Germany faces severe COVID milestones and changes in leadership

Esweiler Germany (Associated Press) – Germany This week is expected to break the 100,000 deaths of COVID-19, a gloomy milestone that several of its neighbors crossed a few months ago, but the most populous country in Western Europe had hoped to avoid this milestone.

Discipline, a strong healthcare system, and the launch of multiple vaccines-one of which is a home-grown vaccine-is designed to avoid the kind of shocks of winter outbreaks Germany last year.

In practice, the Germans are faced with a series of confusing epidemic rules, lax law enforcement and national elections-followed by a long government transition period, during which senior politicians will continue to lift restrictions even if the infection rate rises. Worried about the prospects.

“No one dared to take the lead in announcing unpopular measures,” said Uwe JensenThe head of the intensive care unit at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Eschweiler, west of Cologne.

“Lack of leadership is the reason we are here now,” he Said.

As confirmed cases hit new daily highs, doctors such as Johnsons are preparing to welcome the influx of new coronavirus patients. Experts say that vaccine skeptics have also contributed to this.

Resist shooting-including one developed by a German company Biological Technology Together with U.S. partners Pfizer -Still strong among a considerable number of minorities in the country. The vaccination rate has stagnated at 68% of the population, well below the government target of 75% or higher.

“More and more of our young people are receiving intensive care,” said Jensen“They have been in treatment for much longer, and the time in intensive care beds is also longer.”

The elderly who were vaccinated in early 2021 also saw their immunity decline, making them vulnerable to serious diseases again. he Said. Responding to the problems encountered when the vaccine was first introduced, the authorities have been working hard to meet the demand for boosters, even if they tried to encourage adherence to the first shot.

Some German politicians suggested that it is time to consider mandatory vaccination for specific occupations or the entire population. Austria took this step last week, announcing that the COVID-19 vaccine will be mandatory for everyone to be vaccinated from February, as similar reluctance to vaccinate has emerged in new outbreaks and hospitalizations.

GermanyThe outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in June that she did not approve of such measures. Merkel hinted that the position may change, on Tuesday convened the leaders of the three parties who are negotiating to form the next government to hold talks at the Prime Minister’s Office to discuss the pandemic.

Merkel’s possible successor, Olaf Scholz, the current Finance Minister of the center-left Social Democratic Party, refused to accept whether he would support the mandatory injection of COVID-19.

Together with the environmentalist Green Party and the pro-business Liberal Democrats, his party recently passed a law that will replace the existing legal basis for restricting epidemics with narrower measures starting on Wednesday. This includes requiring workers to provide proof of vaccination, recovery or negative test to their employer.But this change also makes GermanyOf 16 governors implemented a strict lockdown without the approval of the state legislature.

In states with the highest number of cases, obtaining these majority can be particularly tricky.A recent study found that the infection rate is higher in regions with far-right alternatives GermanyOr AfD is the strongest. The party has been opposed to epidemic restriction measures, and opinion polls show that, compared with other voters, the party’s supporters hold extremely negative views on vaccine enforcement.

Although AfD is not expected to win any GermanyExperts say that in the four regional elections next year, political campaigns may distract people from dealing with difficult topics such as the pandemic.

Catherine Smallwood, a coronavirus expert at the World Health Organization’s European Office, said: “The focus is usually on things that will drive votes, not unpopular decisions.”

Smallwood said in a recent interview: “If you don’t take timely measures and decisions and…take the specific methods that must be taken, this may lead to the spread of the virus.”

GermanyThe disease control agency reported a record 66,884 new confirmed cases and 335 deaths on Wednesday. The Robert Koch Institute said that since the beginning of the pandemic, the total number of deaths caused by COVID-19 is 99,768. The German weekly Zeitung conducted its own statistics based on the data of the local health authorities and said it had exceeded the threshold of 100,000.

At the same time, the health authorities of the five eastern states and Bavaria have activated an emergency system to coordinate the distribution of 80 seriously ill patients to other parts of the country.Earlier this month, two patients from the south Germany Going to Italy for treatment is a major change from last year, when the Italian patient was taken to a German hospital.

Germany The number of intensive care beds per capita was almost four times that of Italy at the time. Experts said this factor was the key to the low mortality rate in Germany at that time.

Since January, Germany Due to a lack of staff, the capacity of the ICU had to be reduced by 4,000 beds, many of whom resigned because of the pressure they were under in the early stages of the pandemic.

“It is difficult for people to cope with this situation physically and psychologically,” Jensen Talking about the situation that doctors and nurses will face in the coming months.

“We will survive somehow,” he Add to.

The European Office of the World Health Organization warned this week that the availability of hospital beds will once again determine how the region responds to the expected increase in cases and vaccination rates in the coming months.

The agency said on Tuesday that based on current trends, Europe may report another 700,000 deaths in 53 countries/regions by next spring, of which 49 countries are expected to experience “high or extreme pressure in intensive care units.”

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Jordans reports from Berlin. Jamey Keaten of Geneva contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.



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