The umbrella association of German hospitals warns that in view of the rapidly increasing number of corona infections, operations could soon be canceled again. "With 3000 COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit, the burden on the staff would be so great that, depending on the regional situation, planned interventions would have to be postponed," said Gerald Gaß, President of the German Hospital Society, of the FAZ. However, several would always have to be on site Indicators are taken into account. According to the intensive care register of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine, 1,800 COVID-19 patients nationwide were in the intensive care units of the hospitals on Thursday, occupying eight percent of the beds.Since the beginning of October, the number of corona patients in intensive care units has increased by more than a third.

Kim Bjorn Becker

Editor in politics.

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The number of infected people has recently skyrocketed.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) stated the nationwide seven-day incidence on Thursday with 130.2 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

The previous day the value was 118.0, a week ago it was 85.6.

The so-called hospitalization incidence also increased significantly on Thursday.

Accordingly, 3.31 out of 100,000 residents had to be treated in hospital for a corona infection.

"We can already see that the hospitalization rate of 3 with the dynamics currently taking place - plus 38 percent within a week - leads to a significant increase in occupancy in intensive care units within a week to ten days," said Gaß.

When are additional measures necessary?

It is currently being discussed how much additional corona measures might be necessary to prevent the health system from being overloaded. Many federal states have developed their own traffic light systems to classify the infection process. In Hesse, the first of two corona warning levels comes into force when the hospitalization incidence in the state reaches 8 or the number of COVID-19 intensive care patients increases to over 200. 167 seriously ill were reported on Thursday. "The state government will then be advised on the concrete measures to be taken, for example, the regulation mentions further restrictions on access to events," said a spokesman for the Ministry of Social Affairs in Wiesbaden.If there is an incidence of hospitalization over 15 or more than 400 corona intensive care patients, warning level two is reached in Hessen.

In Baden-Württemberg, the warning level is also proclaimed from a hospitalization incidence of 8, alternatively a threshold of 250 corona intensive care patients applies in the southwest. The alert level applies from a hospitalization incidence of twelve or 390 seriously ill patients. "It can be assumed that the warning level will occur this week," said a spokesman for the Ministry of Health in Stuttgart on Thursday. The number of Corona intensive care patients was 242 on Wednesday. "These are mainly people who are not vaccinated and now have to go through a serious course of the disease," said Health Minister Manfred Lucha (Greens). “The patients are now on average younger, which means that the lying times are correspondingly longer.Against this background, I once again urged the entire population to get vaccinated quickly. "

Call for booster vaccinations

The situation is slightly different in Saxony, with 238.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the state has the second highest incidence after Thuringia.

The so-called advance warning level comes into force when 180 COVID-19 patients or more are being treated in the intensive care units or 650 patients or more in the normal wards.

The "overload level" applies from 420 intensive care and 1300 normal ward patients.

These numbers are relevant in determining whether additional restrictions will be introduced.

The incidence of hospitalization alone is not decisive in Saxony, as a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Social Affairs announced in Dresden.

Most recently, more than 90 percent of corona intensive care patients were unvaccinated. According to a new Forsa survey commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Health, the majority of those who have not been vaccinated will no longer be vaccinated against Corona in the coming weeks. According to this, almost two thirds of the respondents stated that they would “definitely not” want to be vaccinated in the next two months. Almost a quarter tend to "rather no". 89 percent of those surveyed said that if the intensive care units reached their capacity limits again, it had no effect on their willingness to be vaccinated. The unvaccinated were interviewed between late September and mid-October. Only about two thirds of citizens are currently fully vaccinated, as reported by the Federal Ministry of Health.Due to possible under-reporting, the actual values ​​can be a few percentage points higher. 

Meanwhile, the acting Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) called for Corona booster vaccinations on Thursday and had himself given an additional injection.

"I am promoting that many others do the same," said Spahn in a Twitter message from the ministry.

According to the RKI, 1.8 million people received a so-called booster up to and including Wednesday.

The booster is particularly recommended for the elderly, as the effect of the full vaccination can wear off comparatively quickly with them.