Put Germany under ‘immediate’ lockdown or face third Covid spike, ICU doctors warn

Germany must make an immediate return to Covid lockdown conditions otherwise it faces a third wave of dangerous coronavirus, its intensive care doctors have said, in a stark warning to government officials.

Dr Christian Karagiannidis, the director of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine (DIVI) told broadcaster RBB Monday: “From the data we currently have and with the spread of the British mutation, we would argue strongly to return immediately into a lockdown to avoid a strong third wave.”

And he said that if Germany waits “one or two weeks,” it will make it twice as hard to get coronavirus cases under control again.

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On Monday, official figures released by the country’s health regulator at the Robert Koch Institute said that the seven-day incidence rate is at 83 cases per 100,000 people, more than 60% above the 50-cases mark set by the government as a threshold for any easing of restrictions.

In early March, Germany’s states agreed to a gradual easing of restrictions, with schools, some businesses and hairdressers being allowed to re-open from March 8.

DIVI says there are 2,800 people in ICU beds now, a figure Karagiannidis warned could rise to 5,000 or 6,000 if state governments do not respond with stricter measures.

“It’s clear that the intensive care numbers will rise quickly if we give the virus an opportunity,” he said, adding the government needed to act quickly and vaccinate Germany’s over-50s and over-60s.

So far, Germany has reported 2.58 million cases of coronavirus and recorded nearly 73,500 deaths with Covid.

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