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Germany: Wieler Expects Escalation of Situation and More Corona-Related Deaths

Thirteen days into the German government’s semi-lockdown, the number of new Corona infections remains high. According to the Robert Koch Institute, the situation will escalate further.

Berlin, November 13th, 2020 (The Berlin Spectator) — As many as 24,738 new Corona infections were reported in Germany within the past 24 hours, according to the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The Robert Koch Institute’s (RKI) number is 23,543. Without the partial lockdown, it would probably be even higher.

Cautious Optimism

The RKI’s Director Professor Lothar Wieler said some clinics would probably reach their limits. Generally, the situation would likely escalate more, he stated. More Corona-related deaths would have to be expected. But Wieler also said he was “cautiously optimistic” in regard to the numbers of new infections, which at least were not growing that quickly anymore. “But we do not know yet whether this is a stable development”, he stated at a press conference in Berlin.

Wieler said the situation continued to be serious. There were more and more infections, and newly infected persons could always pass them on to other people. What the clinics were concerned, he was just as worried as Health Minister Spahn, Professor Wieler stated. It was unclear whether the “flattening of the curve” was being caused by the restrictions that were in place in Germany, Wieler conceded.

Cheeks in Winter

It depended on the behavior of the people how quickly the “occurrence of infection” could be slowed down”, Lothar Wieler explained. Things were more difficult in winter. “We will have to press our ass cheeks together for a few more months”, Professor Wieler said, word for word.

Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn said he was worried because of the numbers that had stayed at a high level. According to him, the number of Corona patients at intensive care units might double before this month is over.

Shifted Problem

In an interview with the ‘Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung’ daily, Spahn did some math: With around 20,000 newly infected person per day, there would soon be 6,000 individuals who would need to be treated at ICUs at the same time. That was because 2 percent of all infected persons would end up in intensive care for two weeks. With even higher numbers, the German health system would be overburdened, Spahn explained in the interview.

Back in March, when the Corona infection numbers exploded for the first time, the government feared there might not be enough ICU beds and respirators. Now those worries have shifted. While the infrastructure in Germany’s hospitals has improved significantly, the quantity of staffers is now the issue, the RKI believes.

Main Goal

Professor Wieler confirmed that there are more infections among nurses and other hospital employees as well. The main goal was to take the number of Corona infections back to a level the hospitals could deal with.

Berlin still is one of Germany’s main Corona hotspots. The capital’s Seven Day Incidence Number is above 200 now. Six out of twelve districts are above 200. At this stage, the worst one is ‘Mitte’, where the Incidence Number just hit 295.3 on Thursday. All Berlin districts are above 100.

In Potsdam, a small scandal around Hollywood star Keanu Reeves surfaced. After the last shooting day for the latest ‘Matrix’ movie, a big party was celebrated on Wednesday at Babelsberg Studios, according to the ‘Bild’ daily. The tabloid published photos from the event and reported there had been 200 participants. Now Potsdam municipality will discuss the party at a hearing. It is about the question whether the Corona rules were adhered to.