BerlinFor the first time since the introduction of the traffic light system to assess the corona situation in Berlin, the warning value for intensive care beds has been exceeded: 25.3 percent of the beds were occupied by Covid 19 patients. This emerges from the situation report of the Senate Department for Health for Saturday, which was published late on Sunday due to technical problems. In Berlin, two out of three Corona traffic lights were briefly red, on Sunday the value fell back to 24.2 percent. The traffic light for the seven-day incidence, the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week, also shows unchanged red. On Saturday it was 200.9 (Sunday: 202.0) – well above the critical threshold of 50.
Need for action for the Senate
If two traffic lights are red, it means that the Senate needs to take action. When this case first occurred at the beginning of October – at that time the incidence value and the so-called R value exceeded the limit – the Senate imposed a curfew for the catering trade. New contact restrictions have been in place since Sunday, and last week Governing Mayor Michael Müller (SPD) also announced that only five people are allowed to come together in Berlin on Christmas and New Year’s Eve – ten people are allowed in the rest of Germany. Müller justified the decision with the high numbers in Berlin.
The fact that the hospitals are now reaching their limits in terms of the utilization of intensive care beds is also a consequence of the high number of infections that has persisted for weeks. A look at the intensive care register, which the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine (Divi) maintains in cooperation with the Robert Koch Institute, shows that several Berlin clinics have currently reported that their bed capacity in the intensive care area is being used to full capacity, among other things the DRK Westend, as well as the Auguste Viktoria Clinic and the Humboldt Clinic, two Vivantes clinics that are part of the so-called Level 2 clinics in Berlin. Level 2 clinics must have a certain number of intensive care beds ready for Covid patients who are also moved there from other hospitals.
“Both houses are currently so busy with intensive care Covid patients that no further relocations of intensive care Covid patients from other houses are possible,” said a Vivantes spokeswoman. The non-Covid area of the intensive care units is currently heavily used. The purpose of stopping admission is to ensure that patients can continue to be transferred from the house or from the rescue center to the intensive care unit if necessary. The rescue centers, the spokeswoman said, have not yet been closed.
For the Vivantes Clinic Neukölln, however, it is currently being considered to deregister the emergency services from the emergency system. Ambulances would then no longer drive into the house. The reason for the tense situation is not only the high number of patients, but also the sick leave among the nursing staff, of whom more and more are either sick themselves or in quarantine.
Rescue center in Lankwitz temporarily disconnected from the network
The Vivantes clinics, together with the Charité, treat the majority of Berlin’s corona patients, around 70 percent of the cases end up here.
The St. Marien Hospital in Lankwitz sounded the alarm on Thursday and took its rescue center offline over the weekend.
The Caritas-Klinikum in Pankow, also a Level 2 hospital, on the other hand, currently rates the situation as “challenging, but manageable”. The Berlin Accident Hospital in Marzahn is green in the Divi register. There they specialize in emergency medicine, according to a spokesman, so they can deal with the current situation well.
Health Senator Dilek Kalayci (SPD) appealed to Berliners on Twitter via Twitter: “Please spare the employees in the hospitals from being overburdened. That is why it is imperative to refrain from any contact that is not absolutely necessary! It’s best to wear a mask everywhere! Keep your distance! “
A total of 63,888 people have been infected with Covid-19 in Berlin since the beginning of the pandemic, 41,421 people are considered to have recovered – 659 more than on Friday. 550 people died.