Two months of fighting COVID-19 in Germany: scientists summarize first results | Analysis of events in the political life and society of Germany | DW


The line at the Apple branded store on Berlin’s Kurfürstendamm Boulevard is an example of a new, coronavirus reality in Germany. To get inside last Saturday afternoon, it was necessary to stand outside for 30-40 minutes, observing the distance of two meters prescribed by the authorities – for convenience, red lines were marked on the sidewalk. Before that, it is necessary to explain to the two store employees the purpose of their visit, after which the third employee, taking aim at the visitor with an electronic thermometer, measures the temperature and invites him to stand on the red line on the asphalt.

In the store itself – mandatory hand disinfection under the strict supervision of guards and the issuance of masks at the entrance to all those who do not have them. Customers are led in zigzags around the trading floor, so as not to get closer to those around them by more than two meters. All this is not marketing, but only the careful implementation of the authorities’ instructions. Since the key factor in controlling the epidemic is the limitation of contacts between people, that is, the very social distance.

Doctors: COVID-19 is new and insidious disease

On Tuesday, May 19, at a press conference in the German Ministry of Education and Research, representatives of three German hospitals spoke about the first results of working with patients who were diagnosed with a disease that no one knew about six months ago – COVID-19.

According to Professor Michael Albrecht, Chairman of the Board of the University Hospital Karl Gustav Carus in Dresden, the new coronavirus transmitted by airborne droplets has nothing to do with SARS or influenza. In the worst case, a new viral infection can affect not only the lungs, but also other internal organs of the patient, causing severe immunological reactions in them, as well as the central nervous system.

Ward in a Berlin hospital

Ward in a Berlin hospital

In this regard, the widely discussed problem of the shortage of mechanical ventilation apparatus (ALV) is only one aspect of the treatment of patients with COVID-19. According to Albrecht, in the intensive care unit of the University Hospital Dresden there are currently 30 patients with a diagnosis of COVID-19, a disease that he called complex and unusual.

In turn, the representative of the University Hospital of Hamburg (UKE), Professor Blanche Schwappach-Pignataro (Blanche Schwappach-Pignataro) reported that the autopsy of 140 patients who died with COVID-19 in Hamburg revealed that many of them found thrombosis in the renal veins – which can serve as further evidence that coronavirus affects not only the lungs, but also other internal organs.

The development of the pandemic in Germany was stopped by decisive actions of the authorities

AT a study by a group of German scientistspublished on May 15 in the scientific journal Science, using mathematical models it is proved that the spread of coronavirus infection in Germany was stopped thanks to the quick and decisive actions of the authorities to restrict public life, cancel mass events and ban contact between people. Moreover, it was the last, most radical step that led to the fact that the spread of infection in Germany was stopped.

Demonstrators in Stuttgart demand termination of lockdown

Participants in this demonstration in Stuttgart are tired of restrictions; they demand an end to the lockdown

One of the authors of the study is Viola Priesemann, head of the research team at the Max-Planck-Institut in Göttingen. In an interview with DW, she says that there is no contradiction between the interests of healthcare, on the one hand, and economic life, on the other. “This is a very important point, which is often misinterpreted – both business and health care incur losses from the growth in the number of infected people,” she states.

The scientist believes that the extended fear and distrust of citizens to visit public places (for example, shops and restaurants) can do more harm to the economy in the long term than a short but tough lockdown with subsequent total control over the spread of infection. “The fewer new infections, the easier it is to control and control the outbreak,” Prizemann explains. At the same time, she is one of those specialists who considers the decision recently made by the authorities to weaken quarantine measures in Germany to be premature.

Infectionist: Citizens’ Loyalty Is A Very Important Factor

Professor of Medicine Helmut Hahn, head of the Russian-German Medical Forum named after Robert Koch and Ilya Mechnikov, believes that the loyal attitude of the population towards the authorities played a significant role in the success of Germany in the fight against the pandemic – citizens for the most part fulfilled the requirements of the government.

“The Germans, by virtue of their history and traditions, are accustomed to obeying the orders of the government,” Khan points out. “Our government is democratically elected, so we proceed from the fact that it acts in the interests of the whole society.”

According to the professor, the experience of Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic in combating a pandemic can serve as a role model – just compare the mortality rates to understand that the methods of the governments of these three countries are more effective in suppressing a pandemic. Khan names Britain, Italy, and Sweden as negative examples.

“The governments of Germany and Austria made a choice in favor of protecting the lives of individuals – and were ready not only to donate large sums of money for this, but also to risk economic interests,” adds Professor Khan. But from direct comparisons with the countries leading in the world distribution list of coronavirus, the infectious disease specialist shies away: “This is a matter of individual choice, and each country decides for itself.”

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