icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

‘Like Vesuvius erupting’: German govt hopes to avoid ‘complete economic standstill’ but hospitals risk being overwhelmed

‘Like Vesuvius erupting’: German govt hopes to avoid ‘complete economic standstill’ but hospitals risk being overwhelmed
German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier has said there is still hope that the country can avoid slipping into “another recession.” However, the health system could be overwhelmed unless the Covid-19 infection rate slows down.

“Infections have risen by a lot again recently…. If the pace continues, the hospitals will be overcrowded in a few weeks. It will have a major impact on social, private and economic life,” Altmaier told Deutschlandfunk radio on Monday when explaining Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision on impose a stricter lockdown from Wednesday until January 10.

At the same time, Altmaier noted it was still possible to avoid “another recession” if the government acts “wisely” and the promised state aid comes through. “I hope we can prevent a complete economic standstill in the second wave of the pandemic,” he said.

The minister warned it was “clear” that restrictions would likely not be relaxed after January 10 unless the situation on the ground actually starts improving. “We have to honestly say that,” Altmaier said.

Also on rt.com Non-essential services shut, no drinking in public & no fireworks: Germany rolls out tougher Covid-19 rules

Similar concerns were voiced by Finance Minister Olaf Scholz who said Germany was at risk of losing control of the pandemic, so urgent measures were needed.

We are, in fact, facing a natural disaster. It’s like when Vesuvius erupts. You can only see that you are getting to safety, and that is what we are doing.

The government was forced to close down all non-essential shops and services after regional leaders and doctors said that hospitals were getting packed to the brim and struggling to find enough ICU beds for severely-ill patients.

On Monday, Gerald Gass, the head of the German Hospital Federation, told the media the infections will continue to rise in the next two weeks before the effect of the lockdown would be felt. “I expect the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care units to rise from 4,500 to 5,000 by the end of this year,” Gass said.

The Robert Koch Institute recorded 16,362 new cases on Monday, which is roughly 4,000 more than reported on Monday last week.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.

Podcasts