“A Robust Public Health Care System”

The New York Times: A German Exception? Why the Country’s Coronavirus Death Rate Is Low. “The pandemic has hit Germany hard, with more than 92,000 people infected. But the percentage of fatal cases has been remarkably low compared to those in many neighboring countries.”

“All across Germany, hospitals have expanded their intensive care capacities. And they started from a high level. In January, Germany had some 28,000 intensive care beds equipped with ventilators, or 34 per 100,000 people. By comparison, that rate is 12 in Italy and 7 in the Netherlands.

By now, there are 40,000 intensive care beds available in Germany.

Some experts are cautiously optimistic that social distancing measures might be flattening the curve enough for Germany’s health care system to weather the pandemic without producing a scarcity of lifesaving equipment like ventilators.

“It is important that we have guidelines for doctors on how to practice triage between patients if they have to,” Professor Streeck said. “But I hope we will never need to use them.”

The time it takes for the number of infections to double has slowed to about eight days. If it slows a little more, to between 12 and 14 days, Professor Herold said, the models suggest that triage could be avoided.

“The curve is beginning to flatten,” she said.”