Coronavirus digest: Belgium asks Germany to help it relieve “exhausted” hospitals | News | DW


Belgium’s health ministry said on Friday that the country’s intensive care units were struggling to cope with a third wave of coronavirus infections and called on Germany to help ease the burden of patients, according to a Belgian health official.

Germany received coronavirus patients from Belgium in November in a previous wave of the pandemic, and earlier this week more patients with COVID-19 were brought to Aachen, just from the other side of the border.

“Germany is already ready to take care of patients,” said Belgian health official Marcel Van der Auwera.

Van der Auwera said hospital staff in Belgium were “exhausted, pushed far beyond their limits”. He did not specify how many patents could be transferred to German hospitals.

Van der Auwera added that there are currently only 82 beds available in intensive care units across the country.

Nevertheless, Belgium still plans to ease restrictions in the coming weeks.

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo confirmed on Friday that restaurants and cafes will reopen outdoor terraces from May 8, with four people allowed per table.

Here is an overview of the latest news on coronaviruses from elsewhere in Europe and around the world:


In Spainthe island of Mallorca, a man was arrested for assault after allegedly ignoring his symptoms of COVID-19. The 40-year-old continued to come to work and visit a gym despite the fever. The suspect also ignored his supervisor’s call to stay home and ignored calls from his colleagues. After his PCR test came back positive, five other colleagues also tested positive and then passed the virus on to family members, including three babies.

In Switzerland, health officials have discovered a patient suffering from a new variant of the coronavirus which appears to have originated in India. The patient was in transit at one of the country’s airports, they added. Swiss officials were considering putting India on the list of high-risk countries.

Germany reported 23,392 cases of the coronavirus, while another 286 people have died, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said in its daily update on Saturday.

Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans to accept nationwide pandemic measures that went into effect at midnight. Restrictions include curfews from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. and access to non-essential stores in districts with high infection rates. Celebrities have been criticized for mocking the law.

Germany also joined several countries in announcing a Travel ban in hard-hit India. Health Minister Jens Spahn cited a new variant of the coronavirus that has made India the last COVID-19 hotspot.

A few days after the signing of a national “emergency brake” by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to stem the tide of infections, the federal government is on the verge of modernization Germany’s economic growth in 2021 forecast, despite the current curbs.

The move comes as industries recover from the economic fallout caused by the pandemic.

“Despite continued lockdowns, the economy is growing stronger than expected,” Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told Funke Media Group.

“In January, we expect growth of 3%. Current data shows it will be even slightly higher,” Altmaier added.

The government will announce its spring projections on Thursday.

German Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht said people who have been fully vaccinated may see some restrictions lifted soon. There is a big meeting on the subject on Monday. Exemptions may cover entry rules, access to shops and certain services.


Supreme Court of India told Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government that he wanted a “national plan” for the supply of oxygen and essential medicines for the treatment of coronavirus patients.

India’s underfunded healthcare system is collapsing as the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak shows no signs of slowing down. India on Saturday recorded another world record for daily infections with 346,786 reported cases.

And now the Press Trust of India news agency has said the country’s Defense Ministry will fly 23 mobile oxygen production plants in Germany to help with critical shortages of vital gas, as well as drugs and hospital beds. Each plant will be able to produce 2,400 liters of oxygen per hour, the agency reported.

Hospitals in the capital New Delhi and other hard-hit states are sorely lacking in beds and oxygen, while crematoriums are overcrowded. At least 20 COVID-19 patients have died overnight in the intensive care unit at Jaipur Golden Hospital in New Delhi due to low oxygen levels.

Kuwait The Civil Aviation Authority said early on Saturday it had suspended all direct commercial flights from India, from April 24, remaining in place “until further notice.”

Iran also bans travelers from India. Officials expressed concern about the new variant of COVID-19, but did not say if and how many cases related to it have been detected in Iran.

“The Indian coronavirus [variant] is a new threat we are facing, ”President Hassan Rouhani said in a speech broadcast on public television.


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters he was “very excited” when he received his first dose of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine at an Ottawa pharmacy.

Trudeau then watched his wife Sophie receive her first injection.

Justin Trudeau received the AstraZeneca vaccine in Ottawa

Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine to be administered with immediate effect United States after a brief halt in single-dose vaccine deployment due to fears of blood clots.

U.S. lawmakers and nonprofit groups are pressuring President Joe Biden’s administration to support a temporary patent waiver for coronavirus vaccines to help developing countries contain the pandemic.

A group of lawmakers, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former heads of state and nearly 100 Nobel Prize winners have handed over a petition signed by two million people to Biden, Reuters reported.


New Zealand has suspended its new opening travel bubble with australia after a COVID-19 outbreak in the west of its larger neighbor.

“As stated in our Trans-Tasman Bubble protocols, travel between New Zealand and Western Australia has been suspended, pending further advice from the state government,” the Neo government said. Zealander on its website.

The move came after Western Australia announced that the Perth and Peel regions were entering a three-day lockdown, from midnight Friday to Saturday, due to a traveler testing positive for the virus.

On April 19, Australia and New Zealand reached an agreement where travelers between the two countries no longer need to go to a managed isolation facility.

fb, jsi / wmr (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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