Italy’s northern region, Lombardy, has reached out to Germany amid its battle against a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections by providing much-needed intensive care beds for German patients, announced on Friday the vice-president of the region, Letizia Moratti.
German hospitals face a dramatic emergency, with intensive care units on the verge of collapse, Moratti wrote on Facebook.
A fourth wave of infections has plunged Germany, Europe’s largest economy, into a national emergency, Health Minister Jens Spahn said, warning that vaccinations alone will not reduce the number of cases.
The coronavirus situation in Germany is so dire that a lockdown, including for those vaccinated, cannot be ruled out, Spahn said on Friday.
Thinking back to Germany’s assistance to Italy in the spring of 2020, “I consider it appropriate and our duty to offer Germany the availability to receive patients in our hospitals, to provide facilities and intensive care, âMoratti said.
She had already instructed the general directorate of social assistance in the region to act in this direction.
In Lombardy, only 4% of intensive care beds were occupied on Friday, according to the national agency for medical services in the regions.
Nationally, the intensive care unit occupancy rate was 6%. Last week, the province of South Tyrol admitted two patients from Freising in Bavaria.
During the first wave of coronavirus, intensive care units in northern Italy, especially in the city of Bergamo in Lombardy, were extremely overloaded.
Photos of deceased patients taken out of town in military vehicles have gone viral around the world. At that time, 44 Italian patients were admitted to German intensive care units.