Corona news in the ticker: Air Force starts with Corona aid flights in the afternoon

  • 8:47 am: ➤ The Air Force will start Corona aid flights in the afternoon
  • 06:33 am: RKI reports new highs for new infections and a seven-day incidence
  • 06:01 am: WHO: Corona vaccination saved half a million people in Europe alone
  • 05:12 am: World Medical Association boss: “We are all preparing for a triage”

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➤ The Air Force will start Corona aid flights in the afternoon

From Friday afternoon onwards, the Air Force will take part in the transfer of intensive care patients in the corona pandemic with a special aircraft. According to information from the German Press Agency, an Airbus A310 MedEvac was supposed to land at the Bavarian airport in Memmingen at 2 p.m. and fly seriously ill people to Münster-Osnabrück in North Rhine-Westphalia. The arrival of the machine was planned for the early evening.

Fast transport capacities with airplanes are to be used in order to be able to fly intensive care patients to regions with free capacities in the event of regional congestion in hospitals.

The Air Force has two aircraft ready for the relief mission. This includes the Airbus A310 MedEvac, a “flying intensive care unit” with six of these treatment places, as well as a converted special machine, the surveillance aircraft A319OH (“open sky”). Two places for intensive treatment were built into this. An A400M MedEvac is also stationed in Wunstorf (Lower Saxony).

As part of the so-called cloverleaf system, Covid 19 patients should also be able to be distributed nationwide if hospitals are threatened with collapse in individual regions. According to a catalog of criteria of the intensive care medicine association Divi, transferring patients with other illnesses is only planned in exceptional cases. The concept was launched in spring 2020 under the impression of the first corona wave.

The number of new corona infections transmitted to the Robert Koch Institute within one day has reached a high again. The incidence is now 438.2. Photo credit: imago-images

The other corona news of the day

RKI reports new highs for new infections and a seven-day incidence

06:33 am: The number of new corona infections within one day has reached a new high. As the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced on Friday morning based on data from the health authorities, 76,414 new infections were registered nationwide within 24 hours. Last Friday there were 52,970. The nationwide seven-day incidence also reached a new high of 438.2.

On November 11, the threshold of 50,000 new infections was exceeded within 24 hours for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. According to the RKI, the death toll from the pandemic in Germany rose by 357 to 100,476 on Friday. On Thursday, the number of corona deaths in Germany exceeded the threshold of 100,000.

The seven-day incidence was 438.2, a new high for the 19th day in a row. On Thursday the incidence was 419.7, on Friday last week it was 340.7.

The seven-day incidence indicates the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within a week. On November 8, the value in Germany had passed the threshold of 200 and thus the previous high since the start of the pandemic in December 2020 (197.6). Since then, new highs have been recorded every day.

On November 18, the federal and state governments set the so-called hospitalization incidence as the decisive yardstick for tightening the corona measures. This value indicates how many people per 100,000 inhabitants are in hospital within seven days because of a corona infection. According to the RKI, the nationwide hospitalization incidence on Thursday was 5.79.

According to the RKI, the total number of registered cases of infection in Germany since the beginning of the pandemic rose to 5,650,170. The institute put the number of people recovered from illness caused by the coronavirus in Germany at around 4,775,300.

In its weekly report, the RKI referred, among other things, to the rapid increase in corona outbreaks in schools. In the four weeks up to November 21, 1265 outbreaks were recorded in schools.

WHO: Corona vaccination saved half a million people in Europe alone

06:01 am: The World Health Organization (WHO) assumes that the corona vaccinations have saved the lives of at least half a million people in Europe alone. The WHO European Office in Copenhagen published a report on Thursday according to which a total of 470,000 lives have been saved in the age group over 60 in around 30 European countries since the vaccination campaign began.

The age group under 60 is not included in the estimate. The survey published by the WHO draws on data from more than half of the 53 countries in the European Region. Based on these figures, the WHO estimates that almost 160,000 lives were saved in England and around 39,000 in France. Data were not available for the survey for 20 countries in the region, including Germany, the Netherlands, Russia and Turkey.

The study shows that the vaccines do what they promise: “They save lives by offering a high level of protection against severe disease and death,” said WHO European Director Hans Kluge. “In some countries, without the vaccines, the death toll would be twice as high today.”

In the European Union, 67.7 percent of the population are vaccinated. There are enormous differences between the individual member states: in Portugal the vaccination rate is 86.7 percent, in Bulgaria it is only 25 percent.

World Medical Association boss: “We are all preparing for a triage”

05:12 am: In view of the sharply increasing corona numbers, according to the chairman of the World Medical Association, the clinics in Germany are preparing for triage – i.e. the situation in which the doctors have to decide which intensive care patient is given preferential treatment when resources are scarce. “We are all preparing for a triage,” said Frank Ulrich Montgomery to the newspapers of the Funke media group.

Basically, doctors did everything they could to avert this final dire decision. “But in view of the increasing number of infections, the clinics have to prepare,” said the doctor.

If a triage decision cannot be avoided, then every patient is considered regardless of their origin, religion or whether they have been vaccinated or not. In this regard, all people would be treated equally. “The most important thing then is the chance of clinical success,” said Montgomery.

The medical societies and the German Medical Association had already issued basic recommendations for triage decisions last autumn in order to make it easier for the affected doctors to decide which patient would be preferred if the intensive care capacities were no longer sufficient for all of them.

In order to relieve the clinics, patients would also have to be transferred to other European countries, demanded Montgomery. “The systematic relocation of COVID patients abroad must now be initiated. The Bundeswehr must also help with this.”

In the first wave of the pandemic, Germany helped other countries. Now other countries with better capacities would help the Germans. There are neighboring countries with much lower incidences, said the chairman of the World Medical Association. “France is doing a little better than us, Italy is doing a lot better.”

If the numbers continue to rise, however, it is no longer a matter of flying out ten patients. “Then there are hundreds or even thousands who are running out of ICU beds,” said Montgomery. This is an order of magnitude that can no longer be managed with relocations abroad.

Hospital society complains about a lack of corona vaccination

04:56 am: The chairman of the board of the German Hospital Society (DKG), Gerald Gass, has complained about the lack of corona vaccination readiness of millions of citizens – and referred to the serious consequences for numerous patients beyond the pandemic, who therefore could not be treated.

“75 percent of all hospital locations with intensive care units today report only limited operation,” wrote Gass in an article for the “Rheinische Post”. Specifically, this means that, as in January 2021, almost every third patient cannot be cared for in the regular system.

“We will perform around 20 percent fewer operations on colon cancer and around seven percent fewer operations on women with breast cancer,” writes Gass. To be put on a waiting list is difficult to bear mentally and physically for every single cancer patient.

The DKG president also warned of the fatal consequences of the high clinic occupancy for emergency patients. “More people will die in this emergency situation than is normally the case, and more people will suffer lifelong serious complications, for example from a stroke, than would have to be the case with rapid therapy.”

All of these are “the immediate consequences of an inadequate vaccination quota and the resulting high numbers of infections with severe COVID-19 courses,” writes Gass. In view of the “lack of insight among part of the population”, Gass called for a general vaccination. This is the only way to overcome the pandemic.

All corona reports from November 25 can be found here

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With material from dpa, afp, sid, reuters and apa.