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Germany: Study by the Ministry of Health shows that Covid patients made up only 4 percent of intensive care in 2020

A new study commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Health on the situation in intensive care units in 2020 gives the all-clear - Germany has never been close to the ominous "triage".

A study commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Health deals with the performance of hospitals in 2020. The study focuses on Covid and is also particularly dedicated to the situation in intensive care units, which is so important in the pandemic. The result is unlikely to please those who like to spread insubstantial panic. In long texts, information tables and diagrams, the study, in which the TU Berlin, among others, was involved, comes to interesting results: The influence of Covid on the situation in the intensive care units was extremely small in 2020. The document reads like an all-clear in retrospect.

The study counted 172,248 treatment cases with the "secondary diagnosis" Covid for the last year - "secondary diagnosis" in this case then means a positive laboratory test result. 26,151 were treated in intensive care, i.e. only a fraction of these test-positive patients. This is also reflected in the occupancy of the intensive care units: Only a minimal fraction of the patients are listed as Covid patients in the study, who appear very small, especially in contrast to the free beds. The Ministry of Health speaks of an annual average proportion of corona patients in the intensive occupancy of 4 percent. The total utilization of the intensive care beds is generally between 63% and 73% - that is also far from a collapse scenario. No wonder, that even the BMG has to state in its press release on the study: "The analysis of the performance data of all German hospitals shows that [...] intensive care in Germany could be guaranteed across the board in the first pandemic year of 2020." The ministry's advisory board emphasizes that the pandemic "At no point has intensive care reached its limits."

It is not the virus that is causing the overload
The inexperienced observer is initially surprised that the hospitals and intensive care units seem to have weathered the pandemic so well: Where has it been, the emergency? Most likely in the minds and in the headlines. Meanwhile, state funding mechanisms ensured that the number of intensive care beds was actually reduced - towards the end of last year it was decided that clinics of the two higher emergency levels (level 2 and 3) would only receive funding if the intensive care beds in the hospital were fully utilized is over 75 percent and the 7-day incidence in the circle is over 70. Quite a few hospitals then reduced the number of intensive care beds so that they continued to receive government funding.

The personnel situation was not changed by the virus either, but by political decisions. Since the beginning of the year, one carer has only been allowed to be responsible for two beds during the day and three at night. "The downside is: beds for which there are no staff have to be 'locked'", explains Nina Meckel, spokeswoman for the DIVI intensive care register, to Bild. What undoubtedly facilitates the working conditions of the nursing staff, however, means an additional shortage of capacities for the health system.

Anyone who is now advancing the "emergency in the intensive care units" to justify the ongoing lockdown is at least ignoring the fact that this is homemade. Or: It was not the virus but the conscious decisions of those responsible that brought about this “emergency”. The nursing staff, who should be respected for their work, seem more like pawned victims of a policy that is actually hardly interested in their situation - before and during Covid.

"Flatten the Curve" was the motto to prevent the "impending overload" of the health system - the BMG is now quietly clearing up this Covid fairy tale. The follow-up study next year will probably have to classify how much is true of the current horror state descriptions. But the horror tale of the Covid emergency last year, which was clearly and knowingly made up, shook the trust of many in the state: anyone who lies once is not believed - even if he or she then speaks the truth.

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