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Germany announces capacity to take Covid patients from abroad as cases soar across Europe
Germany's public health institute has revealed that it has the capacity to provide treatment for coronavirus patients from other countries, as Berlin issued travel warnings in respect of four European nations.
Despite recording a sharp increase in new coronavirus infections, Germany's Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced that the country has the capacity to take Covid-19 patients from other countries.
Germany, like much of Europe, is currently seeing a sharp rise in infections, with 11,287 new cases in the last 24 hours, a single-day record for the country.
However, it has highlighted the steps it's taking to ensure that it's prepared to cope with the rising number of cases compared to other countries across the continent. During the first wave, intensive care units in Germany did not get overburdened at any point and were "well under capacity even during the peak," according to the Lancet's analysis of Covid responses in Asia Pacific and Europe.
The country is confident that it will be able to keep the virus under control with a spare capacity of 400,000 tests per week at the moment and 75 percent of test results being given within one day, allowing them to have an "intensive" test-and-trace system that was "critical" to their success, according to the British Medical Journal, known as the BMJ.
During the announcement, the RKI issued travel warnings for most of Austria, Ireland, Poland and Switzerland, advising against all but essential travel, as the four countries have seen sharp rises in the total number of cases over the last few days.
Germany has set a bar of 50 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people as a sign for serious concern. Staying below that threshold is viewed as critical to ensure infections are low enough "to allow for effective contact tracing to happen and to keep the strain on intensive care units manageable."
While optimistic about providing support to other countries, Dr. Lothar Wieler, president of the RKI, was quick to caution that "the general situation has become very serious" and Germans should continue to respect social distancing measures to help prevent the virus from getting out of control.