To successfully combat the coronavirus, the German authorities need to coordinate the work of thousands of institutions of different levels. Quarantine entire cities in Germany is harder than in China.
Measures to combat coronavirus in Germany engaged in the crisis staff formed by the Federal government specifically for this purpose. “We are serious about the outbreak of coronavirus and a new situation in which Germany found itself, Europe and the whole world”, – said the Minister of health of Germany Jens span (Jens Spahn) on February 27 in Berlin.
After it became known about new cases of infection COVID-19 in Germany, 26 February the Minister admitted that the country is on the verge of an epidemic. To control the spread of infection will succeed only with great effort, added span. The task of the new crisis headquarters for the coronavirus under these conditions is to ensure the interaction of individual ministries and enterprises such as, for example, the railway company Deutsche Bahn.
If the coronavirus is more dangerous than ordinary flu?
Recent statements of scientists regarding the spread of coronavirus alarming. According to the German experts, COVID-19 can be more dangerous than the regular flu. However, the final answer to the question on mortality from pneumonia caused by a coronavirus, a new type will be received only after the end of the epidemic, told reporters on Thursday, 27 February, head of the Robert Koch Institute Wheeler Lothar (Lothar Wieler) at a press conference in Berlin.
Starting today, a similar press conference will be held in the German capital every day. While Wheeler said that in Germany, there is no reason to panic.
“The situation is not yet out of control, he said. – One focus of infection was in Bavaria, but we took the situation under control. Two days ago was recorded new cases of infection in the other two regions, and they are now engaged in the Ministry of health.”
Isolation of entire cities in Germany unlikely
In January a new type of coronavirus has infected several employees of the Bavarian company Webasto engaged in the supply of spare parts, as well as their family members. After a few weeks break new infections were recorded in the länder of Baden-württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate. The experts of the Robert Koch Institute explain the sequence of steps after the detection of a new patients: first, it is necessary to isolate infected with the coronavirus and then try to determine with whom they communicated the last time.
According to Lothar vilera, this strategy physicians will remain true in the future. “It is possible that, if they revealed new cases of infection, we will lose control (of the chain of transmission. – Ed.)”, he says.
This can happen in a situation when local outbreaks will be larger than still. However, scientists at the Robert Koch Institute does not believe that due to the spread of the coronavirus in Germany will have to place under quarantine the whole city, as it was made in Italy.
Scientists are working in two shifts in the quest for a vaccine
In recent days, the questions from journalists about the coronavirus do not give rest to the press service of the Robert Koch Institute. That is why the leadership of the Institute decided to organize a daily press conference to inform the latest information about the results of the work of scientists.
Located in Berlin, the Institute, named after the famous worldwide German microbiologist, is in Germany the most important structure on issues of infectious diseases. In 1905 Robert Koch (Robert Koch) won the Nobel prize in medicine for their discovery of the bacterium-Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Today, about 1,000 employees of the Institute, communicating with colleagues worldwide to develop vaccines against dangerous diseases and monitoring the progress of epidemics and pandemics (epidemics that cross multiple countries and continents).
With regard to the coronavirus, it is already a few weeks ago at the Robert Koch Institute has been created dedicated to him, the centre, which German scientists seven days a week, working in two shifts, are responsible for assessing the current situation, exchange opinions with representatives of ministries and departments and make recommendations for combating the spread of the virus.
According to the Minister of health of Germany, the Punks in the epidemic of the coronavirus relevant information needed to supply 170 000 private medical practitioners, 20,000 pharmacies, more than 2,000 hospitals and 14,000 institutions for the care of sick and infirm persons throughout Germany. Experts fear that in the near future this can cause problems. The departments of health throughout Germany work 2,500 doctors. For comparison, 15 years ago there were many more. Designed specifically to educate on the topic of coronavirus hotlines already overloaded.
Protection from emergency situations in Germany – the case of Federal lands
What can and should happen in Germany in the event of an outbreak of infectious diseases determines the Federal law on protection against infectious diseases. In practice, however, measures to protect against threats to public health action in emergencies to determine the government of the Federal lands. Each Federal land in Germany has its own plan of action in case of an epidemic or pandemic. Usually there is such a rule: while outbreaks of the infection could counter with traditional means, a state of emergency are not declared.
So, in the law of the state of Brandenburg said that the measures against disasters must be used when infection is a direct threat to the lives and health of many people, damage the property, dwellings or vital (food. – Ed.) the supply of the population; and at the same time leads to serious violations of public security and public order or an imminent threat of such violations.”
So anxiety may be kicked not once. However, if necessary, to take drastic measures, such as conducting departmental audits on private land and on public transport, or cancel public events. As an example, such actions can result in the case of North Rhine-Westphalia, where in the district of Heinsberg was for a few days closed all kindergartens and schools in connection with the identification of the coronavirus family couples living in this County.
While there might be a similar and even more stringent steps in Germany, the majority of experts are inclined to believe that in Germany to isolate entire cities would not be so easy as in the centralized and undemocratic countries like China.
Indeed, in Germany the principle of proportionality. This means that whatever action was taken, they only apply to those directly relevant to that situation, not for a large group of people indiscriminately. It is possible to prevent infected people to be in certain places or to leave such places. There are also bans on entry for certain individuals.
Restrictions on the involvement of the military within Germany
Unlike other countries, in Germany not so easy to conduct the operation within the country with the participation of the military. Many Germans remember well how solidity of the Bundeswehr helped to lay sandbags during the recent floods on the Elbe and the Oder. However, the involvement of the military in the case of epidemics is limited by a number of strict rules. Detentions, inspections or overlapping transport in such cases is a matter for the police.