavirus cases, until today. Because of its terrible health care system, observers fear the country could fall into chaos if the virus spreads further. The two first Coronavirus patients in Bulgaria are a young man from Pleven and an elderly man from Gabrovo, according to ‘Novinite’. It is unclear where or how those individuals contracted the infection. In neighboring Romania, another E.U. country, nine Corona infections were confirmed by Saturday.

Hospitals Under Pressure

Spain had 500 cases on Saturday night, Switzerland 268, the United Kingdom 206, the Netherlands 188, Belgium 169, Sweden 161 and Norway 147 cases. Most other countries in Europe had two-digit numbers.

Hospitals all over Germany were scrambling to provide testing for suspected cases and treatment for actual Coronavirus patients who did not feel well, while continuing their usual operations. Also because German clinics are continuing to treat patients with other illnesses and broken bones, some are increasingly under pressure. The Coronavirus is a burden that requires a lot of manpower.

Confirmed Coronavirus Infections in Germany’s Federal States (as of Saturday night)
Schleswig-Holstein: 8
Hamburg: 13
Lower Saxony: 19
Bremen: 4
Mecklenburg-Hither Pomerania: 6
Berlin: 28
Brandenburg: 2
Saxony-Anhalt: 0
Thuringia: 2
North Rhine-Westphalia: 377
Rhineland-Palatinate: 13
Saarland: 3
Hesse: 17
Saxony: 4
Baden-Württemberg: 170
Bavaria: 134
Note: The sum of the cases in Germany’s federal states and the total number of cases in Germany might not match, as some numbers are being updated during the day and the authorities are lagging behind in the counting process.

Berlin Police Man Infected

About 15 percent of all Coronavirus patients in Germany develop breathing problems or pneumonia. Some of them need to be treated in intensive care. The vast majority of infected persons either does not feel anything or light symptoms only. The older the individuals, the higher the risk. The same applies to patients with preexisting conditions of certain kinds.

In Berlin, a police officer is now the 28th Coronavirus case. According to the police department, he was not infected on duty, but in his free time. Since he was part of a large team, he may have infected colleagues unknowingly. Thirty-five of his colleagues are now in quarantine. The Berlin police is generally extremely busy and therefore cannot afford to have dozens of officers on sick leave.

Theft is Additional Problem

In the past 48 hours, products needed the most during the Coronavirus crisis were stolen in Berlin. There were two big cases. At the Virchow Clinic, unknown culprits stole large quantities of surgical masks and disinfection fluids on Friday. Only hours later, 94 bottles of disinfection fluid disappeared from Berlin’s police academy.

At a crisis summit in Berlin, the federal government will discuss additional measures against the spread of the Coronavirus later on Sunday. Chancellor Angela Merkel, Health Minister Jens Spahn and others will take part.

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