In Brief: Number of COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care on the rise across Germany

Nationwide, the amount of coronavirus patients requiring intensive care has nearly tripled over the past two weeks, according to the Robert Koch Institute.

Photo by Martha Dominguez de Gouveia

 

By Sylvia Cunningham and Kate Brady

Nearly 1 in 5 of Berlin’s intensive care beds are being used by COVID-19 patients.

That means, for the first time, that marker is “yellow” in the city’s traffic light system to assess the threat of COVID-19 to public health. If that number hits 25%, that indicator will switch to red.

Germany’s disease prevention authority, the Robert Koch Institute, reported that the number of coronavirus patients requiring intensive care across the country has nearly tripled over the past two weeks.

The seven-day reproduction rate nationwide meanwhile is just below 1, meaning one infected person goes on to infect about one other person.

To curb the spread of the coronavirus, experts say it’s key to keep that number below 1.

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Fears that Berlin Brandenburg Airport’s (BER) opening attended by Berlin Mayor Michael Müller and other dignitaries had turned into a superspreader event turned out to be unfounded.

Several people who attended the airport’s long-delayed opening on Saturday — including Müller, German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer, and airport CEO Engelbert Lütke-Daldrup — all went into quarantine after Brandenburg Premier Dietmar Woidke tested positive for COVID-19. He was the guest of honor at the event.

Müller, Scheuer and Lütke-Daldrup have all now tested negative.

Lütke-Daldrup emphasized that strict measures were put in place at the reception so guests could socially distance.

Meanwhile, the new airport became fully operational after a Qatar Airways plane landed on BER’s south runway Wednesday morning.

At the same time, the closure of the city’s centrally located Tegel Airport is drawing nearer. The last flight — an Air France flight headed to Paris — will take off from there this coming Sunday.

It’s an especially fitting end. Back in 1960, it was Air France that operated the first commercial flights to the airport, located in the former French sector of the once divided city.

This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.

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