The intensive care unit in the municipal clinic in Dresden is full. The beds in which seriously ill patients can be ventilated are occupied. The intensive register also shows a red point for the Helios Clinic in the Saxon city of Pirna. The station is also busy. The register of the Robert Koch Institute and the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine (DIVI) provides information about where there are still free intensive care beds - they are required for seriously ill Covid 19 patients with shortness of breath and for everyone else who comes after one Accident or an operation require special care. In Saxony and other East German federal states, the list shows more and more red points, in Bavaria the situation is similarly serious. Aschaffenburg Clinic? Fully occupied. University Hospital Munich,Downtown location? No chance. Klinikum Kempten im Allgäu? Nothing is free there either.

Kim Bjorn Becker

Editor in politics.

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The burden on the German intensive care units, especially from mostly unvaccinated Covid 19 patients, has increased again in the past few days.

In Bavaria and Thuringia, there is now a corona patient in almost every third intensive care bed; in Saxony, their share is the highest nationwide at almost 37 percent.

So far, in the areas particularly affected by the pandemic - the vaccination rates are consistently below the national average - it has been possible to relocate patients regionally.

When one hospital was full, there was another nearby that could still take a patient.

But for a few hours that has also been partially no longer possible.

Late on Tuesday evening, DIVI announced that several federal states had activated a nationwide emergency mechanism that should make it possible for intensive care patients to be brought to other areas of the republic. We are talking about the so-called cloverleaf concept, in which the countries - partly alone, partly in groups - form five regions, i.e. “clovers”. Since Tuesday evening, the two regions south and east, which consist of Bavaria and Thuringia, Saxony, Berlin and Brandenburg, have no longer been able to adequately treat patients within the respective region. "In the next few days, a larger number of patients will be relocated to other clover-leaf regions," announced the DIVI.

The east and south of the republic must now rely on the other three regions to help out.

The states of Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland form the "clover leaf" southwest;

North Rhine-Westphalia alone forms the West region and Lower Saxony, Bremen, Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania have joined forces to form the North region.

There is a central contact person for each region who coordinates patient transfers.

The federal and state governments developed the system together with intensive care physicians last year.