It is a lesson from the Corona crisis: so that important materials such as protective masks do not become scarce again, the federal government wants to build up a reserve – at 19 locations.
Health Minister Jens Spahn wants to present a specific plan for the National Health Reserve in the Corona cabinet today. The CDU politician told the German Press Agency: “This pandemic teaches us that we have to take more precautions.” According to this, the reserve is to be filled primarily with masks that have already been procured by the end of 2021, then with material from domestic production. The needs of the health system and the federal government are to be kept permanently available for one month.
The core of the reserve should consist of protective equipment, protective masks, ventilators and medication, explained Spahn. “In an emergency, we particularly support those who work in hospitals, nursing homes and medical practices. Good health care should not fail because of the material.”
The requirement for six months should be covered
At the beginning of June the federal government decided to establish a “National Health Protection Reserve” and commissioned the ministries involved with a concept. The background is also that protective masks and other material were scarce at the beginning of the Corona crisis in spring. The federal government then went into procurement and decided on incentives for domestic manufacturers. Medical facilities and the federal states should primarily continue to hold their own reserves before federal inventories are accessed.
The national reserve should in principle be available on a decentralized basis, as stated in a proposal. For the first phase, the federal government is currently using logistics companies 16 regional locations intended:
Apfelstädt, Augsburg, Bergkamen, Biblis, Crailsheim, Dortmund, Emmerich, Euskirchen, Halle, Hamburg, Ibbenbueren, Kabelsketal, Krefeld, Langenhagen, Neuss, Unna.
In addition, there are storage areas for hand disinfectants rented by the federal government in Neustadt, Muggensturm and Krefeld.
The federal reserve should be compatible with state reserves, and cooperation should also be discussed. Specifically, the reserve should procure and store certain quantities, but also secure delivery options and production capacities.
Such a combination should be able to cover the demand for up to six months – a minimum supply for one month should always be physically available. In addition to supplying the health sector and the federal government, humanitarian aid with protective equipment should also be made possible for the World Health Organization (WHO) and other countries, according to the proposal.