German hospitals have noted that for fear of an infection, far fewer patients with acute symptoms come to the emergency rooms.
“We find that diagnoses such as suspected stroke, heart attack or appendicitis have decreased significantly,” says one doctor.
Siegfried Hasenbein, managing director of the Bavarian Hospital Association in Munich told German daily Die Welt that the same applies to cancer patients.
There are still no precise statistics, but doctors have registered the phenomenon throughout Germany: “Suddenly we have far fewer patients with urgent symptoms,” says lung cancer specialist Niels Reinmuth, chief physician for thoracic oncology at the Asklepios specialist clinic in Gauting near Munich.
One Nuremberg Clinic supplied their figures: According to this, there is a clear decrease in inpatient admissions due to the pandemic. “Between 20 and 30 percent fewer patients come to the cardiological emergency room to clarify unclear chest pain,” says the hospital. And in the neurological emergency room, there are significant drops in the number of suspected strokes of minus 30 percent compared to 2019.
All German federal states have meanwhile announced measures to make face masks compulsory on public transport with Bremen becoming the final federal region to back the plan after a senate confirmation on Friday.
Almost all federal states will also make face coverings mandatory for shopping following in the wake of Austria that had them compulsory when shopping at the start of this month. Both the Czech Republic and Slovakia have also made facial coverings mandatory.
But in Berlin, it is not yet compulsory to wear a mask when shopping.
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has announced a fine of €25 for anyone travelling on public transport without a mask.
Switzerland however will not make its citizens wear masks.
Germany’s federal vaccines institute, The Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (PEI), approved clinical trials for a Covid-19 vaccine tested on humans on Wednesday.